Woman wants to exhume Princess Diana’s uncle to prove she is related to British royal family

A California grandmother has begun a legal bid to have the remains of one of Princess Diana‘s uncles exhumed in an attempt to prove she is related to the British royal family, DailyMailTV can exclusively reveal. 

Ann Ukrainetz, 75, of Escondido, says she is the illegitimate daughter of Maurice Burke Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy – the grandfather of Princess Diana. 

The grandmother-of-seven had grown up believing she was the child of timber company foreman Charles Rudderforth but discovered the truth about her parentage in 1999 – four years after her mother Evelyn died in 1995.

Ukrainetz found a confession letter written inside an old music program stored among her mother’s belongings, as well as a series of love notes addressed to ‘my rose, my love, my Evelyn’ and signed ‘MF’.

Now the 75-year-old wants to dig up the remains of Maurice’s twin brother Francis, who is buried in New York, and compare his DNA to hers to prove she really is Princess Diana’s aunt.

Speaking exclusively to DailyMailTV, Ukrainetz said: ‘Ultimately, this will give me the answers I’ve been looking for, for over 20 years now.

‘Can you imagine? Twenty years trying to fight this battle of who I am? It just blows my mind, it absolutely blows me away.’

Ann Ukrainetz, of Escondido, California, has begun a legal bid to have the remains of one of Princess Diana's uncles exhumed in an attempt to prove she is related to the British royal family, DailyMailTV can exclusively reveal

Ann Ukrainetz, of Escondido, California, has begun a legal bid to have the remains of one of Princess Diana's uncles exhumed in an attempt to prove she is related to the British royal family, DailyMailTV can exclusively reveal

Ann Ukrainetz, of Escondido, California, has begun a legal bid to have the remains of one of Princess Diana’s uncles exhumed in an attempt to prove she is related to the British royal family, DailyMailTV can exclusively reveal

In 1995, Ukrainetz's mother Evelyn died. Four years later, while going through her possessions, Ukrainetz discovered a letter hidden inside a music program that revealed the truth about her parentage. Pictured: Ukrainetz with her mother and three children 

In 1995, Ukrainetz's mother Evelyn died. Four years later, while going through her possessions, Ukrainetz discovered a letter hidden inside a music program that revealed the truth about her parentage. Pictured: Ukrainetz with her mother and three children 

In 1995, Ukrainetz’s mother Evelyn died. Four years later, while going through her possessions, Ukrainetz discovered a letter hidden inside a music program that revealed the truth about her parentage. Pictured: Ukrainetz with her mother and three children 

Ukrainetz was born Ann Rudderforth in Kings Lynn, England, on November 22, 1943 to Evelyn – an actress who was the leading light of the local theater company. Ukrainetz thinks her mother met Maurice while she was performing on stage

Ukrainetz was born Ann Rudderforth in Kings Lynn, England, on November 22, 1943 to Evelyn – an actress who was the leading light of the local theater company. Ukrainetz thinks her mother met Maurice while she was performing on stage

Ukrainetz was born Ann Rudderforth in Kings Lynn, England, on November 22, 1943 to Evelyn – an actress who was the leading light of the local theater company. Ukrainetz thinks her mother met Maurice while she was performing on stage

The 75-year-old wants to dig up the remains of Maurice's twin brother Francis, who is buried in New York, and compare his DNA to hers to prove she really is Princess Diana's aunt 

The 75-year-old wants to dig up the remains of Maurice's twin brother Francis, who is buried in New York, and compare his DNA to hers to prove she really is Princess Diana's aunt 

The 75-year-old wants to dig up the remains of Maurice’s twin brother Francis, who is buried in New York, and compare his DNA to hers to prove she really is Princess Diana’s aunt 

Ukrainetz says she has attempted to contact the Fermoy family, Princess Diana’s brother Charles, Earl Spencer and the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex but has been largely ignored.

She told DailyMailTV: ‘I am their flesh and blood. Why can’t they accept me? They accept Meghan who is a divorcee.

‘The royals have come a long way in that they have accepted others. Yet myself, who is blood related, they want nothing to do with. It makes me angry.’

Ukrainetz was born Ann Rudderforth in Kings Lynn, England, on November 22, 1943 to Evelyn – an actress who was the leading light of the local theater company.

Ukrainetz says she believes Maurice, 4th Baron Fermoy first saw her mother on stage the same year and fell hopelessly in love before beginning an affair that lasted until his death in 1955.

Growing up, she says there were regular Friday visits from the ‘insurance man’, who she says she later realized was Maurice.

She said: ‘He was introduced to me as the insurance man and he would come quite often on a Friday and we would have to get all dolled up.

‘My grandmother would take a walk because she lived with my mom and dad – she was bombed out during the war – and I would sit on his knee.

‘I thought that was a little strange when I got older – why am I bouncing around on this man’s lap when he’s the insurance man? But it seemed that my mom and he had a very close relationship and so I felt it was OK.

‘He would always bring some little toy. I remember he bought me a bicycle for my birthday. I think it was blue – a blue Raleigh bicycle. I just loved it.’ 

Ukrainetz says she loved growing up in rural England but that changed in 1955 when Maurice died and her family relocated to Canada. There, her actress mother Evelyn (left)  became a book keeper and raised her only daughter away from the rest of their English family 

Ukrainetz says she loved growing up in rural England but that changed in 1955 when Maurice died and her family relocated to Canada. There, her actress mother Evelyn (left)  became a book keeper and raised her only daughter away from the rest of their English family 

Ukrainetz says she loved growing up in rural England but that changed in 1955 when Maurice died and her family relocated to Canada. There, her actress mother Evelyn (left)  became a book keeper and raised her only daughter away from the rest of their English family 

In 1995, her mother Evelyn died. Four years later, while going through her possessions, Ukrainetz discovered a letter hidden inside a music program that revealed the truth about her parentage (pictured)

In 1995, her mother Evelyn died. Four years later, while going through her possessions, Ukrainetz discovered a letter hidden inside a music program that revealed the truth about her parentage (pictured)

In 1995, her mother Evelyn died. Four years later, while going through her possessions, Ukrainetz discovered a letter hidden inside a music program that revealed the truth about her parentage (pictured)

A portion of the letter reads: 'My dearest, darling Ann, I know one day you will have this letter in your possession, maybe after I have passed from this world. Please try to understand. I just have to get this off my chest. Charlie was not your biological father. I fell in love with Lord Fermoy and we had you as a result. He was married and I was just a commoner'

A portion of the letter reads: 'My dearest, darling Ann, I know one day you will have this letter in your possession, maybe after I have passed from this world. Please try to understand. I just have to get this off my chest. Charlie was not your biological father. I fell in love with Lord Fermoy and we had you as a result. He was married and I was just a commoner'

A portion of the letter reads: ‘My dearest, darling Ann, I know one day you will have this letter in your possession, maybe after I have passed from this world. Please try to understand. I just have to get this off my chest. Charlie was not your biological father. I fell in love with Lord Fermoy and we had you as a result. He was married and I was just a commoner’

But her mother, Evelyn, was married – to Charles, a foreman at a local timber mill – and so was Maurice: to Ruth Roche, a confidante and lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, and the mother of his son Edmund and daughters Mary and Frances.

Frances – who Ukrainetz believes is her half-sister – later went on to marry John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, with whom she had a son Charles and three daughters, including Princess Diana.

Evelyn was married at the time of the affair to Charles, a foreman at a local timber mill 

Evelyn was married at the time of the affair to Charles, a foreman at a local timber mill 

Evelyn was married at the time of the affair to Charles, a foreman at a local timber mill 

According to Ukrainetz, her family appeared to be of modest means but always had money – given to them, she believes, by her aristocratic biological father.

She also attended events at Sandringham – the royal family’s Norfolk home – and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, at the behest, she claims, of Maurice, who had a house on the estate.

But although she says she loved growing up in rural England; all that changed in 1955 when Maurice died and her family relocated to Canada.

There, her actress mother Evelyn became a book keeper and raised her only daughter away from the rest of their English family, including Ukrainetz’s grandmother who had to be left behind.

In 1964, Ukrainetz met and married her husband Len, with whom she went on to have three children, although the couple are now divorced.

A year later, the pair left Canada for Detroit, Michigan, before moving briefly to Los Angeles and then Escondido, a small city 30 miles north of San Diego, where the family still live.

In 1995, her mother Evelyn died. Four years later, while going through her possessions, Ukrainetz discovered a letter hidden inside a music program that revealed the truth about her parentage. 

While Ann's mother Evelyn was having an affair with Maurice, he was married to Ruth Roche (pictured together in 1933) 

While Ann's mother Evelyn was having an affair with Maurice, he was married to Ruth Roche (pictured together in 1933) 

While Ann’s mother Evelyn was having an affair with Maurice, he was married to Ruth Roche (pictured together in 1933) 

Another find was a series of letters from Maurice to Evelyn, including one that referenced her birth and commiserated with her mother over the pain. It said: 'I am so sorry the birth of our Ann caused you so much pain. I feel it too. I love you so very much'

Another find was a series of letters from Maurice to Evelyn, including one that referenced her birth and commiserated with her mother over the pain. It said: 'I am so sorry the birth of our Ann caused you so much pain. I feel it too. I love you so very much'

Another find was a series of letters from Maurice to Evelyn, including one that referenced her birth and commiserated with her mother over the pain. It said: ‘I am so sorry the birth of our Ann caused you so much pain. I feel it too. I love you so very much’

The love letters also describe how he would regularly send £200 [$255] to help pay for Ukrainetz's singing and dancing lessons 

The love letters also describe how he would regularly send £200 [$255] to help pay for Ukrainetz's singing and dancing lessons 

The love letters also describe how he would regularly send £200 [$255] to help pay for Ukrainetz’s singing and dancing lessons 

Another note addressed to 'my precious Rose, Evelyn' asked if she could bring Ann to a house party and that his driver could take them home afterwards 

Another note addressed to 'my precious Rose, Evelyn' asked if she could bring Ann to a house party and that his driver could take them home afterwards 

Another note addressed to ‘my precious Rose, Evelyn’ asked if she could bring Ann to a house party and that his driver could take them home afterwards 

Evelyn also revealed how Maurice had been able to secretly snatch moments with his illegitimate daughter

Ukrainetz said: 'He would always bring some little toy. I remember he bought me a bicycle for my birthday. I think it was blue - a blue Raleigh bicycle. I just loved it'

Ukrainetz said: 'He would always bring some little toy. I remember he bought me a bicycle for my birthday. I think it was blue - a blue Raleigh bicycle. I just loved it'

Ukrainetz said: ‘He would always bring some little toy. I remember he bought me a bicycle for my birthday. I think it was blue – a blue Raleigh bicycle. I just loved it’

The confession read in part: 'I fell in love with Lord Fermoy and we had you as a result. He was married and I was just a commoner. There was nothing we could do. We stayed in close touch and he loved you very much' (pictured Ann Ukrainetz) 

The confession read in part: 'I fell in love with Lord Fermoy and we had you as a result. He was married and I was just a commoner. There was nothing we could do. We stayed in close touch and he loved you very much' (pictured Ann Ukrainetz) 

The confession read in part: ‘I fell in love with Lord Fermoy and we had you as a result. He was married and I was just a commoner. There was nothing we could do. We stayed in close touch and he loved you very much’ (pictured Ann Ukrainetz) 

It said: ‘My dearest, darling Ann, I know one day you will have this letter in your possession, maybe after I have passed from this world.

‘Please try to understand. I just have to get this off my chest. Charlie was not your biological father.

‘I fell in love with Lord Fermoy and we had you as a result. He was married and I was just a commoner.

‘There was nothing we could do. We stayed in close touch and he loved you very much.’

Evelyn also revealed how Maurice had been able to secretly snatch moments with his illegitimate daughter.

She wrote: ‘Remember we went to a lot of functions? This was so your father could see you without creating a scandal. I wanted you to know because this makes you a ”lady”.

‘I wanted to tell you so much in person, but I lacked the courage.’

Another find was a series of letters from Maurice to Evelyn, including one that referenced her birth and commiserated with her mother over the pain.

It said: ‘I am so sorry the birth of our Ann caused you so much pain. I feel it too. I love you so very much. Don’t worry, my Rose, I will take care of you always.’

Another said: ‘I miss you so much, I wish I could be with you my flower.’

Diana's mother Frances Shand Kydd

Diana's mother Frances Shand Kydd

Ann Ukrainetz

Ann Ukrainetz

Are they sisters? Ann (right) believes her father is Maurice Burke Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy, which would make her half-sisters with Princess Diana’s mom, Frances Shand Kydd (left) 

Maurice was married to Ruth Roche, a confidante and lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, and the mother of his son Edmund and daughters Mary and Frances, whose daughter was Diana. Pictured: Lord Roche with his daughter Frances in 1954

Maurice was married to Ruth Roche, a confidante and lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, and the mother of his son Edmund and daughters Mary and Frances, whose daughter was Diana. Pictured: Lord Roche with his daughter Frances in 1954

Maurice was married to Ruth Roche, a confidante and lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, and the mother of his son Edmund and daughters Mary and Frances, whose daughter was Diana. Pictured: Lord Roche with his daughter Frances in 1954

Frances – who Ukrainetz believes is her half-sister – later went on to marry John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, with whom she had a son Charles and three daughters, including Princess Diana. Pictured: Diana with her mother Frances and a young Prince Harry in 1989 

Frances – who Ukrainetz believes is her half-sister – later went on to marry John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, with whom she had a son Charles and three daughters, including Princess Diana. Pictured: Diana with her mother Frances and a young Prince Harry in 1989 

Frances – who Ukrainetz believes is her half-sister – later went on to marry John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, with whom she had a son Charles and three daughters, including Princess Diana. Pictured: Diana with her mother Frances and a young Prince Harry in 1989 

The love letters also describe how he would regularly send £200 [$255] to help pay for Ukrainetz’s singing and dancing lessons.

In a bid to find out the truth, Ukrainetz began sending letters to members of the Fermoy family, as well as Princes William and Harry and Charles, Earl Spencer.

But she claims she was met with silence or dismissal, including a note from Princess Diana’s cousin Patrick Burke Roche, the 6th Baron Fermoy, which said: ‘Until anything further comes out I’m not going to believe what she has to say.’

She also claims she wrote to Maurice’s daughters – including Diana’s mother Frances – but her letters went unanswered.

In 2008, she wrote to her great-nephews William and Harry but received a letter from a Clarence House spokesperson that said: ‘Their Royal Highnesses are grateful to you for taking the trouble to write to them as you did, but I regret that they are unable to become personally involved.’

Ukrainetz says she has now been left with no choice but to exhume the body of Francis Burke Roche – Maurice’s twin brother – who is buried at the Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Helped by her partner Michael King, 69, she has consulted lawyers about having Francis dug up and his DNA extracted – and has now set up a GoFundMe page called ‘Princess Diana’s American aunt’ to raise $50,000 to pay her legal fees. 

She told DailyMailTV: ‘Francis is buried in New York so it would be easier for him to be exhumed and his DNA taken to see if there’s a match. There has to be a match.

The grandmother also says she believes things would be different were Princess Diana still alive. 'I do believe if Princess Diana were alive today, and she knew this, she'd be knocking on my door,' she said. Pictured: Ukrainetz with her partner Michael King

The grandmother also says she believes things would be different were Princess Diana still alive. 'I do believe if Princess Diana were alive today, and she knew this, she'd be knocking on my door,' she said. Pictured: Ukrainetz with her partner Michael King

The grandmother also says she believes things would be different were Princess Diana still alive. ‘I do believe if Princess Diana were alive today, and she knew this, she’d be knocking on my door,’ she said. Pictured: Ukrainetz with her partner Michael King

Ukrainetz says she has now been left with no choice but to exhume the body of Francis Burke Roche (right) – Maurice's twin brother – who is buried at the Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn

Ukrainetz says she has now been left with no choice but to exhume the body of Francis Burke Roche (right) – Maurice's twin brother – who is buried at the Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn

Ukrainetz says she has now been left with no choice but to exhume the body of Francis Burke Roche (right) – Maurice’s twin brother – who is buried at the Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn

‘They’re not accepting me so we have to go further. I don’t like to do that, I really don’t want to do it. But they leave me no option. Just not even responding to anything is callous.

Ukrainetz says although she is expecting opposition, she would still like to one day be a part of the Fermoy family and eventually meet William and Harry, as well as their wives Kate and Meghan. Pictured: The letter Ukrainetz sent reaching out to her British family shortly after she found the notes  

Ukrainetz says although she is expecting opposition, she would still like to one day be a part of the Fermoy family and eventually meet William and Harry, as well as their wives Kate and Meghan. Pictured: The letter Ukrainetz sent reaching out to her British family shortly after she found the notes  

Ukrainetz says although she is expecting opposition, she would still like to one day be a part of the Fermoy family and eventually meet William and Harry, as well as their wives Kate and Meghan. Pictured: The letter Ukrainetz sent reaching out to her British family shortly after she found the notes  

‘I’m the kind of person that doesn’t like to leave anything unturned and especially not something like this – it’s almost like a theft of birthright.

‘I think everybody wants to be accepted. People who don’t know who their parents were are trying to find out who they were.

‘If Patrick and the rest of the clan think I’m going to go away, I am not. I’m going to take this to the very limit.’

Ukrainetz says although she is expecting opposition, she would still like to one day be a part of the Fermoy family and eventually meet William and Harry, as well as their wives Kate and Meghan.

She also says she believes things would be different were Princess Diana still alive. ‘I do believe if Princess Diana were alive today, and she knew this, she’d be knocking on my door,’ she said.

‘I really, truly believe that. She was such a wonderful person and she was treated so badly. I know she wouldn’t want to see me treated like this.’  

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