Game of Thrones star Kit Harington (Jon Snow) met Queen Elizabeth during the height of the show’s popularity in 2014. Her Majesty visited the set of the HBO fantasy drama in Northern Ireland and received a tour that included meeting Harington and the cast.
This was the first time that Harington and the queen crossed paths. But his ancestors and the royal family actually have an extremely odd connection.
Queen Elizabeth didn’t know who Kit Harington was when she visited the ‘Game of Thrones’ set
Harington told the story of the time he met Queen Elizabeth during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show. He revealed that despite the popularity of Game of Thrones — and the fact that he was one of the show’s biggest stars — the queen had no idea who he was.
“She asked me a question and I said ‘yes ma’am’ and then she moved on,” Harington shared, adding that Queen Elizabeth asked, “What do you do on this production?”
His answer got the audience laughing, with many in disbelief that the queen didn’t recognize Harington. After he told Queen Elizabeth that he was an actor, she said that was “wonderful” before walking away to the next stop in the tour.
Harington’s ancestry actually includes a bit of royalty. On his father’s side, he descends from Scottish politician Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville. And, he’s related to King James I, grandfather of King Charles II.
Kit Harington has the oddest connection to Queen Elizabeth
There were a number of internet rumors that swirled about Harington during the run of Game of Thrones. Including one that claimed his ancestor invented the first flushing toilet in Britain for Queen Elizabeth I. In 2017, Harington actually confirmed it.
“That’s 100 percent true. It’s called ‘the John Harington,'” the Game of Thrones star told Elle Magazine, before adding that his ancestor is why we all call the toilet “the john.”
“Yeah. I’m glad it’s not called ‘the Harington.’ [My family] also wrote the queen a lot of bad poetry. I’ve inherited the bad poetry genes, but not the inventor genes.”
Queen Elizabeth refused to do this when she visited the set of ‘Game of Thrones’
As for Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to the set of Game of Thrones, Harington recalled that everyone kept trying to get her to sit down on the Iron Throne. But they were all told the exact same thing — “she’s not allowed to sit on thrones, fictional or otherwise.”
According to The Sun, executive producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff also revealed that Queen Elizabeth refused to sit on the throne of Westeros. They said that they had no idea that this rule existed, and were taken completely off guard when one of the queen’s staffers told them.
Her Majesty reportedly had her own excuse as to why she wouldn’t sit on the Iron Throne. According to Harington, she refused to sit down because it didn’t look comfortable.
All eight seasons of Game of Thrones are now playing on HBO Max.