Grandmothers ‘genetically closer’ to grand-daughters

Grandmothers are programmed to prefer their son's daughters to their other grandchildren, accoring to scientists

If you’ve always had a close bond with your grandma, it could be rooted in DNA. Because according to scientists at Cambridge University, a grandmother shares most genes with her son’s daughters – and the least with her son’s sons.

And as the Telegraph suggests, if this theory was applied to the Royal family, it would mean that Prince Andrew’s daughter’s, Beatrice and Eugenie, should find it easier to please the Queen than Charles’s sons William and Harry. And as sons of a son, the two princes should be among her least favourite grandchildren.

A woman passes around 31 per cent of her genes to her son’s daughters but just 23 per cent to her son’s sons. Her daughter’s children fall in the middle, with both sexes sharing around 25 per cent of their genes. The data was drawn from seven societies across the world and from the 17th to the 21st centuries.

Writing in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers said: ‘Our sex-specific analysis shows that paternal grandmothers have a consistent opposite effect on boys and girls.’

They add that a child may give off ‘signals’ that make it easy for grandmothers to work out how close they are genetically. The clues may be in smell form, or may be as simple as facial resemblance.

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