Brooke Shields belatedly discovers royal lineageBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Our propensity for channel-surfing has often led us into a banal or otherwise unproductive viewing cul-de-sac, but we keep doing it, because once in a while, it’s surprised us with a bracingly fresh discovery.
Last Oct. 2, for instance, we stumbled onto a new show on 2nd Avenue titled, “Who Do You Think You Are?,” and it held our interest from start to finish.
As its title intimates, the program delves into the arcane but fascinating world of the science and art of tracing people’s family trees, way back to the dim and distant past.
To make the show more viewable, it focuses on celebrities’ historical profiles, and the star featured that week was Brooke Shields.
That was definitely yummy icing on the cake for us, because we’ve been interested in Brooke ever since we interviewed her when she was just a teenager.
We still remember how truly lovely she was then, in the full blush of youth, dazzling everyone with her beauty, which needed absolutely no makeup at all to make it perfect.
Since that entrancing first meeting, we’ve admired Brooke for the way that she’s developed as an actress, constantly surprising viewers and herself with glimpses of new facets, to her persons. She’s also become quite assertive and proactive, not just for herself but also for the many advocacies she’s embraced.
Last Oct. 2, however, the focus on “Who Do You Think You Are?” was decidedly on Brooke as a person. She’d initially been told that her ancestor, surnamed Tolonia, was a big banker in Rome—in fact, one of his favored clients was no less than the Pope! So she wanted to know more about him.
Luckily for her, the show has researchers at its beck and call, and they were of enormous help in answering her many “evolving” questions.
As one hitherto unknown fact was revealed, it raised new queries, the answer to which in turn opened more windows into her family’s dark past!
For instance, just as Brooke’s questions about her Italian Tolonia family were being answered, one of the new revelations led to the realization that, before making it big in Italy, her ancestor was an impoverished youth—in France!
His original name was Marin Tolonias, and he had escaped with his uncle, a hunted man, to Italy, to avoid persecution.
In Italy, Marin had renamed himself Tolonia, and started a vastly more prosperous and influential life for himself and his progeny.
But, wait, there’s much more: Another ancestor, Christine Marie de France, turns out to have had a more literally “royal” back story! Her birth certificate says she was born in the Palais du Louvre—which means that her father was a blue blood—in fact, he was no less than the French King, Henry IV! And, she was a first cousin, many generations removed, to the even more celebrated Louis XIV, the “father of all French Kings”—and a saint!
Brooke was overwhelmed by all of these revelations—and so were the show’s viewers, us included, because Brooke’s expedition into her past turned out to be such a spectacular and right royal success!
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