Prince Edward, Duke of Kent

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Prince Edward
Duke of Kent (more)
The Duke of Kent (cropped).jpg
Born (1935-10-09) 9 October 1935 (age 83)
3 Belgrave Square, London, England
Spouse
Katharine Worsley (m. 1961)
Issue
Full name
Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick [notes 1]
House Windsor
Father Prince George, Duke of Kent
Mother Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark
Military career
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1955–1976 (end of active service)
Rank Field Marshal
Service number 443787
Unit Royal Scots Greys

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, KG , GCMG , GCVO , CD , ADC(P) (Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick; born 9 October 1935) is a member of the British royal family.

Personal aide-de-camp honorary military attendant to the British monarch

A personal aide-de-camp is a senior military officer who is appointed to act as the honorary military attendant to the monarch of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms or any of his or her viceroys. The Sovereign will typically commission another member of the Royal Family to act as his or her personal aide-de-camp, though other non-royal officers will be assigned to the role, especially when the monarch is in one of the realms besides the United Kingdom. Those designated as aide-de-camp to a governor general, lieutenant governor, or governor use the letters ADC or in Canada A de C after their names.

British royal family Family consisting of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom

The British royal family comprises Queen Elizabeth II and her close relations. There is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the British royal family.

Contents

He is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II through their fathers, Prince George, Duke of Kent, and King George VI. Since his mother, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, was a cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Edward is both a second cousin and first cousin once removed to Prince Charles and his siblings.

Prince George, Duke of Kent Son of King George V and Queen Mary

Prince George, Duke of Kent, was a member of the British royal family, the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary. He was the younger brother of Edward VIII and George VI. He served in the Royal Navy in the 1920s and then briefly served as a civil servant. He became Duke of Kent in 1934. In the late 1930s he served as an RAF officer, initially as a staff officer at RAF Training Command and then, from July 1941, as a staff officer in the Welfare Section of the RAF Inspector General's Staff. He was killed in a military air-crash on 25 August 1942.

Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark Royal Navy admiral

Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark,, later known as the Duchess of Kent, was a princess of the Greek royal house, who married Prince George, Duke of Kent, fourth son of King George V of the United Kingdom in 1934. They had three children: Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, and Prince Michael.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh Member of the British Royal Family, consort to Queen Elizabeth II

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

He has held the title of Duke of Kent since the age of six, after the death of his father in a plane crash in 1942. He carries out engagements on behalf of the Queen. He is president of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, presenting the trophies to the Wimbledon champion and runner-up, and served as the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, retiring in 2001. He is president of The Scout Association, the Royal United Services Institute, and the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and since 1967 Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. He is also patron of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, an independent road safety charity which specialises in training and advice for post-licence drivers and riders.

Duke of Kent title created several times in the peerages of Great Britain and the United Kingdom

The title of Duke of Kent has been created several times in the peerages of Great Britain and the United Kingdom, most recently as a royal dukedom for the fourth son of King George V. Since 1942, the title has been held by Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth II's cousin.

All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club English tennis club

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, also known as the All England Club, based at Church Road, Wimbledon, London, England, is a private members' club. It is best known as the venue for the Wimbledon Championships, the only Grand Slam tennis event still held on grass. Initially an amateur event that occupied club members and their friends for a few days each summer, the championships have become far more prominent than the club itself. However, it still operates as a members' tennis club.

The Special Representative for International Trade and Investment was a member of the British Royal Family who represented the Sovereign for UK Trade & Investment which reports jointly to the Foreign Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – his role involved representing the United Kingdom at numerous trade fairs and conferences the world over, such as the Davos World Economic Forum. There was no salary associated with the position.

Early life and education

Prince Edward was born on 9 October 1935, at No. 3 Belgrave Square, London. [1] Home Secretary Sir John Simon was present to verify the birth. Prince Edward's father was Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary. His mother was Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia. He was baptised in the Private Chapel of Buckingham Palace on 20 November 1935 by the Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Lang. His godparents were his grandparents King George V, Queen Mary and Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark; the Prince of Wales; the Princess Royal; the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (whose son, Prince Arthur of Connaught, stood proxy); and the Duchess of Argyll. [2]

Belgrave Square square in London, England

Belgrave Square is one of the grandest and largest 19th-century squares in London. It is the centrepiece of Belgravia, and was laid out by the property contractor Thomas Cubitt for the 2nd Earl Grosvenor, later the 1st Marquess of Westminster, in the 1820s. Most of the houses were occupied by 1840. The square takes its name from one of the Duke of Westminster's subsidiary titles, Viscount Belgrave. The village of Belgrave, Cheshire is two miles (3 km) from the Grosvenor family's main country seat of Eaton Hall. Today, many embassies are based in the square.

Home Secretary United Kingdom government cabinet minister

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, normally referred to as the Home Secretary, is a senior official as one of the Great Offices of State within Her Majesty's Government and head of the Home Office. It is a British Cabinet level position.

John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon British politician

John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount Simon, was a British politician who held senior Cabinet posts from the beginning of the First World War to the end of the Second. He is one of only three people to have served as Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, the others being Rab Butler and James Callaghan.

Prince Edward began his schooling at Ludgrove, a preparatory school in Berkshire, before going on to Eton College [3] and then Le Rosey in Switzerland. [4] After school he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst [5] where he won the Sir James Moncrieff Grierson prize for foreign languages. Prince Edward speaks fluent French, having been raised in a house where, according to the words of his younger brother Prince Michael of Kent, his mother and aunts spoke French as a matter of preference. [6]

Ludgrove School is an independent preparatory boarding school for 200 boys, aged eight years to thirteen. It is situated in the civil parish of Wokingham Without, adjoining the town of Wokingham in the English county of Berkshire. Aside from certain cathedral schools, it is one of the few remaining single-sex full boarding preparatory schools in the country.

Preparatory school (United Kingdom) in the UK, school preparing children for secondary level

A preparatory school in the United Kingdom is a fee-charging independent primary school that caters primarily for children up to approximately the age of 13. The term "preparatory school" is used as it prepares the children for the Common Entrance Examination to secure a place at a private independent secondary school, including the British public schools. They are also now used by parents in the hope of getting their child into a state selective grammar school. Most prep schools are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), which is overseen by Ofsted on behalf of the Department for Education.

Eton College British independent boarding school located in Eton

Eton College is an English 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as Kynge's College of Our Ladye of Eton besyde Windesore , as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.

On 25 August 1942, Prince Edward's father, the Duke of Kent, was killed when his plane crashed in bad weather in Caithness. Prince Edward, who was almost seven, succeeded his father as Duke of Kent, [7] Earl of St Andrews and Baron Downpatrick.

Caithness Historic county in Scotland

Caithness is a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area of Scotland.

As a member of the royal family, Prince Edward began performing engagements at an early age. In 1952, at the age of 16, he walked behind the coffin of his uncle, George VI, at his state funeral, which was also the first time he saw his uncle, the former Edward VIII, who had left the country after having abdicated when the young prince was just twelve months old. [8] In 1953, he attended the coronation of his cousin, Elizabeth II, paying homage at her throne after her coronation (following the Dukes of Edinburgh and Gloucester). [9]

Military service

On 29 July 1955, the Duke of Kent graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys, [10] the beginning of a military career which was to last over 20 years. He was promoted to captain on 29 July 1961. [11]

From 1962 to 1963, the Duke of Kent served in Hong Kong, later serving on the staff in Eastern Command. He was promoted to Major on 31 December 1967. [12] In 1970, the Duke commanded a squadron of his regiment serving in the British Sovereign Base Area in Cyprus, part of the UN force enforcing peace between the Greek and Turkish parts of the divided island.[ citation needed ] During the early 1970s, the Duke also served in Northern Ireland with his Regiment. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel on 30 June 1973. [13]

The Duke retired from the Army on 15 April 1976. [14] He was subsequently promoted to Major-General on 11 June 1983 [15] and to Field Marshal on 11 June 1993. [16]

Marriage and personal life

The Duke and Duchess of Kent in 1985 Duke and Duchess of Kent, April 1985.jpg
The Duke and Duchess of Kent in 1985

The Duke of Kent married Katharine Worsley at York Minster on 8 June 1961. Katharine is the only daughter of Sir William Arthrington Worsley, 4th Bt., and his wife, Joyce Morgan Brunner. They have three living children:

His wife converted to Catholicism in 1994. [18] Because this conversion occurred after their marriage, it did not cause the Duke to lose his place in the line of succession, as the Act of Settlement 1701 only applied where the spouse was a Catholic at the time of marriage. The couple's son, Nicholas, also converted to Catholicism and he is excluded from the line of succession in accordance with the Succession to the Crown Act 2013.

The Duke and Duchess of Kent reside at Wren House, Kensington Palace, in London. [19]

The Duke had a mild stroke on the morning of 18 March 2013. [18] In April 2015, he suffered from a hip injury and was hospitalised at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for further treatments. [20]

Activities

The Duke of Kent has performed engagements on behalf of his cousin, the Queen, for over 50 years. The Duke has represented the Queen during independence celebrations in the former British colonies of Sierra Leone, [21] Uganda, [22] Guyana, [23] Gambia [24] and most recently Ghana, for its 50th independence anniversary celebration. [25] He has also acted as Counsellor of State during periods of the Queen's absence abroad. [26]

One of the Duke's major public roles for many years was Vice-Chairman of British Trade International, formerly known as the British Overseas Trade Board, and later as the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. This position saw the Duke travel abroad to represent the British government in fostering trade relations with foreign countries and organisations. Prince Andrew, Duke of York succeeded him in this position, which is today known as UK Trade & Investment (or UKTI), although Prince Andrew resigned from the post in 2011. [27] He was also the vice chairman of the British Overseas Trade Board. [28] In that capacity, he became the first member of the royal family to visit China in 1979 with his focus being on the British Energy Exhibition in Beijing. [29]

From 1971 to 2000, the Duke of Kent was president of English football's governing body, The Football Association.

The Duke has served as the President of The Scout Association since 1975. [30] Along with Prince William of Wales, the Duke visited the Centenary World Scout Jamboree at Hylands Park, Chelmsford in July 2007. [31] He also serves as the president of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, [32] a position in which he succeeded his late mother, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. [33] His other roles include President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, [34] the RAF Benevolent Fund, [35] [36] the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, [37] [38] the Stroke Association, [32] [39] the Royal United Services Institute, [40] the Royal Institution, [41] the British Racing Drivers' Club, [42] and patron of Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, [43] Kent County Cricket Club, [44] Opera North, [45] Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, [46] and St Mungo's Broadway, benefiting the homeless. He is also on the advisory panel for the Mountbatten Medal and presents the medal once the decision has been made. The Duke of Kent is one of the Royal Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering. [47]

For almost 29 years, the Duke has been the patron of Endeavour, a national youth organisation. [48] He has also served as Royal Patron of The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn since 2001, a position previously occupied by his father. [49] In 2015, the Duke received the Dresden Peace Prize for "his contribution to British-German reconciliation." [50]

Freemasonry

The Duke was initiated into Royal Alpha Lodge No. 16 on 16 December 1963, and was elected its Worshipful Master for 1965 and 1966. [51]

Having been appointed Senior Grand Warden in 1966, he was elected as Grand Master the following year, and was installed on 14 June 1967 during United Grand Lodge of England's 250th anniversary celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall. [52] He is the 10th, and longest-serving Grand Master of UGLE, the governing body of Freemasonry in England and Wales.

In December 2013, he celebrated 50 years as a freemason. [51] In October 2017 he presided over the tercentenary celebrations of UGLE, marking the 300th anniversary of the founding of the original Grand Lodge, one of two which merged to form UGLE in 1813. [53] The main ceremony was held in the Royal Albert Hall, in the year which also marked the Duke's 50th anniversary of installation as Grand Master.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

The Duke's current full style is Field Marshal His Royal HighnessPrince Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick, Duke of Kent, Earl of Saint Andrews and Baron Downpatrick, Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Grand Master and Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty.

Military ranks

Honours

Commonwealth

Foreign

Appointments

Military appointments

Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom

Arms

Issue

NameBirthDeathMarriageIssue
George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews 26 June 19629 January 1988 Sylvana Tomaselli Edward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick
Lady Marina Windsor
Lady Amelia Windsor
Lady Helen Taylor 28 April 196418 July 1992Timothy TaylorColumbus Taylor
Cassius Taylor
Eloise Taylor
Estella Taylor
Lord Nicholas Windsor 25 July 19704 November 2006 Paola Doimi de Lupis de Frankopan Albert Windsor
Leopold Windsor
Louis Windsor
Lord Patrick Windsor
(stillborn)
5 October 1977

Ancestry

Notes

  1. As a British prince, a surname is not usually used but when one is, Windsor is used.

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Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Born: 9 October 1935
Lines of succession
Preceded by
Rufus Gilman
Succession to the British throne
son of George, son of George V
Followed by
Earl of St Andrews
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Prince George
Duke of Kent
2nd creation
25 August 1942 – present
Incumbent
Heir-apparent:
George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Duke of Gloucester
Gentlemen
The Duke of Kent
Succeeded by
Prince Michael of Kent
Masonic offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Scarbrough
Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England
1967–present
Incumbent
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl Alexander of Tunis
Grand Master of the Order of St Michael and St George
1967–present
Incumbent
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
President of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
1969–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
The Earl of Harewood
President of The Football Association
1971–2000
Succeeded by
The Duke of York