Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, KG GCMG GCVO (Edward George Nicholas Patrick Windsor) (born 9 October 1935), is a member of the British Royal Family, a grandchild of King George V. He has held the title of Duke of Kent since 1942.
The Duke of Kent carries out royal duties on behalf of his cousin, Queen Elizabeth II. He is perhaps best known as President of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, presenting the winner of the Wimbledon men's tennis tournament with the winning shield. He also served as the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, retiring in 2001.
Prince Edward was born on 9 October 1935 at #3 Belgrave Square, London. His 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, (nee Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark), the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna of Russia. As a grandson of the British sovereign in the male line, he was styled as a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the prefix, His Royal Highness, styled His Royal Highness Prince Edward of Kent.
The Prince was baptised in the Private Chapel of Buckingham Palace on 20 November 1935 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Lang and his godparents were: King George V, Queen Mary, The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, the Duke of Connaught (for whom his son, Prince Arthur of Connaught stood proxy), the Duchess of Argyll and Prince Nicholas of Greece.
Prince Edward began his schooling at Ludgrove Preparatory School in Berkshire before going on to Eton College and then Le Rosey in Switzerland. After school he entered Royal Military College Sandhurst where he won the Sir James Moncrieff Grierson prize for foreign languages and qualified as an interpreter of French.
Duke of Kent
On 25 August 1942, Prince Edward's father, the Duke of Kent was killed in an air crash near Caithness, Scotland. Prince Edward succeeded his father as Duke of Kent, Earl of St Andrews and Baron Downpatrick. He later took his seat in the House of Lords in 1959.
As a royal duke, he was destined for royal duties at an early age. Aged 17 he walked behind the coffin of his uncle, George VI of the United Kingdom at his state funeral in 1952. In 1953, he attended the coronation of his cousin, Queen Elizabeth II, paying homage at her throne after her crowning (following Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Henry, Duke of Gloucester).
The Duke of Kent graduated from the Royal Military College Sandhurst in 1955 as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys, the beginning of a military career that would last over 20 years. The Duke of Kent saw service in Hong Kong from 1962-63 and later served on the staff in Eastern Command. Later in 1970, the Duke commanded a squadron of his regiment serving in the British Sovereign Base Area in Cyprus, part of the United Nations force enforcing peace between the Greek and Turkish halves of the island. The Duke retired from the Army in 1976 with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was subsequently promoted Major-General on 11 June 1983, and Field Marshal on 11 June 1993.
It was alleged that the Duke's regiment was deliberately held back from service in Northern Ireland during the Troubles in the 1970s. Although the Duke was keen to join his regiment anywhere it was required to go, the British government were not keen to see the Queen's cousin exposed to potential danger, given the embarrassment his death or capture would cause. However, this story is almost certainly untrue, as it would have been much less disruptive to have simply ensured that the Duke was assigned elsewhere if his unit were required in Northern Ireland.
The Duke of Kent
|Reference style||His Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
The Duke of Kent married Katharine Worsley (born 22 February 1933) at York Minster on 8 June 1961. Katharine is the only daughter of Sir William Arthrington Worsley, 4th Bt., and his wife, Joyce Morgan. After their marriage, she was styled HRH The Duchess of Kent, though in 2002, she abandoned the style of Royal Highness and has expressed a preference to be known as Katharine Kent or Katharine, Duchess of Kent, the latter the typical style of a divorced peeress, which she is not.
The Duke and Duchess of Kent have three children, none of whom carry out royal duties:
- George Philip Nicholas Windsor, Earl of St Andrews (born 26 June 1962, married Sylvana Tomaselli)
- The Lady Helen Marina Lucy Windsor (born 28 April 1964, married Timothy Taylor)
- The Lord Nicholas Charles Edward Jonathan Windsor (born 25 July 1970)
The couple also had a stillborn child in 1977.
The Duchess of Kent later converted to Catholicism in 1994. Despite this, the Duke of Kent did not lose his place in the line of succession due to a loophole in the Act of Settlement 1701 in that The Duke married a fellow member of the Church of England in 1961, who only subsequently converted to Roman Catholicism. The couple's son Lord Nicholas also converted to Catholicism, following his mother's example.
The Duke of Kent has performed royal duties 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, Uganda, Guyana and Gambia. He has also acted as Counsellor of State during periods of the Queen's absence abroad.
One of the Duke's major public roles for many years was Vice-Chairman of British Trade International, 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.
His other interests include serving as the president of the Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, a position he succeeded from his late mother, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. His other roles include President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the RAF Benevolent Fund, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Stroke Association.
Titles and honours
The Royal Arms differenced by a label of five points argent, the points charged with an anchor azure and a cross gules alternately.
On a coronet of four crosses-patées alternated with four strawberry leaves a lion statant guardant or, crowned with the like coronet and differenced with a label as in the Arms.
The Royal Supporters differenced with the like coronet and label.
Titles from birth
- His Royal Highness Prince Edward of Kent
- His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent
The Duke's full title is Field Marshal His Royal Highness Prince Edward George Nicholas Patrick, Duke of Kent, Earl of Saint Andrews, Baron Downpatrick, Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty.
Foreign Orders and Awards
- The Order of St George and St Constantine, 1st class (Greece)
- The Most Illustrious Order of Tri Shakti Patta, 1st class (Nepal)
- Knight Grand Band, the Order of the Star of Africa (Liberia)
- Grand Cordon, the Order of the Renaissance (Jordan)
- Grand Cross, the Order of St Olav (Norway)
- Grand Cross, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (Poland)
Honorary military appointments
- Colonel of the Scots Guards
- Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
- Colonel-in-Chief of the Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry
- Colonel-in-Chief of The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment)
- Royal Colonel of the 1st Battalion, The Rifles
- Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
- Honorary Air Commodore, RAF Leuchars
- Honorary Air Chief Marshal, Royal Air Force
- Chancellor of the University of Surrey
- Freemasonry: Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England and First Grand Principal of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England
Lady Rose Windsor
|Line of Succession to the British Throne||Succeeded by:
Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor
Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
|United Kingdom order of precedence
Prince Michael of Kent
The Earl of Scarbrough
|Grand Master of the
United Grand Lodge
The Earl Alexander of Tunis
|Grand Master of the Order of St Michael and St George
HRH The Prince George
|Duke of Kent