Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO (Richard Alexander Walter George Windsor) (born 26 August 1944), styled HRH The Duke of Gloucester, is a member of the British Royal Family, a grandson of King George V. He has been Duke of Gloucester since his father's death in 1974. The Duke is currently 18th in the line of succession.
The Duke of Gloucester carries out royal engagements on behalf of his cousin, Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince Richard was born on 26 August 1944 at Barnwell Manor in Northamptonshire. His father was Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the third-eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary. His mother was The Duchess of Gloucester (née Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott), the eldest daughter of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch.
He was baptised in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle on 20 October 1944 by Lord Lang of Lambeth and his godparents were: Queen Elizabeth, The Countess of Athlone (for whom her daughter, Lady May Cambridge stood proxy), The Duke of Buccleuch, The Marquess of Cambridge, Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein, Lady Sybil Phipps and Sir Harold Alexander (for whom his wife, Lady Alexander stood proxy).
As a grandson of the British monarch in the male line, he was styled His Royal Highness Prince Richard of Gloucester at birth. At the time of his birth he was fifth in the line of succession to the throne, and second in line to his father's Dukedom, behind his brother, Prince William of Gloucester.
Prince Richard's early education was at home, later attending school at Wellesley House in Broadstairs, and then Eton College. In 1963, he went to Magdalene College, Cambridge to read architecture. He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in June 1966.
After university, Prince Richard joined the (then) Offices Development Group of the Ministry of Public Building and Works for a year of practical work, returning to Cambridge in 1967. In June 1969, he passed both parts of his Diploma in Architecture at the university. After completing his training, he went into practice as a partner in a firm of London architects.
Although he planned to practice full time as an architect, the death of his brother, Prince William of Gloucester, left Richard first in line to his father's Dukedom, and increasing Royal duties. He therefore resigned his partnership, and began to represent his cousin, Queen Elizabeth II, on Royal occasions.
On 8 June 1972, Prince Richard of Gloucester married Birgitte van Deurs, a Danish subject, the daughter of Asger Henriksen and Vivian van Deurs, at St Andrew's Church in Barnwell in Northamptonshire. The event was relatively low key compared to the large royal weddings of his cousins Princess Margaret and the Duke of Kent.
Together the couple have three children:
- Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster (born 24 October 1974) (m. Claire Booth)
- The Lady Davina Lewis (born 19 November 1977) (m. Gary Lewis)
- The Lady Rose Windsor (born 1 March 1980)
None of the children carry out royal duties, and they have no royal titles. As great-grandchildren of King George V in the male line, they are styled as the children of a Duke.
Duke of Gloucester
Both the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester make many public appearances and are popular members of the royal family. The Duke is particularly interested in architecture and conservation. He became a corporate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1972; and serves as a commissioner of the Historic Building and Monuments Commission for England (English Heritage).
A keen motorist, Prince Richard was president of the Institute of Advanced Motorists for 32 years. This post became a matter of review when, on 23 December 2004, he was banned from driving for six months and fined for speeding, it being his fourth similar offence in three years. He resigned in January 2005.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester's official residence is at Kensington Palace in London. They have leased Barnwell Manor since 1994. On 29 October 2004, the Duke's mother, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, died at the age of 102, the longest-living member of the British Royal Family ever.
Titles and Honours
HRH The Duke of Gloucester
|Reference style||His Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
- His Royal Highness Prince Richard of Gloucester
- His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester
- His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, GCVO
- His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, KG, GCVO
The Duke has received a number of honours, including orders of knighthood and medals. The Duke of Gloucester has the following orders:
- Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (1997),
- Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (1974),
- Grand Prior of the Order of St. John (1975)
- Grand Cross of the Order of St Olav, from Norway (1973)
- The Royal Order of the Northern Star, from Sweden (1975)
Honorary Military Appointments
- Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Anglian Regiment
- Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Army Medical Corps
- Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Logistic Corps
- Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment
- Royal Colonel of the 6th (V) Battalion, The Rifles
- The Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia)
- Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Odiham.
- Honorary Air Marshal of the Royal Air Force.
Coat of arms
As a descendant of Queen Victoria, the Duke of Gloucester's arms are based on the Royal Arms. The following explains the way in which his arms are differenced from those of the Queen.
- Arms: Is that of the Royal Arms, differenced by a label of five points argent (white), the centre and two outer points charged with a cross gules (red), and the inner points with a lion passant guardant also of gules (red).
- Crest: On a coronet composed of four crosses-patées alternated with four strawberry leaves, a lion statant guardant or (gold), crowned with the like coronet, and differenced with the label as in the Arms.
- Supporters: Are those of the Royal Supporters, differenced with a coronet as in the crest, and label as in the Arms.
The Prince Henry
|Duke of Gloucester||Succeeded by:
|Line of succession to the British throne||Succeeded by:
Earl of Ulster
Prince Harry of Wales
|United Kingdom order of precedence
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent