Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy

Princess Alexandra
Princess Alexandra

Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy (Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel Ogilvy, née Windsor), (born 25 December 1936), is a member of the British Royal Family, a granddaughter of King George V. She was married to the late Sir Angus Ogilvy.

Princess Alexandra carries out royal duties on behalf of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth II. She is 32nd in the line of succession to the British throne.

Early life

British Royal Family
Styles of
Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am
Princess Alexandra opens the newly independent Nigerian Federal Parliament in Lagos on 3 October 1960.
Princess Alexandra opens the newly independent Nigerian Federal Parliament in Lagos on 3 October 1960.

Princess Alexandra was born on 25 December 1936 at 3 Belgrave Square, London. Her father was The Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary. Her mother was The Duchess of Kent (nee Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark), a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna of Russia. As a granddaughter of the British monarch, she was styled as a British princess with the prefix, Her Royal Highness. At the time of her birth she was sixth in the line of succession to the British throne. The Princess was baptised in the Private Chapel of Buckingham Palace on 9 February 1937 and her godparents were: King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Nicholas of Greece, Princess Olga of Yugoslavia, Karl Theodor, Count zu Törring-Jettenbach, Queen Maud of Norway, the Earl of Athlone and Princess Henry of Battenberg.

Princess Alexandra spent most her childhood at her family's country house, Coppins, in Buckinghamshire. She lived with her grandmother, Queen Mary, the widow of George V, during World War II at Badminton. Her father was killed in an aeroplane crash near Caithness, Scotland on 25 August 1942 whilst serving in the Royal Air Force.

She served as bridesmaid at the wedding of her cousins, the then-Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh, on 20 November 1947. Princess Alexandra has the distinction of being the first British princess to have attended an ordinary school, Heathfield School near Ascot.


On 24 April 1963, she married Angus James Bruce Ogilvy (1928-2004), the second son of the 12th Earl of Airlie and Lady Alexandra Coke, at Westminster Abbey. The wedding ceremony was attended by all the members of the Royal Family and was broadcast worldwide on television, watched by an estimated 200 million people.

Since Ogilvy declined the Queen's offer of an earldom upon marriage (although he remained in line to the earldom of Airlie until his death), he remained a commoner. Consequently, the children of the marriage do not have titles. Ogilvy received a knighthood in 1988 and was appointed to the Privy Council in 1997. Princess Alexandra and Sir Angus Ogilvy had two children and four grandchildren, none of whom carries out royal duties:

Royal duties

Since the late 1950s, Princess Alexandra has carried out an extensive program of royal engagements in support of the Queen, both in the United Kingdom and overseas.

In 1959, she carried out an extensive tour of Australia, and attended the Queensland Centenary Celebrations. She returned to the country in 1967 for a private holiday, but also carried out engagements in Canberra and Melbourne. The Princess represented the Queen when Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom on October 1, 1960, and later opened the first Parliament on October 3. Later overseas tours included visits to Canada, Italy, Norway, Thailand, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.

Princess Alexandra served as Chancellor of Lancaster University since its foundation in 1964, a post she relinquished in 2005 when she also accepted an honorary degree in Music. She is also an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the Royal College of Physicians. She is also the President of Alexandra Rose Day, which was founded in honour of her great grandmother, Alexandra of Denmark.

Princess Alexandra receives £225,000 per year from the Civil List to cover the cost of official expenses; although like the other members of the Royal Family (except the Duke of Edinburgh) the Queen repays this amount to the Treasury. Alexandra lives at Thatched House Lodge in Richmond upon Thames, London a crown property acquired by Sir Angus Ogilvy after their wedding. She also has use of an apartment at St James's Palace in London.

Family troubles

Although usually a low profile member of the Royal Family, Princess Alexandra and her family have come under media scrutiny at various points in her life. Her husband Angus Ogilvy was a director at a mining company, Lonrho when it was involved in a scandal over the breaking of trade sanctions against British-held Rhodesia. The Prime Minister at the time, Edward Heath criticised the company, and Ogilvy resigned his directorships.

In 1989, Princess Alexandra and her husband became embroiled in a public row with their daughter, Marina, after she fell pregnant by her boyfriend, a freelance photographer, Paul Mowatt. Persuaded by her lover, Marina subsequently appeared in the Today newspaper, publicly criticising her family and posing for photographs with a crown. Marina married Paul Mowatt in 1990, with Sir Angus giving the bride away. Apart from Princess Alexandra, no other member of the Royal Family attended. Subsequently, Marina divorced Paul Mowatt and was reconciled with her parents.

Coat of arms

Arms of HRH Princess Alexandra
Arms of HRH Princess Alexandra

Princess Alexandra's personal coat of arms were granted in 1961. Her arms are the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, with a five point label- the standard differentiation for a male line grandchild of a British monarch The first, third and fifth labels bear a red heart, the second and fourth labels bear a blue anchor.

Titles and honours

Titles from birth

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Kent (25 December 1936-25 December 1960)
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Kent, GCVO (25 December 1960-24 April 1963)
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Mrs Angus Ogilvy, GCVO (24 April 1963-1989)
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, GCVO (1989-2003)
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, LG, GCVO (2003- )

Her full title is Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel of Kent, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.


Honorary military appointments

Preceded by:
The Lady Gabriella Windsor
Line of succession to the British throne Succeeded by:
James Ogilvy


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