Prince Edward, Duke of Kent

From Academic Kids

This article is about the present Duke of Kent. For Queen Victoria's father, see Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn.
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HRH The Duke of Kent

His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (Edward George Nicholas Patrick Windsor), styled HRH The Duke of Kent (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.

Contents

Early life

Template:British Royal Family

Prince Edward was born on October 9, 1935 at 3 Belgrave Square, London. His father was HRH Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary. His mother was HRH 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.

Education

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 Sandhurst Military Academy 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 aircrash 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 funeral in 1952. In 1953, he attended the coronation of his cousin, Queen Elizabeth II, paying homage at her throne after her crowning.

Military service

The Duke of Kent graduated from the Sandhurst Military Academy 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 military bases 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 to Field Marshal in June 1993.

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.

Marriage

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 voluntarily relinquished 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:

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 and Duchess of Kent reside at Wren House, Kensington Palace in London.

Royal duties

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, HRH 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. The Duke is the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge Freemasons, England and has served Grand Master of the Order of St Michael and St George since 1967.

Titles and honours

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Standard of HRH The Duke of Kent

Titles from birth

  • His Royal Highness Prince Edward of Kent
  • His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent

The Duke's full title is 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.

Honours

Honorary military appointments

Preceded by:
HRH The Prince George, Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent
Preceded by:
The Lady Rose Windsor
Line of Succession to the British throne Succeeded by:
The Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor
de:Eduard Georg, 2. Herzog von Kent
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