Prince Edward, Duke of Kent

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. He is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II through their fathers, Prince George, Duke of Kent, and King George VI. Because 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 Edward
Duke of Kent (more)
Born (1935-10-09) 9 October 1935
3 Belgrave Square, London, England
Full name
Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick[notes 1]
FatherPrince George, Duke of Kent
MotherPrincess Marina of Greece and Denmark
Military career
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1955–1976 (end of active service)
RankField Marshal
Service number443787
UnitRoyal Scots Greys

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.

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]

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]

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.

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. 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 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]


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]


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

  • 9 October 1935 – 25 August 1942: His Royal Highness Prince Edward of Kent
  • 25 August 1942 – present: His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent

The Duke's current full style is Field Marshal His Royal Highness Prince 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





Military appointments

United Kingdom


Coat of arms of the Duke of Kent
As a descendant of George V, the Duke of Kent's arms are based on the Royal Arms. The following explains the way in which his arms are differenced from those of the Queen.
Coronet of a Grandchild of the Sovereign
On the coronet of children of other sons of the Sovereign, composed 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 Arms differenced by a label of five points argent, the first, third and fifth points charged with a blue anchor, and the second and fourth points with a red cross.
The Royal Supporters differenced with the like coronet and label.
The Order of the Garter ribbon.
(Shame be to him who thinks evil of it)
(In Scotland: )
As with the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom. The first and fourth quarters are the arms of England, the second of Scotland, the third of Ireland.


George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews26 June 19629 January 1988Sylvana TomaselliEdward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick
Lady Marina Windsor
Lady Amelia Windsor
Lady Helen Taylor28 April 196418 July 1992Timothy TaylorColumbus Taylor
Cassius Taylor
Eloise Taylor
Estella Taylor
Lord Nicholas Windsor25 July 19704 November 2006Paola Doimi de Lupis de FrankopanAlbert Windsor
Leopold Windsor
Louis Windsor
Lord Patrick Windsor
5 October 1977



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


  1. "No. 34206". The London Gazette. 9 October 1935. p. 6371.
  2. "Prince Edward Christened – Ceremony at the Palace". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 21 November 1935. p. 14.
  3. "Royals". Eton College. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  4. "Grand Master - HRH The Duke of Week". United Grand Lodge of England. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  5. "Prince Edward: Military Career". Official website of the British Monarchy. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  6. Seward, Ingrid (1994). Royal Children. London: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0312105334.
  7. "Duke of Kent, 77, suffers mini-stroke". Herald Scotland. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
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  17. "I lost my baby at nine months .. it devastated me; The Duchess of Kent reveals the stillbirth that led to a breakdown". The Mirror. 23 December 1997. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  18. Rayner, Gordon (21 March 2013). "Duke of Kent being treated in hospital after 'mild' stroke". The Telegraph. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  19. "Royal residences: Kensington Palace". Official website of the British Monarchy. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013.
  20. "Duke of Kent leaves hospital after hip injury treatment". BBC. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  21. "Sierra Leone Independence Build-Up". British Pathe. 1 May 1961. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  22. Mwesigye, Shifa (9 October 2012). "50 years on, Duke of Kent returns to familiar Uganda". The Observer. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  23. "Prince Harry impressed with Guyana's commitment to conservation, sustainable development". Georgetown, Guyana: Ministry of the Presidency. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2018. President David Granger showing Prince Henry of Wales an image of his cousin Prince Edward, Duke of Kent who presented the instrument of Guyana's Independence to former Head of State, President Forbes Burnham.
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  43. "About the course". Royal West Norfolk Golf Club. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  44. "Jamie Clifford appointed Honorary Life Member". Kent County Cricket Club. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  45. "Who's who at Opera North". Retrieved 25 May 2018.
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  47. "The Fellowship". Royal Academy of Engineering. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  48. "Court Circular". Official website of the Royal Family. 16 September 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2018. The Duke of Kent, Patron, Endeavour Training, this morning received Mr. Steven Turner upon assuming his appointment as Chief Executive Officer.
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  56. "No. 42422". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 July 1961. p. 5561.
  57. "No. 44493". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 January 1968. p. 75.
  58. "No. 46046". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 August 1973. p. 9389.
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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
George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Duke of Gloucester
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
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl Alexander of Tunis
Grand Master of the Order of St Michael and St George
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
President of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Preceded by
The Earl of Harewood
President of The Football Association
Succeeded by
The Duke of York
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