This article is about the present Duke of Kent. For another Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, see Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent.
HRH The Duke of Kent (Prince Edward George Nicholas Patrick) (born October 9 1935), is a member of the British Royal Family. He is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and a first cousin once-removed of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. He is the elder brother of Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy and Prince Michael of Kent.
His Royal Highness Field Marshal Prince Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick, KG, GCMG, GCVO, 2nd Duke of Kent, Earl of St. Andrews, and Baron Downpatrick, was born at 3 Belgrave Square, London, the first child of Prince George, Duke of Kent and his wife Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. His father was the fourth son of King George V of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and his consort, Queen Mary. Princess Marina was the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna of Russia. Originally styled Prince Edward of Kent, he succeeded to the dukedom of Kent on 25 August 1942, when his father was killed in airplane crash in Scotland (although he did not take his seat in the House of Lords until 1959).
The new Duke of Kent attended Eton and then Institute Le Rosey in Rolle/Gstaad Switzerland, before the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. After graduating from Sandhurst in 1959, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys. His army career spanned twenty-one years. He retired in 1976 at the rank of lieutenant colonel. The Duke of Kent was subsequently promoted to the honorary ranks of major general in 1983 and field marshal in 1993. Each year, the Duke carries out an extensive round of official engagements in support of the Queen. He succeeded his late mother, Princess Marina, as the president of the Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. He 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. Following his retirement from active military service, he served as vice chairman of British Trade International (formerly the British Overseas Trade Board). He relinquished this post to the Queen's second son (and his first cousin once removed), the Duke of York, in 2001.
The Duke of Kent was married at York Minster on 8 June 1961 to Katharine Worsley. Despite the Duchess of Kent's later conversion to Catholicism, the Duke of Kent did not lose his place in the line of succession due to a loophole in the 1701 Act of Settlement (The Duke married a fellow member of the Church of England in 1961, who only subsequently converted to Roman Catholicism). The Duke and Duchess of Kent reside at Kensington Palace in London.
The Duke and Duchess of Kent have three children, none of whom carry out royal duties:
- Earl of St. Andrews (George Philip Nicholas Windsor), born 26 June 1962 at Coppins, Iver, Buckinghamshire. He has has held the courtesy title Earl of St. Andrews from birth and will eventually succeed to his father's peerages. He was married at Leith on 9 January 1988 to Sylvana Palma, daugther of Maximilian Karl Tomaselli. Through marriage to a Roman Catholic, however, the Lord St. Andrews lost his succession rights to the throne, under the terms of the Act of Settlement. The Earl and Countess of St. Andrews have three children: (1) Edward Windsor, styled Baron Downpatrick, born 2 December 1988, (2) Lady Marina Windsor, born 30 September 1992, and (3) Lady Amelia Windsor, born 24 August 1995. Lord Downpatrick was received into the Roman Catholic Church in May 2003, and consequently lost his place in the line of succession.
- The Lady Helen Taylor, born 28 April 1964 at Coppins, Iver, Buck., and styled Lady Helen Windsor until marriage. On 18 July 1992, she married Timothy Taylor, the eldest son of Commander Michael Taylor, RN, at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. Lady Helen Taylor and Timothy Taylor have three children: (1) Columbus Taylor, born 6 August 1994; (2) Cassius Edward Taylor, born 26 December 1996; and 3) Eloise Taylor, born 2 March 2003.
- The Lord Nicholas Windsor, born 25 July 1970 at University College Hospital, London. Lord Nicholas was received into the Roman Catholic Church in a private ceremony in 2002. Consequently, he lost his place in the line of succession.