Prince Edward, Duke of Kent

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, KG, GCMG, GCVO, CD, ADC (Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick; born 9 October 1935) is a member of the British royal family. Queen Elizabeth II and Edward were first cousins through their fathers, King George VI, and Prince George, Duke of Kent. Edward's mother Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark was also a first cousin of the Queen's husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, making him both a second cousin and first cousin once removed to King Charles III. He is currently 40th in the line of succession to the British throne.

Prince Edward
Duke of Kent (more)
The Duke of Kent in 2014
BornPrince Edward of Kent
(1935-10-09) 9 October 1935
3 Belgrave Square, London, England
(m. 1961)
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 active service1955–1976
RankField Marshal
Service number443787
UnitRoyal Scots Greys

Prince Edward has held the title of Duke of Kent for more than 80 years, since the age of six, after the death of his father in a plane crash in 1942. Edward carried out engagements on behalf of Elizabeth II and is involved with over 140 charitable organisations. He was 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. Much of his charity work revolves around war remembrance, technology, and the growth of British industry. He is also the last surviving descendant of George V born during his lifetime.

Early life and education

Prince Edward was born on 9 October 1935, at No. 3 Belgrave Square, London, to the Duke and Duchess of Kent.[1] Home Secretary Sir John Simon was present to verify the birth. His father was the fourth son of George V and Queen Mary. His mother was 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 Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Lang. His godparents were his grandparents, George V, Queen Mary and Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark; as well as 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 education 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. 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, at six years old, 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.[8] In 1953, he attended the coronation of his cousin, Elizabeth II, and was the third to pay homage at her throne, 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 lasted 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.[13] During the early 1970s, the Duke also served in Northern Ireland with his regiment. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel on 30 June 1973.[14]

The Duke retired from the army on 15 April 1976.[15] He was subsequently promoted to major-general on 11 June 1983[16] and to field marshal on 11 June 1993.[17]

A new book about the Queen has revealed that, in 1971, the monarch intervened to prevent the kidnapping of her cousin, the Duke of Kent. The then 35-year-old Duke, an Army officer with the Royal Scots Greys, was sent to Northern Ireland with his unit but the Queen alerted Edward Heath, the prime minister, during her private audience, and he relayed a warning to his ministers. Commanding officers were told the Duke was not to be sent to Belfast without special orders. A few weeks later, he was posted back to the mainland.[18]

Marriage and personal life

The Duke and Duchess of Kent, 2013

At York Minster on 8 June 1961 the Duke of Kent married Katharine Worsley, the only daughter of Sir William Worsley, 4th Baronet, by his wife Joyce Morgan Brunner. She converted to Roman Catholicism in 1994,[19] but because the 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 disqualification by marrying a Catholic was removed by the Succession to the Crown Act 2013. They have three living children:

The Duke and Duchess of Kent reside at Wren House, Kensington Palace, in London.[22]

In 2011, close associates of Jonathan Rees, a private investigator connected to the News International phone hacking scandal, stated that he had penetrated Edward and Katharine's bank accounts.[23]

The Duke had a mild stroke on the morning of 18 March 2013.[19] In April 2015, he suffered from a hip injury and was hospitalised at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for further treatments.[24]


The Duke of Kent by Allan Warren, 1989 portrait photo

The Duke of Kent performed engagements on behalf of his cousin, the Queen, for over 50 years. The Duke represented the Queen during independence celebrations in the Commonwealth countries of Sierra Leone,[25] Uganda,[26] Guyana,[27] Gambia[28] Ghana, to commemorate its 50th independence anniversary celebration.[29] He also acted as Counsellor of State during periods of the Queen's absence abroad.[13]

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.[30] He was also the vice-chairman of the British Overseas Trade Board.[31] 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.[32]

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.[33] Along with Prince William of Wales, the Duke visited the Centenary World Scout Jamboree at Hylands Park, Chelmsford in July 2007.[34] He also served as the president of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club between 1969 and 2021,[35][36] a position in which he succeeded his late mother, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.[37] His other roles include president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission,[38] the RAF Benevolent Fund,[39][40] the Royal National Lifeboat Institution,[41][42] the Stroke Association,[35][43] the Royal United Services Institute,[44] the Royal Institution,[45] the British Racing Drivers' Club,[46] and patron of the American Air Museum in Britain,[47] Royal West Norfolk Golf Club,[48] Kent County Cricket Club,[49] Opera North,[50] Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance,[51] the Duke of York's Royal Military School Dover 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.[52]

For almost 29 years, the Duke has been the patron of Endeavour, a national youth organisation.[53] He has also served as Royal Patron of The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn since 2001, a position previously occupied by his father.[54] In 2015, the Duke received the Dresden Peace Prize for "his contribution to British-German reconciliation."[55]

On 2 June 2022, the Duke appeared alongside the Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the 2022 Trooping the Colour as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.[56]


The Duke was initiated into Royal Alpha Lodge No. 16 on 16 December 1963, and was elected its Worshipful Master for 1965 and 1966.[57]

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.[58] 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.[57] 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.[59] 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

Military ranks



Civilian appointments

Military appointments

  • 11 June 1977: Colonel-in-Chief, of The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment)[77]
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 points charged alternately with three anchors azure and two crosses gules.[83]
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)
The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom labelled for difference as in his arms.
(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 WindsorStillborn on 5 October 1977



  • HRH The Duke of Kent; Vickers, Hugo (2022). A Royal Life. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1529389708.


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


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