Tell me about…Princess Alexandra

Princess Alexandra is a working member of the Royal Family who is often overlooked, similar to The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. 

So who is she and what does she do?

Who is Princess Alexandra?

Princess Alexandra was born on Christmas Day 1936 at 3 Belgrave Square, her family’s London home. When she was born, she was sixth in line to the British throne, but is currently 57th.

The Queen’s Cousin, Princess Alexandra at a Garden Party in May 2022. (Royal Family).

She is the second child and only daughter of the late Duke and Duchess of Kent. Her father, who was brother to George VI, was killed in a wartime flying accident in 1942, when Alexandra was just five years old. Her brothers are the present Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent. 

HRH was the first British Princess to go to an ordinary school in 1947, attending Heathfield School in Ascot.

She was one of the bridesmaids at the wedding of her cousin, Princess Elizabeth (The Queen) the same year.

Marriage and family

The engagement of Princess Alexandra to Angus Ogilvy, second son of the Earl of Airlie, was announced on 19 November 1962. They were married on 24 April 1963 in Westminster Abbey, in a service attended by The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and other members of the Royal Family. 

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Ogilvy’s grandmother was a close friend and lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary, while his father was a lord-in-waiting to George V and Lord Chamberlain to the Queen Mother.

Princess Alexandra’s brother, The Duke of Kent, walked her down the aisle, and her chief bridesmaid was The Queen’s only daughter, Princess Anne, who was aged 13 at the time.

The couple had two children: James (born in 1964), and Marina (born in 1966). Their children do not carry out official royal duties and are private citizens, but are seen at some of the larger family gatherings like Trooping the Colour.

Since her marriage, the Princess has lived at Thatched House Lodge in Richmond Park. Her off

Sir Angus died on 26 December 2004, after suffering with a cancer-like illness. He is buried at Frogmore.

Princess Alexandra pictured with The Queen. (Royal Family)

Princess Alexandra was created a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (giving her GCVO after her name) in 1960, and made a Knight of the Order of the Garter (KG) in 2003 (it appears she followed Princess Anne’s lead and was installed as a Knight and not a Lady).

Royal Work

Princess Alexandra supports The Queen by carrying out engagements and holding patronages, both in the UK and overseas.

The Princess, now 84, has embarked on a number of overseas visits in support of The Queen, including visits to Rome, Oman and Hungary in 1998, Gibraltar in 1999, the Falkland Islands and Norway in 2000 and Thailand and Brunei in 2003. 

Her most recent overseas visits have included the USA, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

The Countess of Wessex and Princess Alexandra paid a visit to Guide Dogs South West earlier this week. (@Royal Family/Twitter)

The Princess is patron or president of more than 100 organisations. With a background in languages and music, it comes as no surprise that Princess Alexandra is involved in a number of charities relating to her passions. These include:

– British School at Rome
– Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
– English National Opera
– London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
– London Philharmonic Choir

She is also Patron of many healthcare charities and charities that help those affected by physical or mental illness. These include:

– Cancer Research UK
– Florence Nightingale Foundation
– St. Christopher’s Hospice
– Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service
– MIND
– Mental Health Foundation

The PDSA is another long-standing affiliation for her.

Alexandra also regularly attends receptions for The Queen’s Award for Enterprise winners and The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.

The Princess’s military affiliations include her honorary role as Royal Colonel of 3rd Battalion The Rifles and Colonel in Chief of The Canadian Scottish Regiment. She is also Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Lancers and Honorary Royal Colonel of The Royal Yeomanry.

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HRH has been Patron and Air Chief Commandant of Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service since November 1966 and was Royal Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Cottesmore until 2013.

In 2018, The Queen held a reception to recognise the decades of work her cousin has undertaken on her behalf, to coincide with her 80th birthday.

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