Tell me about…The Duke of Kent

The Queen's cousin is still working aged 87

The Duke of Kent is a working member of the Royal Family who is not all that well-known and often overlooked in the media, similar to The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra.

So who is he and what type of patronages does he support?


The Duke of Kent was a cousin of the Queen’s and of the Duke of Edinburgh (Foreign Office Flickr)

Who is The Duke of Kent?

His Royal Highness was born Prince Edward on 9th October 1935 at 3 Belgrave Square, near to Buckingham Palace, which was the family home. 

He is the eldest child of Prince George, Duke of Kent – the younger brother of King George VI (the late Monarch’s father) and King Edward VIII – and his Princess Marina, a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece, therefore was a first cousin to both the late Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh.

Edward is elder brother to Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

In 1942, his father Prince George, then Duke of Kent, died in a wartime flying accident near Caithness, Scotland, while on active duty. The title Duke of Kent then passed to Edward, who was a few months away from turning 7.

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In 1961, The Duke of Kent became engaged to Miss Katharine Worsley. Their wedding took place in York Minster on 8th June that year.

The Duke and Duchess of Kent have three children: George, Earl of St Andrews, Lady Helen Taylor and Lord Nicholas Windsor. They have ten grandchildren. 

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Military career

Aged 18, The Duke of Kent joined The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he was awarded the Sir James Moncrieff Grierson prize for foreign languages, and in turn qualified as a French interpreter. The Duke of Kent served in the Armed Forces in the UK and overseas for 21 years:

Here’s a breakdown of his service:

– 1962-1963: The Duke undertook a regimental tour in Hong Kong
-1966: The Duke attended the Army staff course and then served on the staff in Eastern Command
-1970: The Duke commanded a squadron of his regiment serving in Cyprus as part of the United Nations force
-1976: The Duke retired from the Army with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel
– 1993: The Duke was promoted to Field Marshal.

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Royal work

The Duke, now 87, is regularly seen at royal events such as Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Day Services. He stood next the late Queen Elizabeth II during this year’s Trooping celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee.

He has also represented the late Queen on a number of overseas occasions, such as the independence celebrations in Sierra Leone (1961), Uganda (1962), Guyana (1966) and The Gambia (1965).

The Queen and Duke of Kent made an appearance on the balcony together ahead of the flypast (MOD)

The Duke returned to Uganda in 2012, as part of the celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The visit also marked the 50th anniversary of Uganda’s full independence from the UK.

Prince Edward was also the first member of the Royal Family to make an official visit to China.

He is involved with over 140 different charities, organisations and professional bodies which cover a wide range of issues, from commemorating the war dead, to fostering the development of British technology and industry.

The Duke of Kent regularly carries out engagements on behalf of The Monarch. (Royal Family).

He also had a close affiliation with the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, as he served as its President for over 50 years, before retiring in 2021. He presented trophies on more than 350 occasions. In 1969, the Duke made his first appearance as President, presenting the trophies to Rod Laver and Ann Jones.

On stepping down as President of the AELTC, The Duke of Kent said: ‘It has been an honour to serve this remarkable institution for as long as I have. To have seen this tournament, and the game of tennis, grow and inspire generations over the span of five decades has been an extraordinary experience, and I am incredibly proud to have been part of it.

‘I look forward now to watching as the young players of today pursue ever higher standards of excellence, and I shall continue to cheer them on as they do.’

HRH is passionate for future generations to learn and remember the sacrifice made by so many during the conflicts of World War I and World War II. He has been President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission since 1970.

Some of the other charities that The Duke supports include:

– Blood Cancer
– British Computer Society
– Canterbury Cathedral Trust
– The Imperial War Museum
– Kent County Cricket Club

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