Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent


Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent


Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent (née Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark; OldStyleDate|13 December|1906|30 November [ [http://www.geocities.com/henrivanoene/genbritain10.html Genealogy of the Royal Family of Great Britain] ] – 27 August 1968) was a member of the British Royal Family; the wife of Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of George V and Queen Mary.

Princess Marina was the last foreign-born princess to marry into the British royal family; subsequent brides have been commoners. [In Britain the term commoner is applied to everyone who is not titled.]

Early life

Princess Marina was born in Athens, Greece on 13 December 1906. Her father was Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, the third son of George I of Greece. Her mother was Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, a granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia.

She was baptised near the end of 1906, and her godparents were: George I of Greece, Edward VII, Prince Andrew of Greece, Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia, The Princess of Wales and Grand Duchess Viktoria Feodorovna of Russia.

The family were generally poor, and were forced into exile when she was 11 following the overthrow of the monarchy in Greece. The family later moved to Paris, and the Princess stayed throughout Europe with her extended family.

Marriage

On 29 November 1934 she married Prince George, Duke of Kent at Westminster Abbey, London. Together the couple had three children:
* Prince Edward of Kent, born 9 October 1935; Duke of Kent from 25 August 1942
* Princess Alexandra of Kent, born 25 December 1936
* Prince Michael of Kent, born 4 July 1942

The Duke of Kent was tragically killed on 25 August 1942, in an aeroplane crash at Eagles Rock, near Dunbeath, Caithness, Scotland, while on active service with the Royal Air Force.

Later life

After her husband's death, the Duchess of Kent continued to be an active member of the British Royal Family, carrying out a wide-range of royal and official engagements. She was the longtime president of the Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. She was both first cousin to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and from 1947 his aunt via his marriage to Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II.

In March 1957 when Ghana, until then a British Colony, gained independence from Britain, the Duchess of Kent was appointed to represent the Queen at the celebrations. Fifty years later, at the 50th Anniversary of Ghana's Independence, it would be her son, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent who would be appointed by the Queen to represent her.

Just before the current Duke of Kent's wedding in June 1961 to Katharine Worsley, she announced that she wished to be known as "HRH" Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent instead of "HRH" The Dowager Duchess of Kent, a change in traditional style that was granted by her niece, Queen Elizabeth II. Upon her marriage in 1934, Princess Marina had become "HRH" The Duchess of Kent, Countess of St. Andrews, and Baroness Downpatrick. However, she remained a Princess of Greece and Denmark. Following her elder son's wedding, she simply reverted to her own princely title.

In September 1966, when the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland became the new Republic of Botswana, the Duchess of Kent was appointed again to represent The Queen at the celebrations. The main public hospital in Gaborone, the new Botswana's capital, is named "Princess Marina Hospital".

She served as the first Chancellor of the University of Kent at Canterbury from 1963 until her death from a brain tumour at Kensington Palace on 27 August 1968, aged 61.

Titles, styles, and honours

Titles and styles

*13 December 1906 – 29 November 1934: "Her Royal Highness" Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark
*29 November 1934 – 8 June 1961: "Her Royal Highness" The Duchess of Kent
*8 June 1961 – 27 August 1968: "Her Royal Highness" Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent

Honours

British Honours
*CI: Companion of the Order of the Crown of India
*GCVO: Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
*GBE: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
*GCStJ: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem
*Royal Family Order of King George V
*Royal Family Order of King George VI
*Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II

Foreign Honours
*flagicon|GRC The Order of St. Olga and St. Sophia, 1st Class
*flagicon|GRC Grand Cross of the Order of Beneficence
*flagicon|MEX Grand Cross of the National Order of the Aztec Eagle
*flagicon|PER Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun of Peru
*flagicon|CHI Grand Cross of the Order of Merit
*flagicon|BRA Grand Cross of the National Order of the Southern Cross
*flagicon|ARG Grand Cross of the Order of the Liberator San Martin

Honorary military appointments

*Colonel-in-Chief, of The Kent Regiment
*Colonel-in-Chief, of The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment
*Colonel-in-Chief, of The Dorset Regiment
*Colonel-in-Chief, of The Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment
*Colonel-in-Chief, of The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment
*Colonel-in-Chief, of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
*Colonel-in-Chief, of The Queen's Regiment (Allied)
*Honorary Colonel, of the Buckinghamshire Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
*Honorary Colonel, of the 4th Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
*Honorary Colonel, of the 431 LAA Regiment RA
*Honorary Colonel, of the 299th (Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry, Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars, and Berkshire) Field Regiment, RA
*Honorary Colonel, of the Buckinghamshire Regiment, RA (Territorials)
*Colonel, of the Queen's Own Buffs
*flagicon|AUS Honorary Commandant, of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service

Ancestry

ahnentafel-compact5
style=font-size: 90%; line-height: 110%;
border=1
boxstyle=padding-top: 0; padding-bottom: 0;
boxstyle_1=background-color: #fcc;
boxstyle_2=background-color: #fb9;
boxstyle_3=background-color: #ffc;
boxstyle_4=background-color: #bfc;
boxstyle_5=background-color: #9fe;
1= 1. Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
2= 2. Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark
3= 3. Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia
4= 4. George I of Greece
5= 5. Olga Konstantinova of Russia
6= 6. Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia
7= 7. Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
8= 8. Christian IX of Denmark
9= 9. Louise of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel)
10= 10. Grand Duke Konstantine Nicholaievich of Russia
11= 11. Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg
12= 12. Alexander II of Russia
13= 13. Marie of Hesse and by Rhine
14= 14. Friedrich Franz II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
15= 15. Augusta of Reuss-Köstritz
16= 16. Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
17= 17. Princess Louise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel)
18= 18. Prince William of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel)
19= 19. Princess Louise Charlotte of Denmark
20= 20. Nicholas I of Russia
21= 21. Charlotte of Prussia
22= 22. Joseph, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg
23= 23. Amelia of Württemberg
24= 24. Nicholas I of Russia
25= 25. Charlotte of Prussia
26= 26. Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse
27= 27. Wilhelmine of Baden
28= 28. Paul Friedrich, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
29= 29. Alexandrine of Prussia
30= 30. Heinrich LXIII of Reuss-Köstritz
31= 31. Eleonore of Stolberg-Wernigerode

Trivia

Princess Marina was the subject of a song ("She's Bought a Hat Like Princess Marina") written by Ray Davies and recorded by his group, the Kinks, on their 1969 album "Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)".

References

*BBC – [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/august/30/newsid_3067000/3067773.stm "1968: Princess Marina laid to rest"] . Dated 30 August 2007.

ee also

*List of notable brain tumour patients
* [http://www.vandaimages.com Photographs taken by Cecil Beaton]

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