Who Is Queen Elizabeth's Cousin, the Duke of Kent?

·5 min read

While far lesser known than his late first cousin, Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Kent has a royal career worth noting. At 86 years old, Prince Edward has spent his life serving Britain and the monarchy. A veteran and tennis enthusiast, the Duke is certainly multi-faceted, and it shows in the work that he does. Here is everything to know about Prince Edward, Duke of Kent.

He became the Duke of Kent at age 7 and comes from a long line of royals.

The Duke was born Prince Edward on October 9, 1935. Edward's father was Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary, and the younger brother to King George VI (Queen Elizabeth's father).

Prince Edward is actually a royal a few times over on his mother's side. Before her marriage, the Duke's mother, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, held the title of Princess of Greece and Denmark. And, to make the world even smaller, Princess Marina's mother (and Prince Edward's grandmother) was Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, a granddaughter of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. So, to summarize, the Duke of Kent is related to royals in England, Greece, Denmark, and Russia.

Photo credit: Central Press - Getty Images
Photo credit: Central Press - Getty Images

In 1942, Prince Edward's father died tragically in a wartime flying accident while serving in the line of duty. At that point, the Prince was just seven years old and inherited the title Duke of Kent. He has two younger siblings, Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, and Prince Michael of Kent.

The Duke served in the armed forces for over 21 years.

When he turned 18, the Duke enrolled at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and graduated as a Second Lieutenant in 1955. While he retired from the army in 1976, the Duke still holds a number of senior appointments and regularly visits his regiments.

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

Throughout his royal tenure, the Duke has remained involved in international affairs. Starting after his army retirement, the Duke traveled overseas countless times to promote British trade and exports, including to Europe, Japan, Australia and the Middle East. In 1979, he became the first member of the royal family to make an official visit to China.

The Duke is also passionate about honoring veterans, especially those that fought in World Wars I and II. One of his major roles is acting as President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The organization honors Commonwealth veterans of the two World Wars with over 23,000 memorials. He frequently travels to these sites for official visits.

Per the royal family's website, "The Duke of Kent 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. His Royal Highness undertakes numerous engagements each year in support of these organisations, both in the UK and across the Commonwealth."

He met his wife on an army base.

Prince Edward is married to Katharine Worsley, now the Duchess of Kent. The pair met while Edward was living at Catterick Camp, an English military base. They married on June 8, 1961. The couple has three children: George, Earl of St Andrews, Lady Helen Taylor, and Lord Nicholas Windsor.

Photo credit: Georges De Keerle - Getty Images
Photo credit: Georges De Keerle - Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess currently live at Kensington Palace.

The famed royal residence is located in London's Kensington neighborhood. The sprawling property is home to many royal family members including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and, the Duke of Kent's brother and his wife, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

The Duke and Duchess reside at Wren House, one of a few homes on the grounds. Wren House is located adjacent to Ivy Cottage.

The Duke is a Wimbledon enthusiast.

Prince Edward may look familiar to keen tennis watchers. The Duke often attends the Wimbledon tennis tournament and presents the winners' trophies to the champions.

Other members of the royal family often join him to watch the matches. In fact, attending Wimbledon has become a regular tradition for the younger royals, like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

At the Platinum Jubilee Trooping the Colour, he stood alongside Queen Elizabeth during her first balcony appearance.

Queen Elizabeth made her first of two balcony appearances at the 2022 Trooping the Colour parade alongside her cousin, the Duke of Kent. The 96-year-old British monarch received the salute from her troops from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

“On Horse Guards Parade, The Prince of Wales will take the Salute and inspect the Troops of the Household Division on Her Majesty’s behalf, joined by The Duke of Cambridge and The Princess Royal,” the Palace said in a statement. “Upon the return of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the Guards, The Queen will take a Salute from the Balcony of Buckingham Palace, accompanied by The Duke of Kent, Colonel, Scots Guards.”

Just a few months later, the Duke joined the rest of his family in mourning their matriarch.

Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images

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