Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent GCVO GBE CI (née Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, Greek: Πριγκίπισσα Μαρίνα της Ελλάδος και της Δανίας; 13 December [O.S. 30 November] 1906 – 27 August 1968) was the wife of Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck.
Princess Marina's marriage was the most recent occasion on which a foreign-born princess married into the British royal family.
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 the youngest of the couple's children. One of her paternal uncles was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, the father of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
She was baptised near the end of 1906, and her godparents were: the King of Greece (her paternal grandfather); the King of the United Kingdom (her great-uncle); the Princess of Wales; Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (her paternal uncle); Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia (her maternal uncle); and Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (her maternal aunt).
The family was generally poor and forced into exile when she was 11, following the overthrow of the Greek monarchy. They later moved to Paris, while the Princess stayed throughout Europe with her extended family.
Marriage and children
In 1932 Princess Marina and Prince George, Duke of Kent met in London. Their betrothal was announced in August 1934. On 29 November 1934 they married at Westminster Abbey, London. The wedding was followed by a Greek ceremony in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace.
Her eight bridesmaids were her first cousins Princesses Irene, Eugenie and Katherine of Greece and Denmark, her maternal first cousin Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia, Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, her husband's niece Princess Elizabeth of York, her husband's cousins the Lady Iris Mountbatten and the Lady Mary Cambridge.
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 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. The Duchess, according to royal biographer Hugo Vickers, was "the only war widow in Britain whose estate was forced to pay death duties".
During World War II, the Duchess was trained as a nurse for three months under pseudonym "Sister Kay" and joined the civil nurse reserve.
Later life and death
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 president of the Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for 26 years. She was already the first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and then also became his aunt-in-law, due to his 1947 marriage to Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II.
In March 1957 when the Gold Coast (later Ghana)—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.
In September 1966, when the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland became the new Republic of Botswana, the Princess 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 at 11.40 am on 27 August 1968, aged 61. Funeral service for the Princess was held in the St. George's Chapel on 30 August. She was buried in the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore. Her funeral was the final royal ceremony attended by her brother-in-law, the former Edward VIII.
Princess Marina gave her name to many facilities, including:
- Princess Marina College, Arborfield, Berkshire
- Princess Marina House, a facility of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund at Rustington.
- Princess Marina Hospital, Upton, Northamptonshire
- Princess Marina Hospital, Gaborone, Botswana
- Princess Marina Sports Complex, Rickmansworth.
- Duchess of Kent Hospital, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
- Kent College (a teacher training college) Tuaran, Sabah, Malaysia
The Kinks recorded "She's Bought a Hat Like Princess Marina" for their 1969 album Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). The song was written by Ray Davies. Princess Marina earned her place in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1960 together with Princess Grace of Monaco, Patricia Lopez-Willshaw and Merle Oberon.
Titles, styles, honours, and arms
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
At the time of her death, Princess Marina's full style was: Her Royal Highness Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, Countess of St. Andrews and Baroness Downpatrick, Companion of the Imperial Order of the Crown of India, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
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.
- 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
- Order of Saints Olga and Sophia, 1st Class
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Beneficence
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun of Peru
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Merit
- Dame Grand Cross of the National Order of the Southern Cross
- Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Liberator San Martin
- Canadian Forces Decoration
- Grand Decoration in Gold with Sash for Services to the Republic of Austria
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
- Honorary Commandant, of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service
|Ancestors of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark|
- As a titled royal, Marina held no surname after her marriage, but, when one was used, it was Windsor.
- Genealogy of the Royal Family of Great Britain at the Wayback Machine (archived October 28, 2009)
- "Princess Marina". Oxford dnb. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- "Marina won Britain's heart". Evening Times. 27 August 1968. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- "Prince Georgei son of King, to be married". The Montreal Gazette (London). CP and AP. 28 August 1934. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Princess Marina called luckiest girl in the world by relatives". The Milwaukee Journal (Athens). AP. 23 November 1934. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Marina, a tragic but well-loved Princess". The Sydney Morning Herald (London). 28 August 1968. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- Yvonne's Royalty Home Page — Royal Christenings
- "King and Queen see rehearsals". The Sydney Morning Herald. 29 November 1934. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "Princess Marina's Gown". Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor.
- "The wedding of Prince George, Duke of Kent and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent". National Portrait Gallery, London.
- "Princess Marina's quilt". British Pathé. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Hugo Vickers, Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, Hutchinson, 2005, p. 230
- "Five Queens at funeral of Duchess". The Windsor Star (Windsor). Reuters. 31 August 1968. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- "1968: Princess Marina laid to rest". BBC News. 30 August 1976. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Ziegler, Philip (1991). King Edward VIII: The official biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-57730-2, pp. 554-556.
- "Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund". About Princess Marina House. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- "Overview - NHS Choices". Princess Marina Hospital. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- "Princess Marina Sports Complex". We Love Rickmansworth. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Flashback Friday: Coronation Guests and Their Jewels". Order of Splendor. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- "The place for daily celebrity news". Hello Magazine. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- "The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Gold Star: Queens with Diplomatic Flair". Order of Splendor. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- "She Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina". The Kinks. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- Ultimate Style - The Best of the Best Dressed List. 2004. ISBN 2 84323 513 8.
- "Viewing Page 3729 of Issue 34406". London Gazette. 8 June 1937. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Wedding of Juan Carlos of Spain and Sophia of Greece
- "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 214. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.|
Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark
Cadet branch of the House of OldenburgBorn: 13 December 1906 Died: 27 August 1968
|Chancellor of the University of Kent