The Royal Familie
In her role as Head of State The Queen is supported by members of the Royal Family, who carry out a wide range of public and official duties. The biographies in this section contain information about various members of the Royal Family, including early life and education, professional careers, official Royal work, involvement with charities and other organisations, personal interests and more.
The Queen was born in London on 21 April 1926, the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, subsequently King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Five weeks later she was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the chapel at Buckingham Palace.
The Princess’s early years were spent at 145 Piccadilly, the London house taken by her parents shortly after her birth; at White Lodge in Richmond Park; and at the country homes of her grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, and the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. When she was six years old, her parents took over Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park as their own country home.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, was born Prince of Greece and Denmark in Corfu on 10 June 1921; the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece. His paternal family is of Danish descent – Prince Andrew was the grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark. His mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, the eldest child of Prince Louis of Battenberg and sister of Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Prince Louis became a naturalised British subject in 1868, joined the Royal Navy and rose to become an Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord in 1914. During the First World War he changed the family name to Mountbatten and was created Marquess of Milford Haven. Prince Philip adopted the family name of Mountbatten when he became a naturalised British subject and renounced his Royal title in 1947.
Prince Louis married one of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters. Thus, The Queen and Prince Philip both have Queen Victoria as a great-great-grandmother. They are also related through his father’s side. His paternal grandfather, King George I of Greece, was Queen Alexandra’s brother.
The Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is heir apparent to the throne.
The Prince was born at Buckingham Palace on 14 November 1948, and was christened Charles Philip Arthur George.
When, on the accession of Queen Elizabeth in 1952, he became heir apparent, Prince Charles automatically became Duke of Cornwall under a charter of King Edward III dating back to 1337, which gave that title to the Sovereign’s eldest son. He also became, in the Scottish Peerage, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick and Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.
The Prince was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in 1958. In 1968, The Prince of Wales was installed as a Knight of the Garter. The Duke of Rothesay (as he is known in Scotland) was appointed a Knight of the Thistle in 1977. In June 2002 The Prince of Wales was appointed to the Order of Merit.
The Duke of York was born on 19 February 1960 at Buckingham Palace. He is the second son and the third child of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. He was the first child to be born to a reigning monarch for 103 years. Named Andrew Albert Christian Edward, he was known as Prince Andrew until his marriage, when he was created The Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killyleagh.
The Earl of Wessex is the third son and youngest child of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. He was born on 10 March 1964 and christened Edward Antony Richard Louis at Buckingham Palace.
Upon his marriage to Miss Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, he was created The Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn; at the same time it was announced that His Royal Highness will eventually succeed to the title of The Duke of Edinburgh.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex both carry out many engagements in support of The Queen, and on behalf of a number of organisations with which they are associated.
Their Royal Highnesses have a baby daughter, born on 8 November 2003.
The Princess Royal, the second child and only daughter of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, was born at Clarence House, London, on 15 August 1950, when her mother was Princess Elizabeth, heir presumptive to the throne. She was baptised Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise at Buckingham Palace on 21 October 1950.
She received the title Princess Royal from The Queen in June 1987; she was previously known as Princess Anne. Her Royal Highness is the seventh holder of the title.
In 1994 The Queen appointed The Princess a Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. In 2000, to mark her 50th birthday, The Princess Royal was appointed to the Order of the Thistle, in recognition of her work for charities.
Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester is the widow of the late Duke of Gloucester, third son of George V.
Lady Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott was born on Christmas Day, 1901 at Montagu House, London. She was the third daughter of the seventh Duke of Buccleuch, who had been a fellow midshipman of the future king George V.
Lady Alice was educated at home until the age of 12. She then went to school at West Malvern, spending a year in Paris before returning home to be presented at Court in 1920. Lady Alice has greatly enjoyed outdoor pursuits, including skiing, and has been an accomplished watercolourist. She also
travelled widely, living for many months in Kenya and also spending time in India on a visit to her brother.
Born in 1944, The Duke of Gloucester is the second son of the late Duke of Gloucester and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. He is a grandson of George V and a first cousin to The Queen. He succeeded his father as Duke of Gloucester in June 1974.
In July 1972 Prince Richard (as he was then known) married Birgitte Eva van Deurs from Odense, Denmark at St Andrew’s Church, Barnwell, Northamptonshire. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have three children: (Alexander) Earl of Ulster, born in 1974; The Lady Davina Windsor, born in 1977; and The Lady Rose Windsor, born in 1980.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester both carry out a large number of official engagements each year, individually and together. They undertake visits in regions throughout the United Kingdom and travel abroad on official visits and to support their varied patronages.
Born in 1935, HRH The Duke of Kent is the son of the late Prince George, fourth son of King George V, and the late Princess Marina, daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece. He is cousin to both The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. The present Duke of Kent inherited his title following the death of his father in 1942.
In 1961 The Duke of Kent became engaged to Miss Katharine Worsley and they married in York Minster. The couple have three children: George, Earl of St Andrews, born in June 1962; Lady Helen Taylor, born in April 1964 and Lord Nicholas Windsor, born on 25 July 1970.
The Duke and The Duchess of Kent undertake a large number of official Royal engagements. Each has close associations with many charities, professional bodies and other organisations.
Prince Michael was born on 4 July 1942 at the family home in Iver, Buckinghamshire. He was christened Michael George Charles Franklin and one of his godfathers was President Roosevelt. He is a cousin to both The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, and his older brother and sister are The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. Prince Michael’s father, Prince George, was the fourth son of George V and his mother, Princess Marina, was the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece.
The Prince is a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.
Princess Alexandra was born on Christmas Day 1936 at 3, Belgrave Square, her family’s London home. She is the second child and only daughter of the late Duke and Duchess of Kent (her brothers are the present Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent). Much of her childhood was spent at their country home, Coppins, in Buckinghamshire. Her father was killed in a wartime flying accident in 1942 when she was just five years old.
The engagement of Princess Alexandra to Angus Ogilvy, second son of the Earl of Airlie, was announced on 19 November 1962 and they were married on 24 April 1963 in Westminster Abbey. They have two children: James, born in 1964, and Marina, born in 1966; and four grandchildren. Their children carry out no official royal duties.
Sir Angus Ogilvy (who was knighted in 1989) was born on 14 September 1928. After leaving Eton he was commissioned into the Scots Guards and subsequently went to Oxford. Later he pursued a varied and successful career in the City of London, and he became chairman and/or director of a number of public companies.
His main commitments now are in the charitable field. He is Chairman of the Advisory Council of The Prince’s Trust. He is a Trustee of King George’s Jubilee Trust, The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Trust and Leeds Castle. He is President of the Carr-Gomm Society and The Friends of UK Youth. He is Patron of Arthritis Care, and Vice-Patron of The Friends of The Elderly, Gentle Folks Help and NCH Action for Children.
He is also a member of the Royal Company of Archers, which is The Queen’s ceremonial bodyguard in Scotland. His interests include architecture, reading and music. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1997.
Princess Alexandra is Patron or President of numerous organisations, reflecting her wide-ranging interests. On completing her education, she took a nursing course at Great Ormond Street Hospital before starting to undertake official engagements. Many of her patronages reflect her interest in medical and welfare issues. She is Deputy President of the British Red Cross Society and Patron of the Alzheimer’s Society, St Christopher’s Hospice and Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service. The Princess is also known for her work for the blind; she is Patron of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and of Action for Blind People, and President of Sight Savers International. She is President of the Alexandra Rose Day, founded in 1912 by King Edward VII’s wife Queen Alexandra to raise money for hospitals through the sale of roses.
The Princess’s military affiliations include Colonel-in-Chief of The King’s Own Royal Border Regiment, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s). She is Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of The Light Infantry and The Queen’s Royal Lancers.
The Princess has also acted as a Counsellor of State in The Queen’s absence abroad.
She represented The Queen at the Nigerian independence celebrations in 1960. Since then she has made numerous official visits overseas, often accompanied by her husband. In 2001 the Princess paid a visit to Athens following visits to Rome, Oman and Hungary in 1998, Gibraltar in 1999 and the Falkland Islands
Norway in 2000.
The Princess enjoys music, swimming, skiing and riding.
His Royal Highness was born in Fairfax, Virginia USA, on January 15, 1982. He is the fraternal twin of Prince Alexander and second in the line to the Throne after Hereditary Prince Peter. He is the son of HRH Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia and HIRH Princess Maria da Gloria of Orleans Braganza. HRH is grandson of the HM King Peter II and HM Queen Alexandra. His Godparents are HM King Constantine of the Hellenes (Greece), HM the Queen of Spain and HRH the Duchess of Calabria.
HRH Prince Philip lived in Virginia until 1984. Together with his twin brother, he first attended kindergarten in London. In 1990 at the age of eight HRH Prince Philip attended one of London’s top preparatory schools. In June 2000, HRH Prince Philip graduated from The King’s School Canterbury in England having obtained three “A” level’s in Spanish, Government and Politics, and Geography. Prince Philip is attending a well-known university in the United Kingdom and reading Slavonic and Hispanic Studies. 2003-2004 HRH will be undertaking an exchange program with a Spanish University.