Princess Denmark
Royal Navy admiral
Princess Denmark
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, née Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark was a member of the British Royal Family; 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 was the most recent foreign-born princess to marry into the British royal family.
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  • 1968
    Age 61
    Died on August 27, 1968.
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  • 1966
    Age 59
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The main public hospital in Gaborone, the new Botswana's capital, is named "Princess Marina Hospital".
  • 1963
    Age 56
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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:
  • 1961
    Age 54
    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.
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  • 1960
    Age 53
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1953
    Age 46
    The diamond and pearl Kent Festoon Tiara was worn by Princess Marina to the 1953 coronation.
    More Details Hide Details It then passed to Princess Michael of Kent who has worn it to state banquets. 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.
  • 1952
    Age 45
    In 1952, the Duchess also visited Sarawak (then a British Crown Colony), where she laid the foundation stone of the Cathedral of St. Thomas in Kuching.
    More Details Hide Details She also visited the Batu Lintang camp, a Japanese internment camp during World War II which had been converted to a teacher training college, and the town of Sibu, where she opened the outpatient department of the Lau Kheng Howe Hospital. 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.
  • 1943
    Age 36
    She was President of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution from 1943 until her death and was awarded the RNLI's Gold Medal in 1967 to mark this contribution.
    More Details Hide Details Her first cousin Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, married her niece, the future Queen Elizabeth II. In June 1952 the Duchess laid the foundation stone of the new St Mark's Church in Bromley, London, which had been damaged in the war.
  • 1942
    Age 35
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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, Marina was trained as a nurse for three months under the pseudonym "Sister Kay" and joined the civil nurse reserve. Marina's Private Secretary for many years was Sir Philip Hay KCVO (1918–1986), whose wife Dame Margaret Katherine Hay DCVO (1918–1975) was Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth II and a granddaughter of 1st Duke of Westminster. 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.
  • 1934
    Age 27
    Upon her marriage in 1934, Princess Marina had become HRH The Duchess of Kent, Countess of St. Andrews, and Baroness Downpatrick.
    More Details Hide Details However, she remained a Princess of Greece and Denmark. Following her elder son's wedding, she simply reverted to her own princely prefix. British and Commonwealth honours Foreign honours
    In 1934, she married Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck.
    More Details Hide Details From then on she also became known as the Duchess of Kent. Princess Marina's marriage was the most recent occasion on which a foreign-born princess married into the British Royal Family.
  • 1932
    Age 25
    In 1932 Princess Marina and Prince George, Duke of Kent, a second cousin through Christian IX of Denmark, met in London. Their betrothal was announced in August 1934. On 29 November 1934 they married at Westminster Abbey, London.
    More Details Hide Details The wedding was followed by a Greek ceremony in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace. The bride's gown was in white and silver silk brocade, designed by Edward Molyneux, and worked on by a team of seamstresses including, at Marina's request, Russian émigreés. Her eight bridesmaids were her first cousins, Greek princesses Irene, Eugenie and Katherine, her maternal first cousin Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, her husband's niece Princess Elizabeth of York, her husband's cousins the Lady Iris Mountbatten and Lady Mary Cambridge. The Royal School of Needlework made a quilt as a wedding gift for Princess Marina and the Duke of Kent. Following the marriage she became the Duchess of Kent. The couple had three children, eight grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren:
  • 1906
    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 by marriage); the Princess of Wales; Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (her paternal uncle); Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia (her maternal uncle); and Grand Duchess Victoria Fyodorovna of Russia (her maternal aunt).
    More Details Hide Details 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.
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