princess marina duchess of kent

Wearing her father’s necklace and looking radiant, Elizabeth made her entrance into the ancient abbey in a dress that had taken 3,000 clothes coupons and bore 10,000 pearls. Some 2,000 guests were waiting, among them one of the largest gatherings of royalty since the time of Queen Victoria. All eyes were on the silk-clad figure as she walked down the long nave. There was an awareness that history was being made; all the ritual of a royal wedding in this building so alive with past spectacle. Princess Marina, who had helped to facilitate the match with private meetings at Coppins between her young cousin, Prince Philip, and her niece, Princess Elizabeth, was delighted. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were waiting in some trepidation as Prince William was to hold the long train of her dress as a page. From across Europe they came drawn to this great royal reunion, like times of old. Many were direct descendants of Queen Victoria, such as King Michael of Romania, Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain and Queen Ingrid of Sweden; others were related by marriage, such as Uncle Charles.
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The wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Princes At War by Deborah Cadbury

Diamond Girandole Earrings, formely in the collection of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent (1770s).

The British royal family at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. 1953.

Group includes: Princess Alexandra of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Marina (Duchess of Kent), Prince Henry (Duke of Gloucester), Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Prince Edward of Kent, Princess Mary (Countess of Harewood), Prince William of Gloucester, Prince Richard of Gloucester and Princess Alice (Duchess of Gloucester). 

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British royals featured in Vanity Fair’s International Best-Dressed Hall of Fame

  • Queen Elizabeth II (1958)
  • The Duchess of Windsor (1958)
  • The Duchess of Kent (1960)
  • The Duke of Windsor (1968)
  • Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (1969)
  • The Prince of Wales (1980)
  • Diana, Princess of Wales (1989)
  • Prince Michael of Kent (1999)
  • The Duchess of Cambridge (2014)
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Queen Juliana of The Netherlands Silver Wedding Celebrations, 1962.

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More members of the British Royal Family arriving for the Queens annual Christmas luncheon. 

Photo by Nick Ansell/PA Images via Getty Images

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August 25, 1942 † Death of Prince George, Duke of Kent at the age of 39.

George was the most academic of Georve V’s sons and the most interested in the arts : an education at Eton like his brother Henry’s might have suited him, but instead he was sent to the Naval College at Osborne. He proved to be a bad sailor; after a rather rootless period working as a civil servant by day and tasting London society by night he became engaged to Princess Marina of Greece in August 1934. They were married in November. The Duke began Second World War in Naval Intelligence before transferring to the RAF. In July 1942 his second son, Michael, was born. A friend wrote in her diary:

The Duke seems to love this tiny infant. Every evening, instead of sitting late as usual, he leaves the table shortly after ten o'clock and carries his youngest son to the nursery and lays him in his cot and stands watching and watching. Nannie told me that each night as he lays his son in his cot, she dicreetly leaves the room but she can hear he Duke talking softly to him. Perhaps he is unconsciously preparing him for the future.’

The Duke was killed in a plane crash in August 1942 on his way to Iceland.  [Queen Victoria’s Family A Century of Potographs]

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Granddaughters of Alexander II of Russia:

  • Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia, born on 6th April 1875, was the elder daughter and fourth child of Alexander III of Russia (1845-1894), the second son of Alexander II, who wasn’t expected to be Emperor until his older brother died. She was also the sister of Nicholas II (1868-1918), the last Emperor of Russia. She married her cousin, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia; they had seven children. After the fall of the Russian monarchy in February 1917, she fled from Russia and eventually settling in United Kingdom. She died on 20th April 1960.
  • Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, born on 13th June 1882, as the younger daughter of Alexander III of Russia, and sister of the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II. She married twice, first to her cousin, Duke Peter of Oldenburg, who in private was believed by family and friends as homosexual henceforth their marriage remained unconsummated. Their marriage was annulled in 1916, and the following month after her annulment to her first husband, she married secondly to a cavalry officer, Nikolai Kulikovsky (whom she had fallen in love years before), with whom she had two sons. After the downfall of the monarchy in February 1917, she fled to Crimea, then later to Denmark with her husband and children, accompanying her mother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna (1847-1928). Although in 1948, she and her family, migrated to Canada. Where she died, seven months after her sister, on 24th November 1960. After her death, she was widely recognised as the last Grand Duchess of Imperial Russia.
  • Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, was born on 17th January 1882, as the youngest child and only daughter of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (1847-1909), the third son of Alexander II. She married her second cousin, Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark on 1902, with whom she had three daughters, including Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. She and her family lived in France for a time, after the turmoil of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and the turmoil in Greece. Though eventually going back to Greece, where she died as a widow in Athens on 13th March 1957.
  • Princess Marie Alexandra Victoria of Edinburgh, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, better known as Marie of Romania, born on 29th October 1875, as the second child and eldest daughter of Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna (1853-1920), the only surviving daughter of Alexander II. She was also a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, through her father, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (later, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) (1844-1900), the second son of Victoria. On 1893, she married Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania, with whom she had six children, including Carol II of Romania. She later became the Queen consort of Romania in 1914, and was popular with the Romanian people. During the First World War, she like many of her female relatives including her cousin, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna (1872-1918), volunteered as Red Cross nurse, aiding the sick and the wounded. She died on 18th July 1938.
  • Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, born on 25th November 1876, as the second daughter of Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna. Also a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She married twice, firstly to her first cousin through her father, Ernst Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse (who was the sister of her cousin through her father, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, in turn wife of Nicholas II of Russia, who was also her cousin through her mother), thus becoming Grand Duchess of Hesse. They had one daughter, who died at the age of eight in 1903, of typhoid fever. Their marriage was a failure, as they divorced on 1901. Victoria Melita later remarried, to her first cousin through her mother, Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich (brother of Elena Vladmirovna) on 1905. They had three children. Due to the shock of her second marriage, Tsar Nicholas stripped Grand Duke Cyril of his offices and honors, initially banishing him and Victoria from Russia - settling in Paris. Though in 1910, they eventually moved to Russia. After the downfall of the monarchy, Victoria and her family fled to Finland. Victoria died from suffering a stroke on 2nd March 1936.
  • Princess Alexandra Louise Olga Victoria of Edinburgh, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was born on 1st September 1878, as the fourth child and third daughter of Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna. She was also a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She married Ernst II, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, despite of her father’s objection; they had five children. She lived in Germany for the rest of her life, and served as a Red Cross nurse (like her older sister, Marie of Romania). She died on 16th April 1942.
  • Princess Beatrice Leopoldine Victoria of Edinburgh, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, born on 20th April 1884, the youngest child and fourth daughter of Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna. She was also a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She married into the Spanish Royal Family, to Infante Alfonso, Duke of Galleria, thus becoming Duchess of Galleria; together, they had three children. She died on 16th July 1966.
  • Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, also known as Maria Pavlovna the Younger (to distinguish her from her aunt-by-marriage, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, the Elder, the mother of Elena Vladimirovna). She was born on 18th April 1890, as the elder child and only daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich (1860-1918), the youngest son of Alexander II, from his first marriage. Her mother died when she was not yet two from complications after giving birth to Maria’s younger brother, Grand Duke Dmitri. In result to her mother’s death, her father was so distraught and neglected his two children, leaving them in the care of their uncle and aunt-by-marriage, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, who had no children in their own. And was left to be raised by them, as their father was banished from Russia for marrying a commoner in 1902. Maria was married off to Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland, thus she became Duchess of Södermanland. They had one son. Their marriage was unhappy and ended in divorce in 1914. She served as a nurse during World War I, until the fall of the monarchy in February 1917. She later remarried during the provisional government, to Prince Roman Mikhailovich Putyatin, whom she had one son with but died in infancy. The couple fled to Ukraine in 1918, eventually divorcing in 1923 whilst still in exile. She died on 13th December 1958.