Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Royal Profile: HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent, The Hon. Lady Ogilvy

Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel Windsor was born Princess Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel of Kent, the daughter of Prince George, The Duke of Kent & Princess Mariana of Greece & Denmark on 25 December 1936.

When she was born, she was 6th in line for the throne after her uncle, two 1st cousins Princess Elizabeth of York (Now Queen Elizabeth II) & Princess Margaret of York; her uncle, The Duke of Gloucester, her father and one brother. Presently, Princess Alexandra is 41st in line for the throne.

She was batized at Buckingham Palace's private chapel in February 1937. Her godparents were:
  • King George IV (uncle)
  • Queen Elizabeth (aunt)
  • Queen Maud of Norway (grandaunt)
  • Princess Nicholas of Greece & Denmark (Elena, maternal grandmother)
  • Princess Olga of Yugoslavia (maternal aunt)
  • The Princess Beatrice (paternal great-grandaunt)
  • Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone (paternal granduncle)
  • Count Karl Theodor of Toerring-Jettenbach (maternal uncle by marriage)
She was named for:

Alexandra: for her great-grandmother Queen Alexandra
Helen: for her godmother Elena (who was known as Helen)
Elizabeth: for her godmother Queen Elizabeth
Olga: for her godmother Olga
Christabel:  she was born on Christmas Day like her aunt Princess Alice, The Duchess of Gloucester

She primarily grew up in the family's country house in Buckinghamshire, where her brother the present Duke of Kent still resides today. During WWII, she lived with her grandmother Queen Mary at Badminton. As a child, she was the 1st British Princess to attend an "ordinary" (aka fee paying) school, The Heathefeild School, Ascot.

Her father died when she was only 5 1/2 in an airplane crash while serving in the Royal Air Force of WWII. 

She served as a bridesmaid several times in her young life. She was a bridesmaid for the 1st time at at the age of 10 to her paternal 1st cousin Princess Elizabeth of York to her maternal 1st cousin 1x removed Philip Mountbatten. The second time she served as a bridesmaid was at the age of 26, for her second cousin, Princess Sophia of Greece & Denmark to her marriage to Infante Juan Carlos of Spain.

She married The Hon. Angus James Bruce Ogilvy at Westminister Abbey on 24 April 1963, in a ceremony that was attended by the entire Royal Family and broadcast world live on television to an estimated audience of 200 million. Because her husband declined her cousin's offer of an earldom, her children are not entitled to any title or style. Together they have a son and daughter, and two granddaughters and two grandsons, none of whom carry out royal duties on behalf of the Queen:

  1. Mister James Ogilvy (1964)
    1. Miss Flora Alexandra Ogilvy (1994)
    2. Master Alexander Charles Ogilvy (1996)
  2. Miss Marina Victoria Alexandra Ogilvy (1966)
    1. Miss Zenouska May Mowatt (1990)
    2. Mister Christian Alexander Mowatt (1993)


Since the late 1950s, she has carried out extensive royal engagements on behalf and supporting of her cousin, The Queen, carrying out roughly 120 engagements per a year, she is one of the most active members of the Royal Family.

She was only 15 years old when Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth, and was asked to undertake numerous royal duties. She has done numerous royal tours abroad. Her first tour abroad was to Australia in 1959. She returned to Australia on a private holiday in 1967, but also carried out engagements in Canberra and Melbourne while there. She represented her cousin in October 1960’s Nigeria independence from the UK, and opened the parilement there. Other overseas tours that the Princess has done were: Canada, Italy, Oman, Hungary, Norway, Thailan, Gibraltar & The Falkland Islands.

She served as Chancellor of Lancaster University from 1964-2005. She holds honorary degrees or fellowships from Lancaster University (Music, 2005), honorary fellowships with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the Royal College of Physicians. She is also the President of Alexandra Rose Day, which was founded in honour of her great-grandmother, Alexandra of Denmark. She has recently given up the patronage of The Royal School, Hampstead, which was founded in 1855.

She is a member of the Civil list, and received receives £225,000 per year to cover the cost of official expenses; although like the other members of the Royal Family (except the Duke of Edinburgh) the Queen repays this amount to theTreasury. She lives at Thatched House Lodge in Richmond, London a Crown property purchased on a 150-year lease from the Crown Estate Commissioners by Sir Angus Ogilvy after their wedding in 1963. She also has use of a grace-and-favour apartment at St James's Palace in London.

She is the patron of the Blackie Foundation Trust, English National Opera, London Philharmonic Choir, the not-for-profit housing association Anchor, the charity Independent Age, St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham, England, Core a National charity in London England dedicated to funding research into digestive diseases and also publishes information leaflets on the most common diseases of the gut and liver, the Nature in Art Trust and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and President of WWF-UK. She has been the patron of the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children in Brighton since 1954. She is also the Royal Patron of Children and Families Across Borders, a charity dedicated to reuniting children who have been separated from their families. She is patron of Central School of Speech and Drama which received Royal title in 2012 as part of Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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