Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Royal Profile: Prince Richard Alexander Walter George, The Duke of Gloucester

Prince Richard Alexander Walter George, The Duke of Gloucester was born 26 August 1944, the second son of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Princess Alice, The Duchess of Gloucester {Source}. He is the youngest grandchild of King George V and a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II{Source}.

It was not anticipated that he would become the Duke of Gloucester as his elder brother Prince William of Gloucester stood in front of him for the role{Source}. However, when his brother was killed in a flying accident on 28 August 1972, that changed {Source}. He succeeded his father in the role of Duke of Gloucester in June 1974 {Source}.

Although distantly in line for the throne, he began taking on a public duty very early on in life. At four months old, he accompanied his parents to Australia while his father served as Australia's Governor General from 1945-1947 {Source}.

His education began as most royals did during that time, at home {Source}. He then attendedThe Wellesley House, before attending Eton College {Source}. In 1963, he began to attend The University of Cambridge, Magdalene College, studying architecture {Source}. He completed three of five years of his studies before joining what was then known as Offices Development Group of the Ministry of Public Building and Works for a year's worth of practicum {Source}. He returned to Cambridge in 1967, and finished the last two years of his studies, passing all the necessary exams in 1969 {Source}. After completing his training, he began to go into practice as a partner in a London architecture firm {Source}.

Given the likelihood of him ever succeeding the throne or Dukedom, he planned on pursuing a full-time career as an architect, but with the death of his brother, he became his father's heir and his royal duty workload increased{Source}. Therefore, he resigned his partnership and aspirations to be a full-time architect{Source}.

In February 1972, his engagement to Birigitte van Deurs was announced {Source}, they were married five months later on 8 July 1972 at St Andrew's Church {Source}. Together, they have three children, 3 grandsons, 3 granddaughters and a stepgrandson:
  1. Alexander Windsor,The Earl of Ulster
    1. Dr. Claire Windsor. The Countess of Ulster (married 2002)
      1. Xan Richard Anders Windsor, Lord Culloden (2007)
      2. Lady Cosima Rose Alexandra Windsor (2010)
  2. Lady Davina Lewis
    1. Gary Lewis  (Married July 2004)
      1. Ari Lewis (stepson)
      2. Senna Kowhai Lewis (2010)
      3. Tāne Mahuta Lewis (2012)
  3. Lady Rose Gilman
    1. George Gilman (married July 2008)
      1. Lyla Gilman (2010)
      2. Rufus Gilman (2012)
None of his children or grandchildren carry out official duties, but do make appearances at royal family events and are all in line for the British throne.

The Duke is associated with over 150 charities and organisations. His patronages reflect his professional and personal interests and can be grouped under the following themes{Source}:
  1. International humanitarian issues; these can be sub-divided into (a) international development and (b) disaster prevention and relief
  2. Health issues
  3. Social welfare, community and youth development 
  4. Environmental issues and climate change
  5. Social sciences and technology
  6. Culture and the arts
  7. Heritage and the built environment
  8. Military veterans and the disabled community
  9. Armed forces

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