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Princess Alexandra
The Hon Lady Ogilvy (more)
HRH The Princess Alexandra 04 25 10.png
Alexandra in Toronto in 2010
Spouse Sir Angus Ogilvy
 (m. 1963–2004)
Issue James Ogilvy
Marina Ogilvy
Full name
Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel[1]
House House of Windsor
Father Prince George, Duke of Kent
Mother Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
Born (1936-12-25) 25 December 1936 (age 77)
3 Belgrave Square, London
Religion Church of England

Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy KG GCVO[2] (Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel; born 25 December 1936) is the youngest granddaughter of King George V and Queen Mary. She is the widow of Sir Angus Ogilvy. Prior to her marriage she was known as Princess Alexandra of Kent, being the first princess to use the territorial designation of Kent since her great-great-grandmother Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent's accession as Queen Victoria.

Princess Alexandra carries out royal duties on behalf of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth II. As of July 2014, she is 46th in the line of succession to the thrones of 16 states; at the time of her birth in 1936, she was sixth.

Early life[edit]

Princess Alexandra was born on 25 December 1936 at 3 Belgrave Square, London.[3] Her father was The Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of George V and Queen Mary. Her mother was Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia. She was named after her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, her maternal grandmother, Princess Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, and both of her maternal aunts, Countess Karl Theodor of Törring-Jettenbach and Princess Paul of Yugoslavia. She received the name Christabel because she was born on Christmas Day like her aunt by marriage Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester.

As a male-line granddaughter of the British monarch, she was styled as a British princess with the prefix Her Royal Highness. At the time of her birth, she was sixth in the line of succession to the British throne.

The Princess was baptised in the Private Chapel of Buckingham Palace, on 9 February 1937, and her godparents were: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (her paternal uncle and aunt); the Queen of Norway (her great-aunt); Princess Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (her maternal grandmother); Princess Olga of Yugoslavia (her maternal aunt); the Princess Beatrice (her paternal great-great-aunt); the Earl of Athlone (her paternal great-uncle); and count Karl Theodor of Toerring-Jettenbach (her maternal uncle by marriage). Of her godparents, only the King and Queen and Lord Athlone were present.[4]

Princess Alexandra spent most of her childhood at her family's country house, Coppins, in Buckinghamshire. She lived with her grandmother Queen Mary, the widow of George V, during World War II at Badminton.[3] Her father was killed in an aeroplane crash near Caithness, Scotland on 25 August 1942 while serving in the Royal Air Force. Princess Alexandra has the distinction of being the first British princess to have attended an ordinary boarding school, Heathfield School near Ascot.[3][5] She then studied in Paris.[6] She was also trained at Great Ormond Street Hospital.[7]

She was a bridesmaid at the 1946 wedding of Captain Lord Brabourne and Patricia Mountbatten. [8] The following year, she served as bridesmaid at the wedding of her cousins, the then-Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh, on 20 November 1947. The Queen is Princess Alexandra's paternal first cousin; The Duke of Edinburgh is Princess Alexandra's maternal first cousin once removed. The Duke and Princess Marina were first cousins.

She was also a bridesmaid at the 1962 wedding of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark. The Spanish Queen and Princess Alexandra are second cousins.

Marriage and personal life[edit]

On 24 April 1963, she married the Hon Angus James Bruce Ogilvy (1928–2004), the second son of the 12th Earl of Airlie and Lady Alexandra Coke, at Westminster Abbey.[5][9] The wedding ceremony was attended by the Royal Family[10] and was broadcast worldwide on television, watched by an estimated 200 million people.[9]

Ogilvy declined the Queen's offer of an earldom upon marriage.[9] This meant that any children they might have would carry no titles at all.

Angus Ogilvy received a knighthood in 1988, and was appointed to the Privy Council in 1997. Princess Alexandra and Sir Angus had two children, James and Marina, and four grandchildren, none of whom carry out royal duties:

  • James Ogilvy, born Thatched House Lodge, 29 February 1964; married, 30 July 1988, Julia Rawlinson; had issue.
    • Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, born 15 December 1994.
    • Alexander Charles Ogilvy, born 12 November 1996.
  • Marina Victoria Alexandra Ogilvy, born Thatched House Lodge, 31 July 1966; married, Richmond Park, Surrey, 2 February 1990, Paul Julian Mowatt, born London, 28 November 1962; divorced 4 December 1997; had issue.
    • Zenouska May Mowatt, born London, 26 May 1990.
    • Christian Alexander Mowatt, born London, 4 June 1993.

Royal duties[edit]

Princess Alexandra on her tour of Australia in 1959

Since the late 1950s, Princess Alexandra has carried out an extensive programme of royal engagements in support of the Queen, both in the United Kingdom and overseas. Taking part in roughly 120 engagements each year, Princess Alexandra is one of the most active members of the Royal Family.[3] The number of her engagements in 2012 were 110. However, in late June 2013 she cancelled all future engagements due to arthritis.[7]

Princess Alexandra was 15 years old when her cousin acceded to the throne. The only other princesses by birth were the Queen's sister Margaret, the Queen's young daughter, Princess Anne, the Queen's great-aunt Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, her aunt, The Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, The Princess Beatrice (Daughter of Queen Victoria) and The Princess Victoria (Daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra).

In 1959, she carried out an extensive tour of Australia, and attended the Queensland Centenary Celebrations.[9] She returned to the country in 1967 for a private holiday, but also carried out engagements in Canberra and Melbourne. The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane is named in her honour.

Princess Alexandra represented the Queen when Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom[9] on 1 October 1960, and opened the first Parliament on 3 October. Later overseas tours included visits to Canada, Italy, Oman, Hungary, Norway, Japan, Thailand, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.[9]

During her visit to Hong Kong in 1961, Princess Alexandra greets Cantonese opera performers Yam Kim-fai and Bak Sheut-sin after their performance of The Romance of the White Snake

Princess Alexandra served as Chancellor of Lancaster University from its foundation in 1964 until she relinquished the post in 2005 (when she also accepted an honorary degree in Music). She is also an honorary fellow of 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 was also patron of The Royal School, Hampstead.

Until it was abolished in 2013, Princess Alexandra received £225,000 per year from the Civil List to cover the cost of official expenses; although like with the other members of the Royal Family (except the Duke of Edinburgh) the Queen repaid this amount to the Treasury. Alexandra 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.

It was reported in the London Evening Standard on 11 January 2006 that, as a widow living alone, Princess Alexandra felt that the seven-bedroom house was too full of memories and that she wanted to sell her lease. However, to date she continues to live there. She also has use of a grace-and-favour apartment at St James's Palace in London.[11] Her husband supported Alexandra in her royal duties at times, although he also had an independent career.

She is the patron of the Blackie Foundation Trust, a charity dedicated to the promotion of research and education in homoeopathy. She is also a patron of the English National Opera; the London Philharmonic Choir;[12] the not-for-profit housing association Anchor; the charity Independent Age; St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham, England; Core, a National charity in London dedicated to funding research into digestive diseases and which also publishes information leaflets on the most common diseases of the gut and liver; the Nature in Art Trust[13] and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), the oldest drama school in the English-speaking world. The Princess is president of WWF-UK. She has been the patron of the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children in Brighton since 1954.[14] 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 the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, which received its royal style in 2012 during The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Controversy[edit]

Described as "one of the most popular members of the royal family",[15] Princess Alexandra and her family have come under media scrutiny at various times in her life. Her husband was a director at a mining company, Lonrho, when it was involved in a scandal over the breaking of trade sanctions against Rhodesia. The Prime Minister at the time, Edward Heath, criticised the company, and Ogilvy subsequently resigned his directorships from that company.

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 25 December 1936 – 24 April 1963: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Kent
  • 24 April 1963 – 31 December 1988:[16] Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Mrs Angus Ogilvy
  • 31 December 1988 –present: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy

Her full style is Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, Royal Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.

Honours[edit]

See also List of honours of the British Royal Family by country

Orders
Decorations

The Alexandra Hospital in Redditch Worcestershire is named after the Princess which she opened on April 2, 1987.

Honorary military appointments[edit]

Canada Canada
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Hong Kong Former British Crown colony/dependent territory of Hong Kong

Arms[edit]

Arms of Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy
Coat of Arms of Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy.svg
Notes
As a descendant of George V, the Princess Alexandra's arms are based on the Royal Arms. The following explains the way in which her arms are differenced from those of the Queen.
Adopted
1961
Coronet
Coronet of a Grandchild of the Sovereign
Crest
On the coronet of children of other sons of the Sovereign, composed of four crosses-patées alternated with four strawberry leaves a lion statant guardant or, crowned with the like coronet and differenced with a label as in the Arms.
Supporters
The Royal Supporters differenced with the like coronet and label.
Orders
The Order of the Garter ribbon.
HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
(Shame be to him who thinks evil of it)
Other elements
The Royal Arms differenced with a five point label—the standard differentiation for a male-line grandchild of a British Monarch. The first and fifth points bear a red heart, the second and fourth points bear a blue anchor, and the third point bears a red cross.
Symbolism
As with the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom. The first and fourth quarters are the arms of England, the second of Scotland, the third of Ireland.

Issue[edit]

Name Birth Marriage Issue
James Ogilvy 29 February 1964 30 July 1988 Julia Rawlinson Flora Ogilvy
Alexander Ogilvy
Marina Ogilvy 31 July 1966 2 February 1990
Divorced 4 December 1997
Paul Mowatt Zenouska Mowatt
Christian Mowatt

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ As a titled royal, Alexandra does not hold, nor ever has held, a surname, but, when required, her maiden name was Windsor.
  2. ^ a b "Knights of the Orders of Chivalry". Debretts. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Panton 2011, p. 37.
  4. ^ "Yvonne's Royalty Home Page – Royal Christenings". Uniserve. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Mishael, Herbert (24 April 1963). "Princess Alexandra to wed Ancestral foe". The Age (London). Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Mayfair glamour girl not Margaret, but Alex". Pittsburgh Post Gazette (London). AP. 19 January 1956. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Elliot, Valerie (30 June 2013). "Concern as the Queen's cousin Princess Alexandra, 76, cancels all her public duties due to ill health". Daily Mail. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Royals At Wedding". Getty Images. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Panton 2011, p. 38.
  10. ^ "Royal Spring Wedding". British Pathe News. 
  11. ^ "The Royal Residences". 
  12. ^ "News". LPC. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Nature in Art – Trust". Nature in Art Trust. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  14. ^ Collis 2010, p. 288.
  15. ^ "Princess Alexandra of Kent". 
  16. ^ St George's Chapel – Orders of Chivalry
  17. ^ Wedding of Juan Carlos of Spain and Sophia of Greece
  18. ^ "Powder Horn". The QOR of C. December 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Colonel-in-Chief". The Rifleman Online. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Colonel-in-Chief". The Canadian Scottish Regiment. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Collis, Rose (2010). The New Encyclopaedia of Brighton. (based on the original by Tim Carder) (1st ed.). Brighton: Brighton & Hove Libraries. ISBN 978-0-9564664-0-2. 
  • Panton, Kenneth J. (2011). Historical Dictionary of the British Monarchy. Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 0-8108-5779-0. 

External links[edit]

Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 25 December 1936
Lines of succession
Preceded by
Lady Gabriella Windsor
Line of succession to the British throne
daughter of George, son of George V
Succeeded by
James Ogilvy
Order of precedence in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland
Preceded by
Princess Michael of Kent
Ladies
HRH Princess Alexandra, The Hon Lady Ogilvy
Succeeded by
The Rt Hon The Baroness D'Souza CMG PC
(Lord Speaker)
Order of precedence in Scotland
Preceded by
Princess Michael of Kent
Ladies
HRH Princess Alexandra, The Hon Lady Ogilvy
Succeeded by
Local precedence



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