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Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy (Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel; born 25 December 1936), is a member of the British Royal Family, 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. She is the first princess to use territorial designation of Kent since Queen Victoria, who was known as Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent prior to her accession.

Princess Alexandra carries out royal duties on behalf of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth II. She is 33rd in the line of succession to the British throne; at the time of her birth in 1936, she was sixth.

Early life

Princess Alexandra was born, on 25 December 1936, at 3 Belgrave Squaremarker, London. 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. 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 Palacemarker, on 9 February 1937, and her godparents were: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, her uncle and aunt; Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, her grandfather; Princess Olga of Yugoslavia, her aunt; Count Karl Theodor of Törring-Jettenbach, her uncle (by marriage); Queen Maud of Norway, her great-aunt; Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone, her great-uncle; and Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, great-great-aunt.

Princess Alexandra spent most of her childhood at her family's country house, Coppinsmarker, in Buckinghamshire. She lived with her grandmother Queen Mary, the widow of George V, during World War II at Badmintonmarker. Her father was killed in an aeroplane crash near Caithness, Scotland on 25 August 1942 while serving in the Royal Air Force.

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.) Princess Alexandra has the distinction of being the first British Princess to have attended an ordinary school, Heathfield Schoolmarker near Ascotmarker.


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 Abbeymarker. The wedding ceremony was attended by all the members of the Royal Family and was broadcast worldwide on television, watched by an estimated 200 million people.

Ogilvy declined the Queen's offer of an Earldom upon marriage. This meant that when they had children they would carry no title at all.

Angus Ogilvy remained in line to the Earldom of Airlie until his death. He received a Knighthood in 1988, and was appointed to the Privy Council in 1997. Princess Alexandra and Sir Angus have two children, James and Marina, and four grandchildren, none of whom carry out Royal duties:
  • James Ogilvy, born 29 February 1964; married, 30 July 1988, Julia Rawlinson; had issue
  • Marina Ogilvy, born 31 July 1966; married, 2 February 1990, Paul Mowatt; divorced 4 December 1997; had issue
    • Zenouska Mowatt, born 1990
    • Christian Mowatt, born 1993

Royal duties

Since the late 1950s, Princess Alexandra has carried out an extensive programme of royal engagements in support of the Queen, both in the United Kingdommarker and overseas.

Princess Alexandra was age 15, when her cousin ascended to the throne. Under prima genitor rules it is the older brother who carries out official duties which are included in the Court Circular. Princess Alexandra, was asked by the Queen to undertake such duties because of a lack of female members of the family. The only other natural born princesses were the queen's sister Margaret, and her young daughter, Princess Anne.

In 1959, she carried out an extensive tour of Australia, and attended the Queenslandmarker Centenary Celebrations. She returned to the country in 1967 for a private holiday, but also carried out engagements in Canberramarker and Melbournemarker. The Princess represented the Queen when Nigeriamarker gained its independence from the United Kingdommarker on 1 October 1960, and later opened the first Parliament on 3 October. Later overseas tours included visits to Canadamarker, Italymarker, Norwaymarker, Thailandmarker, Gibraltarmarker and the Falkland Islandsmarker.

Princess Alexandra served as Chancellor of Lancaster Universitymarker since its foundation in 1964, a post she relinquished 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 has recently given up the patronage of The Royal School, Hampstead, which was founded in 1855. The new Patron of the School is The Duchess of Cornwall.

Princess Alexandra receives £225,000 per year from the Civil List 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 the Treasury. Alexandra lives at Thatched House Lodgemarker in Richmondmarker, Londonmarker a Crown property purchased on a 150 year lease from 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 a widow living alone in the seven-bedroom house was too full of memories and that she wanted to sell her lease. However, she currently has not changed her mind. She also has use of a grace and favor apartment at St James's Palacemarker in Londonmarker.Her husband supported Alexandra in 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 homeopathy. She is also a patron of the English National Opera and the charity, Independent Age.

Family troubles

Although described as one of the most popular members of the royal family, Princess Alexandra and her family have come under media scrutiny at various points 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 British-held Rhodesia. The Prime Minister at the time, Edward Heath criticised the company, and Ogilvy resigned his directorships.

Titles, styles, honours and arms


  • 25 December 1936 – 24 April 1963: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Kent
  • 24 April 1963 – 31 December 1989: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Mrs Angus Ogilvy
  • 31 December 1989 – : Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy


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


British Honours

Commonwealth Realms Honours

Commonwealth Realms

Former Commonwealth British Crown Colony


Princess Alexandra's personal Coat of Arms were granted in 1961. Her Arms are the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, 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.


External links


 in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland

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