Duchess of Gloucester (more)

Full name
Birgitte Eva
Born 20 June 1946 (age 74)
Odense, Denmark
Spouse Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster
Lady Davina Windsor
Lady Rose Gilman
House House of Windsor
Father Asger Preben Wissing Henriksen
Mother Vivian van Deurs
The Royal Family of the
United Kingdom
and the
other Commonwealth realms
Badge of the House of Windsor.svg

HM The Queen
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

v · d · e

Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester (Birgitte Eva; formerly van Deurs; born Henriksen, 20 June 1946) is a member of the British Royal Family, the wife of Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who is a grandchild of King George V.

Early lifeEdit

Birgitte was born Birgitte Eva Henriksen, in Odense, Denmark, the younger daughter of Asger Preben Knud Wissing Henriksen, a lawyer, and his wife, Vivian van Deurs. She took her mother's last name, van Deurs, when her parents separated.


Birgitte moved to Cambridge, England and also worked at the Danish embassy in London.

Personal lifeEdit


In February 1972, Birgitte became engaged to Prince Richard of Gloucester, the second eldest son of The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. Their marriage took place on 8 July 1972 at St. Andrew's Church, Barnwell, Northamptonshire. At that time, she was styled Her Royal Highness Princess Richard of Gloucester.

Six weeks after their wedding, Prince Richard's elder brother, Prince William, was killed in a flying accident. Prince Richard unexpectedly became heir to the Dukedom and upon his father's death in 1974, the couple became TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.


Together the couple have three children:

Their children do not carry out any royal duties.

Royal lifeEdit


The Duchess of Gloucester is patron of a large number of organizations, many of which have medical, educational or welfare connections.

The Duchess is sponsor of two Royal Navy Ships: HMS Gloucester and HMS Sandown. The Duchess is the patron of Bliss, the special care baby charity.

She is also patron of St Paul's Cathedral School, St John's School, Leatherhead and Bridewell Royal Hospital (King Edward's School, Witley) and regularly attends functions at all three schools.

Official dutiesEdit

She accompanies the Duke of Gloucester on his official visits overseas: her first such visit was in 1973, when The Duke and Duchess represented The Queen at the 70th birthday celebrations of King Olav V of Norway.

After the death of Princess Diana she became the president of the Royal Academy of Music.

Titles, styles and honorsEdit

Titles and stylesEdit

  • 20 June 1946 – 15 January 1966: Miss Birgitte Henriksen
  • 15 January 1966 – 8 June 1972: Miss Birgitte van Deurs
  • 8 June 1972 – 10 June 1974: Her Royal Highness Princess Richard of Gloucester
  • 10 June 1974 –: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester

The Duchess of Gloucester's style and title in full: Her Royal Highness Princess Richard Alexander Walter George, Duchess of Gloucester, Countess of Ulster and Baroness Culloden.


Honorary military appointmentsEdit

  • Colonel-in-Chief, of the Royal Irish Rangers (until 1992)
  • Colonel-in-Chief, of the Royal Army Dental Corps
  • Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, of the [Adjutant General's Corps
  • Royal Colonel, of the 7th (V) Battalion The Rifles
  • Colonel-in-Chief, Bermuda Regiment
Commonwealth Realms
  • Colonel-in-Chief, Canadian Forces Dental Service (January 2006 – present)
  • Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Australian Army Educational Corps
  • Colonel-in-Chief, Royal New Zealand Army Educational Corps

External linksEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.