Princess Alexandra
The Hon. Lady Ogilvy

Full name
Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel
Born 25 December 1936 (age 83)
Belgrave Square, London
Spouse Sir Angus Oglivy
(m. 1963; died 2004)
James Ogilvy
Marina Ogilvy
House Windsor
Father Prince George, Duke of Kent
Mother Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark
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

Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy (Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel; born 25 December 1936) is a member of the British Royal Family.

She is the youngest granddaughter of King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck. 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 Queen Victoria, who was, prior to her accession, known as Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent.

Princess Alexandra carries out royal duties on behalf of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth II. As of 2019, she is 53rd in the line of succession to the British throne; at the time of her birth in 1936, she was sixth.

Early lifeEdit

Princess Alexandra was born on 25 December 1936 at 3 Belgrave Square, London.[1] Her parents were Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary, and 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 grandmother Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia; and both of her maternal aunts, Countess Elizabeth of Törring-Jettenbach and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia. She received the name "Christabel" because she was born on Christmas Day, like her aunt Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. Her birth was the last to have the tradition of having the Home Secretary present to verify the birth of potential heirs to the throne.[2] Secretary Sir John Simon was present and was the last to do this.

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, behind her cousins Elizabeth and Margaret, her uncle the Duke of Gloucester, her father the Duke of Kent, and her elder brother Prince Edward. She was born two weeks after the abdication of her uncle King Edward VIII.

The Princess was baptized 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 grandaunt); Princess Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (her maternal grandmother); Princess Olga of Yugoslavia (her maternal aunt); the Princess Beatrice (her paternal great-grandaunt); the Earl of Athlone (her paternal granduncle); and Count Karl Theodor of Törring-Jettenbach (her maternal uncle by marriage). Of her godparents, only the King and Queen and Lord Athlone were present.

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. Her father was killed in an aeroplane crash near Caithness, Scotland on 25 August 1942 while serving in the Royal Air Force.

She was a bridesmaid at the 1946 wedding of Captain Lord Brabourne and The Hon. Patricia Mountbatten.[3] 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.

She was also a bridesmaid at the 1962 wedding of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and her second cousin, Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark.


Princess Alexandra has the distinction of being the first British princess to have attended a boarding school, Heathfield School near Ascot.[4] She then studied in Paris.[5] She was also trained at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Personal lifeEdit


Main article: Wedding of Princess Alexandra of Kent and Angus Ogilvy

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.[4] Ogilvy presented Alexandra with an engagement ring made of a cabochon sapphire set in gold and surrounded by diamonds on both sides.[6] The wedding ceremony was attended by all the members of the Royal Family[7] and was broadcast worldwide on television, watched by an estimated 200 million people.

The bride wore a wedding gown of Valenciennes lace, with matching veil and train, designed by John Cavanagh with the City of London diamond fringe tiara.[8] She made her way with her brother, the Duke of Kent, from Kensington Palace to the church. The bridesmaids included Princess Anne and Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, and the best man was Peregrine Fairfax. The Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey conducted the service.[7]

Ogilvy declined the Queen's offer of an Earldom upon marriage. This meant that any children they might have would carry no titles at all. Angus Ogilvy remained in line to the Earldom of Airlie until his death. He was knighted in 1988 (when Princess Alexandra assumed the style of The Hon. Lady Ogilvy), later being sworn of the Privy Council in 1997.


Princess Alexandra and Sir Angus have two children, none of whom carry out Royal duties:

  • James Robert Bruce Ogilvy, born 29 February 1964[9] in Thatched House Lodge, Richmond Park, Surrey. He married Julia Caroline Rawlinson on 30 July 1988 at St Mary's Church in Saffron Walden, Essex. The couple have two children
    • Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, born 15 December 1994 in Edinburgh, Scotland. In November 2019 she got engaged to Timothy Vesterberg (b. 1993)[10]
    • Alexander Charles Ogilvy, born 12 November 1996 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Marina Victoria Alexandra Ogilvy, born 31 July 1966 in Thatched House Lodge, Richmond Park, Surrey. She married on 2 February 1990 at Richmond Park, Surrey, and divorced on 15 October 1997 Paul Julian Mowatt (Hendon, 28 November 1962), a photographer. Marina's first pregnancy, which was announced in late 1989, caused a controversy as the couple were not married. This resulted in a feud with her parents who suggested she either marry her companion or abort the child.[11][12] They eventually had two children:
    • Zenouska May Mowatt, born 26 May 1990 in London.
    • Christian Alexander Mowatt, born 4 June 1993 in London.


Since the late 1950s, Princess Alexandra has carried out an extensive programme of engagements in support of the Queen, both in the United Kingdom and overseas. Taking part in roughly 120 engagements each year, Princess Alexandra was one of the most active members of the royal family. She made 110 engagements in 2012. However, in late June 2013 she cancelled her engagements due to arthritis. As of 2017, she is still listed on the official website of the British Monarchy as a working member of the Royal Family, attending numerous ceremonial and charitable engagements.[13]

Princess Alexandra was 15 years old when her cousin ascended to the throne. It has been customary for eldest sons to carry 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 princesses by birth were the Queen's sister Margaret, and the Queen's young daughter, Princess Anne.

In 1959, she carried out an extensive tour of Australia, and attended the Queensland Centenary Celebrations. She returned to the country in 1967 for a private holiday, but also carried out engagements in Canberra and Melbourne. The Princess represented the Queen when Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 October 1960, and later opened the first Parliament on 3 October. Later overseas tours included visits to Canada, Italy, Oman, Hungary, Norway, Thailand, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.

Princess Alexandra served as Chancellor of Lancaster University 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 Anesthetists, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Royal College of Physicians. She is also the President of Alexandra Rose Day, which was founded in honor 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 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 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, the London Philharmonic Choir, the not-for-profit housing association Anchor, the charity Independent Age, St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham, England, the Nature in Ar] Trust and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), the oldest drama school in the English speaking world and President of WWF-UK. She has been the patron of the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children in Brighton since 1954.

Titles, styles, honors and armsEdit

Titles and stylesEdit

  • 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 Honorable Mrs Angus Ogilvy
  • 31 December 1989 – present: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, The Honorable Lady Ogilvy

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


British Honours

Commonwealth Realms Honors

  • Canadian Forces Decoration

Honorary military appointmentsEdit


  • 1960–2010: Colonel-in-Chief, The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
  • 11 June 1977-: Colonel-in-Chief, The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's)

United Kingdom

  • 1955-: Patron, Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service
  • Patron and Air Chief Commandant, of Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service
  • Royal Colonel, 3rd Battalion The Rifles
  • Honorary Air Commodore, of RAF Cottesmore
  • Royal Honorary Colonel, of The Royal Yeomanry
  • Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, of The Queen's Royal Lancers

Former Commonwealth British Crown Colony

  • Commandant General, Royal Hong Kong Police Force


Coat of Arms of Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy.svg

Coat of Arms of Princess Alexandra, The Honorable Lady Ogilvy.

Princess Alexandra's personal Coat of Arms was 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.

References Edit

  1. No. 34354. The London Gazette
  2. Royal baby: Traditions and customs surrounding Prince William and Catherine's new baby princess. Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  3. Royals At Wedding. Getty Images
  4. 4.0 4.1 Princess Alexandra to wed Ancestral foe. The Age
  5. Mayfair glamour girl not Margaret, but AlexPittsburgh Post Gazette
  6. A Very Thorough History Of British Royal Engagement Rings. Harper's Bazaar Australia
  7. 7.0 7.1 Royal Spring Wedding. British Pathe News
  8. Princess Alexandra of Kent's gown. The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor
  9. Royal baby for leap year day. BBC. 29 February 1964. Retrieved 8 March 2008. The Ogilvy baby was one of several royal babies due within months of each other. The 9lb 6oz boy will be unique among them in having no title. Master Ogilvy is currently 13th in line to the throne but will soon be displaced to 16th
  10. We’re engaged! My beloved Timothy asked me to marry him and we’re blissfully happy.. Instagram
  11. One More Scandal For British Royalty. The New York Times
  12. Unwed Pregnant Royal Cousin Petitions Queen. Los Angeles Times
  13. Princess Alexandra. Official website of the Royal Family

External linksEdit

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