Painting of Princess Marina of Kent

artefact

Princess Marina of Kent

This painting depicts Her Royal Highness Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, which hangs in the Officers' Mess of the 3rd Battalion, in Canterbury

Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark married Prince George on 29 November 1934, the first to be broadcast on radio, having met at a party at Claridge’s Hotel Mayfair, hosted by her sister Olga and brother–in-law, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia.

Just before the marriage King George V created Prince George Duke of Kent, Earl of St Andrews and Baron Downpatrick, meaning that on the marriage, Princess Marina becomes the Duchess of Kent.

The Duke and Duchess had three children, and just before WW2 the Duke was promoted to Group Captain in the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Sadly the Duchess was widowed in Aug 1942, when the aircraft which the Duke was piloting to Iceland on a mission with the RAF, crashed into a mountain side in Scotland, killing everyone on board. The Duke was only 39 years of age.

The Duke’s funeral took place in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. It was reported at the time, that the Duchess only rose from her knees when her husband’s titles and orders were read out by the Garter King of Arms.

For the Duchess, this was a difficult time, as there was no provision made for a young widow of a Royal Duke. All monies received from the civil list while the Duke of Kent was alive stopped leaving the Duchess with no income. His Majesty King George VI came to the aid of his sister-in-law as did his mother Queen Mary.

Princess Marina still carried out official engagements and saw two of her children marry, Prince Edward Duke of Kent to Miss Katherine Worsley at York Minister in 1961 and Princess Alexandra to Angus Ogilvy in Westminster Abbey in 1963.

Her Royal Highness Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent CI, GCVO, GBE assumed the appointment of Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen’s Regiment on the 31st of December 1966.

In 1968 it was discovered that Princess Marina had an inoperable brain tumour. She passed away on 27th August 1968 at Kensington Palace. Her funeral took place in the same place as her beloved George, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor and after the service she was buried next to him in the royal burial ground, Windsor.