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The House Of Windsor

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester


Richard, Duke of GloucesterPrince Richard, first cousin to the Queen, is the second son of Henry, Duke of Gloucester (third son of George V and Mary of Teck) and Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott (eldest daughter of John Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry and Lady Margaret Bridgeman) and was born on 26 August, 1944 at Barnwell Manor in Northamptonshire.

His mother Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, was a direct descendant of Charles II, through his eldest illegitimate son, James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, who was executed after leading a failed rebellion against King James II. The new arrival was baptized Richard Alexander Walter George Windsor at the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Richard was taken by his parents to live in Australlia at the age of four months old, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester was Governor-General of Australlia from 1945 to 1947. The Gloucester family returned to their home of Barnwell Manor when the young Priince Richard was two years old.

Since Richard had an elder brother, Prince William, he was not expected to inherit the Gloucester Dukedom. He was educated firstly at home, but later attended Wellesley House in Broadstairs, then Eton College. He completed his education at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he studied architecture and from which he graduated in 1966 with a BA degree. He later worked as a professional architect.

The untimely death of his popular and charismatic brother William, in a plane crash while taking part in an air race at Wolverhampton in 1972, left Richard heir to his father's titles of Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden, which he succeeded to on the death of Prince Henry in 1974.

Richard of Gloucester became engaged to the Danish Birgitte Eva van Deurs, the daughter of Asger Henriksen and Vivian van Deurs. The couple were married on 8 June, 1972 at St. Andrew's Church, Barnwell, Northamptonshire.

The marriage produced three children:-

(1) Their eldest child and only son, Alexander Patrick Gregers Richard Windsor, Earl of Ulster was born on 24 October, 1974. Alexander was married to Dr. Claire Booth on 22nd June, 2002 at the Queen's Chapel, St. James's Palace, London. The marriage produced 2 children:-

(i) Xan Richard Anders Windsor, Lord Culloden, who was on born 12 March, 2007.

(ii) Lady Cosima Rose Alexandra Windsor born 20 May 2010

(2) The Gloucester's elder daughter, Lady Davina Elizabeth Alice Benedikte Windsor was born 19 November, 1977. She married Gary Lewis, of Maori descent, on 31st July, 2004 at the chapel at Kensington Palace. The couple have 2 children:-

(i) Senna Kowhai Lewis born on 22 June 2010

(ii) Tane Mahuta Lewis, born 25 May 2012.

(3) The Gloucester's youngest daughter, Lady Rose Victoria Brigitte Windsor, who completed the family, was born on 1 March, 1980. She married George Gilman on 19 July 2008 at Queen's Chapel, St. James's Palace in London and has 1 child :-

(i) Lyla Beatrix Christabel Gilman, born 30 May 2010

(ii) Rufus Gilman, born Nov 2012

The Duke's mother, Princess Alice, Dowager Duchess of Gloucester, died in her sleep at Kensington Palace on 29 October, 2004, at the age of 102, making her the longest lived member of the royal family in history, as she survived to a greater age than the Queen Mother. The Dowager Duchess was buried with her husband at Frogmore.

The Duke of Gloucester is at present eighteenth in the line of succession to the throne and carries out official duties on behalf of his first cousin the Queen.