Katharine, Duchess of Kent

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Katharine, Duchess of Kent

HRH Katharine, Duchess of Kent , GCVO (* 22. February 1933 in Hovingham Hall, North Yorkshire born when Katharine Lucy Mary Worsley ), is through marriage a member of the British Royal Family . She is the wife of Prince Edward , a grandson of King George V and Queen Mary and the cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.

Childhood and youth

Katharine Lucy Mary Worsley was born on her parents' country estate at Hovingham Hall , Yorkshire , near York in northern England, and is the daughter of Sir William Arthrington Worsley, 4th Baronet and his wife Joyce Morgan, daughter of Sir John Fowler Brunner, 2nd Baronet and granddaughter of Sir John Tomlinson Brunner, 1st Baronet, the founder of Brunner Mond , which later became the chemical company Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).

She was educated at Queen Margaret's School near York and Runton Hill School in Norfolk . During her school days she was introduced to music and learned to play the piano , organ and violin , which she still plays today. She consolidated her musical knowledge in a girls' boarding school in Oxford . She later worked in a children's home in York and at a nurses' school in London .

Marriage and offspring

On June 8, 1961, she married Prince Edward, 2nd Duke of Kent, the eldest son of Prince George, 1st Duke of Kent and Princess Marina , in York Minster . The Duchess had met the Duke in Catterick in 1956 , when he was stationed there as a soldier, and became engaged to him in March 1961.

British royal family
Badge of the House of Windsor, svg

HM The Queen
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke and Duchess of Kent have three children:

Private life

In 1975 the Duchess suffered a miscarriage at the age of 42 and a stillbirth in 1977 , which led to depression . In the early 1980s, a divorce from her husband was on the table, but Queen Elizabeth II spoke out against it. After the Duchess appeared to have recovered in the early 1980s, she withdrew from public life in the late 1990s. Since the late 2000s, she takes occasional public appearances again true as at the inauguration of a bronze - statue of Queen Mum 2009, or at the meeting of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the Trooping the Color 2010 and 2011. The couple has lived separately since the 1980s, but remained married and appeared together on public occasions, such as the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 and the diamond jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2012.

In private life, the Duchess prefers to be called Katharine Kent . Nonetheless, she expressed her preference to be known as Katharine, Duchess of Kent , a designation that otherwise only divorced or widowed nobles are entitled to. Her official title is Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Kent .

The official residence of the duke couple is Wren House on the grounds of Kensington Palace in London , although the duchess lives in a nearby rental apartment on a daily basis .



The Duchess feels strongly connected to the world of music and has been a member of various choirs . From 1996 to 2004 she worked under the name 'Mrs. Kent 'as a music teacher in Kingston upon Hull , without her students knowing her true identity. In 2004 she founded the Future Talent Foundation , which introduces young people to music from an early age and promotes young talents. The Duchess is the curator of the National Foundation for Youth Music in London, Chairwoman of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and Ambassador for Aldeburgh Productions in Suffolk .


The Duchess was known from the 1970s to 2001 for handing over the winners' trophies to the female winners at the annual Wimbledon Championships . She took over this role from her mother-in-law Princess Marina , who had been president of the All England Tennis Club from the death of her husband in 1942 until her own death in 1968 . In 1969, their son, Duke Edward, became president of the tennis club and his wife, Duchess Katharine, presented the trophies at the women's finals . The duke traditionally presented the trophies to the male winners. With her warm-hearted and casual demeanor - such as her comforting hug from Jana Novotná on Center Court , who lost to Steffi Graf in 1993 - the Duchess won many admirers. In 1999, however, the management of the All England Tennis Club was upset about seats in the royal box. After the Wimbledon Championships in 2001 , the Duchess gave up her official role at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships as part of her retreat from public life. Since then, the trophies for the first and second winners in both the men's and women's finals have been awarded by their husband alone.

Catholic Church

The Duchess gained considerable publicity with her conversion to Catholicism in 1994, the first public conversion of a senior royal family member since the Act of Settlement was passed in 1701. This was a personal choice and it was approved by the queen . This had no effect on the line of succession : although a passage in the Act of Settlement from 1701 provided that a member of the royal family loses his place in the line of succession if he marries a Catholic. Since the conversion of the Duchess took place later, after the marriage, the Duke of Kent has not lost his place in the British line of succession.

The Duchess's youngest son, Lord Nicholas Windsor, her grandson Edward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick, and her granddaughter Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor are also Catholics. Her eldest son, George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews , the father of Lord Downpatrick, married a Catholic; the resulting exclusion from the line of succession was revised in 2015 by the Succession to the Crown Act , which repealed the corresponding provision of the Act of Settlement.

Coat of arms of Katharine, Duchess of Kent

Title (style)

  • Miss Katharine Worsley (February 22, 1933 - June 8, 1961)
  • Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Kent (since June 8, 1961)

Orders and decorations

year Country Orders / decorations class
1977 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Royal Victorian Order Lady Grand Cross
2002 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
2012 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
N / A United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Mrs Kent the musical royal and her life teaching at a school in Hull: The truth about the elusive Duchess , dailymail.co.uk, September 29, 2011
  2. Duchess of Kent comes out from the shadows to attend royal wedding , dailymail.co.uk, April 28, 2011
  3. Wedding ends exile for reclusive duchess , news.com.au, April 28, 2011
  4. Royal wedding: Hats, hats, hats , washingtonpost.com, image No. 8, April 29, 2011
  5. ^ Duchess of Kent and Duke of Kent , zimbio.com, June 5, 2012
  6. Princess rejected Queen's offer of a house , dailymail.co.uk, June 14, 2002
  7. ^ Duchess of Kent: 'my love for teaching music at Hull state primary school' , telegraph.co.uk, September 30, 2011
  8. ^ Duchess's secret life as teacher , bbc.co.uk, March 11, 2004
  9. ^ A smashing role for Kate Middleton ... queen of Wimbledon , dailymail.co.uk, February 6, 2011
  10. Steffi Graf vs Jana Novotna 1993 Wimbledon 17/17 ( Memento from December 25, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), youtube.com, accessed: June 9, 2012
  11. ^ Wimbledon chief says sorry to duchess , bbc.co.uk, September 22, 1999
  12. YOU'RE WIMBLE-DONE; Tennis bosses ditch Duchess after row over Royal Box. , Sunday Mirror via thefreelibrary.com, June 25, 2000
  13. Wimbledon without Duchess - withdrawal of a lady , n-tv.de, July 3, 2002