12 June 2013 - 16:51
Henry Duke of Gloucester & Alice Duchess of Gloucester


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NPG x134883; The wedding of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester by and after Vandyk

Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the fourth child and third son of His Majesty King George V and Her Majesty Queen Mary, married Lady Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott, the sixth child and the 3rd daughter of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch and Lady Margaret Bridgeman on the 6th November 1935 in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace.

Their romance started at the end of the 1920’s and early 1930’s when the Prince used to escape the confines of Buckingham Palace with Lady Alice’s brother Billy and stay at the Duke of Buccleuch’s London home. While here, the Prince and Alice used to meet on the odd occasion and while here he was treated as one of the family, which the Prince is said to have liked.

Although Prince Henry was not one to show his feelings, Alice knew that he cared for her deeply and this led to him to propose in the early summer of 1935. This event happened while Henry was posted to Catterick army camp where they both attended a party one weekend.

After Alice accepted his proposal, she stayed with friends who lived near where Henry was stationed so she could be near him. The King very much approved of the match and an official announcement of the engagament was issued by Buckingham Palace on the 29th August 1935. After the announcement was made, Alice started to spend more time with the royal family in Balmoral in Scotland and Buckingham Palace.

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The wedding date was set for 6th November 1935 in Westminster Abbey. But a grand royal wedding was not meant to be – as the date drew closer, Alice received word that her father was dying. She flew north, where he died the day after her arrival. There were talks of postponing the wedding but due to the ill health of the King it was thought it best to carry on with the original date, although the venue was changed to the private chapel in Buckingham Palace.

On the 6th November 1935, Alice travelled with her brother from her home at 2 Grosvenor place to Buckingham Palace in the Glass coach. She was escorted by 12 mounted police men – as she was commoner, she was not entitled to a mounted military escort. Prince Henry had his two brothers, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, as supporters (best men) and was wearing the uniform of the 10th Royal Hussars of which he was a Major. Alice had eight bridesmaids, among them the two little York princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were married for 38 years and had two children together – Prince William and Prince Richard. Prince William died in Plane crash in 1972.

The Duke passed away on the 10th June 1974 after suffering a number of strokes in his later years. He was buried in the Royal burial ground of Frogmore, next to his son Prince William. Alice outlived her husband by 30 years. When she passed away in her sleep on the 29th October 2004, she was also buried at Frogmore with her loving husband and son.

 

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