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Edward, Duke of Kent: the early years of a pivotal prince

Edward, Duke of Kent

The Duke of Kent, cousin of The Queen, celebrates his 85th birthday today. And despite approaching the mid point of his ninth decade, this Prince Edward keeps on going with an impressive array of royal engagements every year. Now, he’s one of the more low key members of the House of Windsor despite his tally of regal duties. But at the time of his birth he was one of the most talked about royals in Britain.

That starring role continued in his early years as Edward and his royal cousins, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, were the regal youngsters everyone wanted to see. And the young prince starred in some of the best royal baby photos of the time. As the Duke of Kent turns 85, Royal Central looks back at some of his earliest pictures.

A prince is born

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Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick was born on October 9th 1935 at No. 3, Belgrave Square, London, the first son of George, Duke of Kent and his wife, Marina, the Greek princess who had wowed Britain on her arrival as a royal bride in 1934. Their baby boy soon became a media darling and was snapped in his pram as his nanny took him a short walk across London to Buckingham Palace.

The King’s Nephew

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Edward was born in the last months of the reign of his grandfather, King George V. He would never get the chance to know him as George died in January 1936 when the little prince was just three months old. Now nephew to the king, first Edward VIII and then George VI, the baby royal was a media superstar of his time.

Big Brother

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He soon got to share the limelight with a little sister. Princess Alexandra was born on Christmas Day 1936, a ray of hope for a royal family reeling from the Abdication of King Edward VIII earlier that December. As the House of Windsor tried to rebuild its popular image, Edward and Alexandra starred in photocalls with their parents, a fresh young face for an institution rocked to its core.

The Happiest Prince

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Edward was rarely seen without a smile despite being the constant focus of photographers. The always chic Princess Marina made sure that he and Alexandra were always turned out just as stylishly as their mum.

Daddy’s Boy

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Edward would have precious little time with his father, George, who was tragically killed in an air crash in 1942. However, the young prince’s early years were filled with dad time and the pair clearly revelled in it.

About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.