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The Kents

A life dedicated to the crown: the many decades of service of the Duke of Kent

For 70 years, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent has led a life of service to the crown. Edward, the son of Prince George, Duke of Kent, and the grandson of King George V will turn 88 this year. Ahead of his birthday, here is a look back at his seven decades of service.

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The Duke, who is also the first cousin of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, was born on 9 October 1935 at No. 3 Belgrave Square in London. His parenst were Prince George, Duke of Kent and the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary. His mother was Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. In 1942, at the age of six, his father was killed in a plane crash. Edward became Duke of Kent. He started royal engagements at an early age. In 1952, at just the age of 16, he walked behind the coffin of his uncle, George VI, at his State Funeral. The next year, he would attend his cousin’s Coronation and was third to pay homage to her following the Dukes of Edinburgh and Gloucester.

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A couple of years later, he would graduate from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as a second lieutenant in the Royal Scots Greys. From there, his military career would last for 20 years. He was promoted to captain in July 1961. In the years following, he served in Hong Kong and would serve on the staff of the Eastern Command. He would continue to move in ranks and across the nation before he retired from the Army in 1976. In 1983, he was accorded the honorary rank of Major-General, and Field Marshal in 1993.

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He has spent decades carrying out royal engagements. In addition to representing Queen Elizabeth II in independence celebrations in the Commonwealth, he would act as Counsellor of State during periods of her absence abroad. Amid his major public roles, he would serve as Vice-Chairman of the British Overseas Trade Board and the United Kingdom’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.

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The Duke is involved with more than 140 organizations. Much of his charity work revolves around technology, the growth of British Industry, and war remembrance. He was the president of English football’s governing body from 1971 to 2000. In addition to being the former president of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Today, he is one of the Royal Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke became the oldest living grandchild of George V and Queen Mary. He would document his life in his 2022 memoir, A Royal Life: HRH The Duke of Kent.

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About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.