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FeaturesThe Kents

The husband of a Princess who refused a royal title from The Queen in an effort to stay ‘common’

Back in April 1963, the country stopped to watch the grand wedding of Queen Elizabeth II’s first cousin, Princess Alexandra of Kent, to British businessman Angus Ogilvy.

The couple met during a ball at Luton Hoo in 1955, and seven years later, Buckingham Palace announced they were engaged to be married.

Despite being the second son of the Earl and Countess of Airlie, Angus was seen as being something of a commoner at the time because he was not a peer of the realm.

Angus was proud of this fact, and made it clear that he wished to remain a commoner, and did not want to ascend into the ranks of royalty.

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As such, on his wedding day, Angus turned down the offer of an Earldom from The Queen.

At the time, this was extremely unorthodox, however it set something of a precedent, when ten years later, Captain Mark Phillips also turned down an Earldom upon his marriage to Princess Anne.

Years later, Angus said he regretted turning down an Earldom back in 1963 because he thought it set a terrible precedent.

Angus also refused to live in grace-and-favour accommodation like other members of The Royal Family.

In his first year of marriage, Angus and Alexandra took out a mortgage to buy the lease of Thatched House Lodge from the Crown, a royal residence in Richmond Park.

The asking price for the property at the time was £150,000 – a considerable amount in the early 1960s.

Angus lived in the property alongside Princess Alexandra until his death from throat cancer in 2004 at the age of 76.

Although he never became an Earl, The Queen did install him as a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, although this came 25 years after his marriage to Princess Alexandra in 1988.

Sir Angus Ogilvy loyally supported Princess Alexandra in her duties for over 40 years.

He was described by The Guardian as having “great personal charm, unfailing courtesy, inquisitiveness, and a reputation for kindness.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh were amongst the mourners at his funeral in 2004.