The Duke of GloucesterThe Duke of GloucesterThe Duke of Gloucester

About The Duke of Gloucester

The Duke of Gloucester is The Queen’s cousin and a full-time working member of the Royal Family. He attends national and international events in support of The Queen and her duties as Head of State, as well as undertaking extensive public duties and engagements every year reflecting his own interests and charities. 

The Duke of Gloucester carries out a significant number of public duties and undertakes hundreds of official engagements in the UK and overseas each year. The Duke is associated with over 150 charities and organisations. His patronages reflect his professional and personal interests, which include international humanitarian issues, heritage and the built environment and military veterans.

Many of The Duke’s Patronages are related to architecture and conservation, both areas in which The Duke remains deeply interested. He was elected a corporate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1972 and he is President of the Scottish Society of the Architect-Artists. His fellowships include those of the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. 

His Royal Highness is a supporter of several architectural preservation societies, including the Kensington Society and the Victorian Society, as well as the International Council on Monuments and Sites, UK National Committee. 

The Duke is Patron or President of many charities and organisations, covering a diverse range of causes and interests, ranging from ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) to the British Association of Friends of Museums, British-Mexican Society to St Bartholomew's Hospital, and the British Homeopathic Association to the Japan Society.

The Duke of Gloucester has travelled extensively overseas in support of the organisations with which he is linked. His Royal Highness first represented The Queen overseas in 1970, at the wedding of Crown Prince Birendra of Nepal. The Duke has subsequently attended the independence celebrations of the Seychelles, the Solomon Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Vanuatu. 

More recently, The Duke represented Her Majesty at the Funeral of King Tupou V of Tonga in March 2012; at the Vatican for the Inauguration of Pope Francis on 19 March 2013; and in South Korea for the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice in July 2013.

Biography

The Duke of Gloucester is the second son of the late Duke of Gloucester and the late Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, who was the third daughter of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch.

His Royal Highness is a grandson of George V and a first cousin to The Queen. He became heir to his father's titles following the death of his elder brother, Prince William of Gloucester, in a flying accident on 28 August 1972. He succeeded his father in June 1974.

Born Prince Richard of Gloucester on 26 August 1944 at Northampton, he was christened Richard Alexander Walter George. At the age of four months he was taken by his parents to Australia, where for two years (1945-47) his father was Governor-General.

Prince Richard's early education was at home, before going to school at Wellesley House, Broadstairs and then Eton.

In 1963, Prince Richard went to Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read architecture. He graduated in 1966, having completed three years of his five-year architectural course, and then joined the (then) Offices Development Group of the Ministry of Public Building and Works for his year's practical work, returning to Cambridge in 1967.

In June 1969, he passed both parts of his Diploma in Architecture at the university. After completing his training, he went into practice as a partner in a firm of London architects.

Prince Richard had planned a full-time career in architecture but, on the death of his elder brother, he became his father's heir and took on increased royal duties and the responsibility for the family estate at Barnwell in Northamptonshire. The Duke therefore resigned his partnership.

In February 1972, the engagement of Prince Richard of Gloucester to Birgitte van Deurs was announced. The marriage took place on 8 July 1972 at St Andrew's Church at Barnwell.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester live at Kensington Palace and have three children: The Earl of Ulster (born 1974), The Lady Davina Windsor (now The Lady Davina Lewis, born 1977) and The Lady Rose Windsor (now The Lady Rose Gilman, born 1980), all of whom are married and have children of their own. None of Their Royal Highnesses' children carry out official royal duties.

Supporting The Queen

The Duke of Gloucester supports The Queen in her role as Head of State by representing Her Majesty at events in the UK and abroad, as well as attending state and ceremonial occasions alongside other members of the Royal Family. His Royal Highness also continues to take on some of her duties, such as the presentation of The Queen’s Award prizes. 

The Duke acted as Counsellor of State for the first time in 1966 on the occasion of The Queen's Caribbean tour, and he is The Queen's Trustee of the British Museum. 

A Counsellor of State is a senior member of the Royal Family to whom the Monarch delegates certain state functions and powers when not present in the United Kingdom.

The Duke first represented The Queen overseas in 1970, at the wedding of Crown Prince Birendra of Nepal. The Duke has subsequently attended the independence celebrations of the Seychelles, the Solomon Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Vanuatu. 

More recently, The Duke represented Her Majesty at the Funeral of King Tupou V of Tonga in March 2012; at the Vatican for the Inauguration of Pope Francis on 19 March 2013; and in South Korea for the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice in July 2013.

Charities and Patronages

  • 6th Battalion The Rifles

    Principal mission is to train and prepare our soldiers for front line operations.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Royal Colonel
  • Abbotsford Trust

    To secure the future of the house

    Region: UK (Scotland)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Co-Patron of Abbotsford Trust Appeal
  • Ambition (Clubs for Young People)

    Voluntary organistaion providing sporting, creative and training opportunities for young people.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, President
  • Architects Benevolent Society

    UK charity for architects, technologists and landscape architects in need of help.

    Region: UK-wide
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Patron
  • ASH (Action on Smoking and Health)

    Campaigning public health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco.

    Region: UK-wide
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Patron
  • Bath Industrial Heritage Trust Ltd

    Group supporting the development of Bath's museum of local work and industry.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Honorary Life Member
  • Battle of Corunna Committee

    Website: www.royal.uk

    .

    Region: Rest of world
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Honorary President
  • Bede's World Museum

    Museum based in Jarrow dedicated to the historian Bede and Anglo-Saxon history.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Royal Patron
  • BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust

    Website: www.royal.uk

    Heritage organisation conserving a historic steam locomotive train.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Honorary President
  • British Association of Friends of Museums

    Organisation for friends, volunteers and supporters of museums, galleries and heritage sites.

    Region: UK-wide
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Patron

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