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

  • Northamptonshire Archaeological Society

    Undertakes study of the history and antiquities of Northamptonshire.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, PATRON
  • Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust

    Provides scholarships to students of agriculture, land management, horticulture or the food chain.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Patron
  • Oundle Town Rowing Club

    Sports Club.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Patron
  • Oxford and Cambridge Club (formerly United Oxford and Cambridge University Club)

    Private members' club.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Edinburgh, Honorary Member
    The Duke of Gloucester, Honorary Member
  • Peace and Prosperity Trust

    Through the universal language of music, opera and the performing arts, the Peace and Prosperity Trust seeks to raise funds for charities in the Levant and other Middle Eastern countries.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Royal Patron
  • Pestalozzi International Village Trust

    Educational charity providing young people with experience of diversity and global citizenship.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Patron
  • Petal Childhood Cancer Research

    Raising funds in support of Cancer Research UK. Formally known as Ribble Valley and White Rose Ladies

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, Honorary Member
  • Peterborough Cathedral Development and Preservation Trust

    Raises funds to help preserve the structure and fabric of Peterborough Cathedral.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, President
  • Public Monuments and Sculpture Association

    Organisation for people interested in public sculptures and monuments, and their preservation.

    Region: UK (England)
    Members of the Royal Family:
    The Duke of Gloucester, President
  • RAPID - International Charity

    Organisation providing experienced disaster response personnel anywhere in the world when required.

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

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