Her Royal Highness Princess Edward, Duchess of Kent (Katharine Lucy Mary Windsor, formerly Worsley), styled HRH The Duchess of Kent, is a member of the British Royal Family the wife of HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, a grandson of King George V and cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Duchess of Kent is best known for her her conversion to Roman Catholism, the first senior royal to do so since the passing of the Act of Settlement 1701. The Duchess of Kent carries out some royal duties, and used to present the winners trophies at the Wimbledon tennis championships.
The Duchess of Kent was born in 1933 at Hovingham Hall, Yorkshire, and was the only daughter of Sir William Arthrington Worsley, 4th Bt., and his wife, Joyce Morgan, daughter of Sir John Brunner, the founder of Brunner Mond, which later became ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries). Her name at birth was Katharine Lucy Mary Worsley.
Katharine was educated at Queen Margaret's School near York and at Runton Hill School in Norfolk. At school she was introduced to music, and was taught to play the piano, organ and violin, which she still plays today. She later worked for some time in a children's home in York and taught at a kindergarten in London, before going on to Oxford to study music.
On June 8, 1961, she married HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, the eldest son of HRH Prince George, Duke of Kent and HRH Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, at York Minster. After her marriage she was styled HRH The Duchess of Kent.
TRH The Duke and Duchess of Kent have three children:
Duchess of Kent
With her husband, the Duke of Kent, the Duchess carries out royal duties on behalf of the Queen. The Duchess of Kent is strongly associated with the world of music, and has performed as a member of several choirs. She is also well-known as the presenter of trophies at the annual Wimbledon lawn tennis championships -- a role she inherited from her mother-in-law, Princess Marina.
The Duchess of Kent was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1994. This was a personal decision, and she received the approval of the Queen. Although the Act of Settlement 1701 means a member of the Royal Family marrying a Roman Catholic relinquishes their right of succession to the Brtiish throne, the Act does not include marriage to an Anglican who subsequently converts to Roman Catholism. Therefore, the Duke of Kent did not lose his place in the line of succession to the British throne. Since then her eldest son, the Earl of St Andrews has also convereted to Catholism.
The Duchess of Kent decided to relinquish her royal style and title in the late 1990s, and reduce the amount of royal duties she carries out. Since then she has been informally known as Katharine Kent. Her formal style remains HRH The Duchess of Kent however, and this is how she is styled in the Court Circular. In line with her less formal role, the Duchess took a position as a music teacher in Wansbeck Primary School in Hull.
Styles and titles
- Miss Katharine Worsley (1933-1961)
- Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Kent (1961-)
Honorary Military Appointments
- Colonel-in-Chief, Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire
- Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, Adjutant General's Corps
- Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Dragoon Guards
- Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Logistic Corps