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Why the royal family has special reason to celebrate today

Prince Richard and wife Birgitte are working royals

royal celebrations
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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Wednesday marked a special day for the Queen's cousin and his wife, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. Prince Richard and Danish-born Birgitte celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary on 8 July.

Prince Richard is the second son of the late former Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince Henry and Princess Alice. He met Birgitte van Deurs while they were both studying in Cambridge and the pair were married at St Andrew's Church in Barnwell, Northamptonshire.

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richard birgitte 2019© Photo: Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester

The bride wore a high-neck embroidered wedding dress designed by Norman Hartnell, who had created gowns for Birgitte's mother-in-law Princess Alice and the future Queen Elizabeth. Instead of wearing a tiara, Brigitte secured her white tulle veil with a grouping of stephanotis flowers.

The rainy July ceremony was attended by the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, with a reception at the Gloucesters' family home, Barnwell Manor.

MORE: The story of how the Queen's wedding tiara broke back in 1947 revealed

birgitte richard 1972 wedding© Photo: Getty Images

The couple on their wedding day in 1972

Prince Richard had planned a full-time career in architecture but, on the death of his elder brother, Prince William, just weeks after his and Birgitte's wedding in 1972, he became his father's heir. Prince Henry died in June 1974 and Prince Richard inherited his dukedom.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester are full-time working royals and attend national and international events in support of the Queen. The couple have three children Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster, Lady Davina Windsor and Lady Rose Gilman, but none of them carry out official royal duties.

The Gloucesters moved out of Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace to downsize to a smaller residence, the old Stables, also within the palace grounds, in September 2019.

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