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Who is Princess Alexandra? The royal's life and close bond with Queen Elizabeth II

Princess Alexandra is one of the late Queen Elizabeth II's first cousins


Princess Alexandra© Getty
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: March 20, 2024
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Princess Alexandra is one of the late Queen's most beloved cousins, who often appears at major royal events. 

The 87-year-old was among those to feature in the King and Queen Camilla's official coronation photographs last year. The photos taken in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace show the Princess, dressed in a white gown, standing between the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. 

King Charles and Queen Camilla are pictured with working members of the royal family in the fourth official portrait
King Charles and Queen Camilla are pictured with working members of the royal family in an official portrait

The Honorable Lady Ogilvy is still a working member of the royal family and was close to her late cousin, Queen Elizabeth II, and has supported Her Majesty at many engagements throughout the years.

Here's everything you need to know about Princess Alexandra, from her early life, her marriage, her children and her personal interests and passions.

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Who is Princess Alexandra?

Princess Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel, born on 25 December 1936, is the only daughter of the late Prince George, Duke of Kent and the late Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark.

She has two brothers – Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, 87, and Prince Michael of Kent, 80.

The family split their time between their London residence, 3 Belgrave Square, and their country home, Coppins, in Buckinghamshire.

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The Kents at their Buckinghamshire home in 1938© Getty
The Kents at their Buckinghamshire home in 1938

Sadly, Alexandra's father was killed in a wartime accident in 1942 when she was just five years old.

She was the first British Princess to go to an ordinary school in 1947 – Heathfield School near Ascot, and she also attended a finishing school in Paris, studying French and music.

At the age of 11, she also had a starring role as one of Princess Elizabeth's bridesmaids at her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947.

Princess Alexandra's marriage, children and grandchildren

Princess Alexandra married businessman Sir Angus James Bruce Ogilvy at Westminster Abbey in London 24 April 1963, which was attended by members of the royal family.

The royal bride wore a wedding dress of Valenciennes lace, designed by John Cavanagh. Alexandra also wore the diamond fringe tiara given to her mother by the City of London as a wedding gift in 1934.

Alexandra and Sir Angus on their wedding day© Getty
Alexandra and Sir Angus on their wedding day

The Queen's daughter, Princess Anne, was one of the bridesmaids.

Sir Angus declined the offer of an earldom from the Queen following his marriage to the Princess.

Alexandra and Sir Angus shared two children, James and Marina Ogilvy, born in 1964 and 1966 respectively.

Princess Anne was one of Princess Alexandra's bridesmaids© Getty
Princess Anne was one of Princess Alexandra's bridesmaids

James married Julia Caroline Rawlinson in 1988, and the couple went on to have two children – Flora, who married Swedish financier Timothy Vesterberg in 2020, and Alexander Ogilvy.

Meanwhile, Alexandra and Sir Angus' daughter, Marina, has two children from her marriage to Paul Mowatt – Zenouska and Christian.

Princess Alexandra's granddaughter, Flora, on her wedding day© Getty
Princess Alexandra's granddaughter, Flora, on her wedding day

Marina's first pregnancy caused controversy at the time as she and Paul were not married at the time.

The Queen and Princess Alexandra at Royal Ascot, 2018© Getty
The Queen and Princess Alexandra at Royal Ascot, 2018

Sadly, Sir Angus died at the age of 76 on 26 December 2004, after spending three months in hospital with cancer-related illnesses. His death came a day after his wife's 68th birthday. 

His funeral took place at St George's Chapel in Windsor in January 2005, and he is buried in the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore.

Where does Princess Alexandra live?

Princess Alexandra has lived at Thatched House Lodge in Richmond, London since 1963.

Alexandra and Angus with their son James at their home, Thatched House, in 1968© Getty
Alexandra and Angus with their son James at their home, Thatched House, in 1968

The property is thought to boast a grand total of six reception rooms and six bedrooms spread across a mammoth four acres of grounds. 

The royal also has use of a grace-and-favour apartment at St James's Palace in London.

Princess Alexandra's interests

As a working member of the royal family, Alexandra's interests include mental health care, palliative care and international aid. She has been patron of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, which provides scholarships for nurses, midwives and health visitors to study - since 1957. 

Sophie and Princess Alexandra at a Guide Dogs charity event© Getty
Sophie and Princess Alexandra at a Guide Dogs charity event
Princess Alexandra was close to her late cousin, the Queen© Getty
Princess Alexandra was close to her late cousin, the Queen

In 2021, the then-Countess of Wessex succeeded Princess Alexandra as patron of the charity, Guide Dogs, after 67 years.

She is also a fan of classical music and opera, and is patron of the Chopin Society, the English National Opera, and the London Philharmonic Choir.

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