Princess Marina was the last foreign-born princess to marry into the British Royal Family; subsequent brides have been from the English or Scottish aristocracy, or commoners.

Princess Marina was born in Athens, Greece on 13 December 1906. Her father was HRH Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, the second son of King George I of Greece. Her mother was HIH Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, a grandaughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia.

She was baptised near the end of 1906, and her godparents were: King George, Edward VII of the United Kingdom, Prince Andrew of Greece, Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovitch of Russia, The Princess of Wales and The Grand Duchess Cyril Vladimirovich.

The family were generally poor, and were forced into exile when she was 11 following the overthrow of the monarchy in Greece. The family later moved to Paris, and the Princess stayed throughout Europe with her extended family.


On November 29, 1934 she married Prince George, Duke of Kent at Westminster Abbey, London. Together the couple had three children:

  • Prince Edward (born October 9, 1935), Duke of Kent from August 25, 1942;
  • Princess Alexandra (born December 25, 1936)
  • Prince Michael (born July 4, 1942)

The Duke of Kent died on 25 August 1942 in an aeroplane crash at Eagles Rock, near Dunbeath, Caithness, Scotland while on active service with the Royal Air Force.

Later life

After her husband's death, the Duchess of Kent continued to be active member of the British Royal Family, carrying out a wide-range of royal and official engagements. She was the longtime president of the Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Just before the current Duke of Kent's wedding in June 1961 to Katharine Worsley, she announced that she wished to be known as HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent instead of HRH The Dowager Duchess of Kent. Upon her marriage in 1934, she became HRH The Duchess of Kent, Countess of St. Andrews and Baroness Downpatrick. However, she remained a princess of Greece and Denmark in her own right. Following her elder son's wedding, she simply reverted to her own title.

She served as the first Chancellor of the University of Kent at Canterbury from 1963 until her death from a brain tumor at Kensington Palace on 27 August 1968, aged 61.

The daughters of Nicholas of Greece: Olga , Elizabeth and Marina

The daughters of Nicholas of Greece: Olga , Elizabeth and Marina

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