Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is the husband of Elizabeth II. Philip was born into the Danish royal families, he was born in Greece. After being educated in France and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934. During the Second World War he served with distinction in the Pacific Fleets. After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles and became a naturalised British subject, adopting the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents, he married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, he was created Baron Earl of Merioneth and Duke of Edinburgh. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, was formally made a British prince in 1957.
Philip and Elizabeth have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the couple not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward. A keen sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving, he is a patron, president or member of over 780 organisations and serves as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award for people aged 14 to 24. He is the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest male member of the British royal family. Philip retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, at the age of 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born in Mon Repos on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921, the only son and fifth and final child of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg.
Philip's four elder sisters were Margarita, Theodora and Sophie. He was baptised in the Greek Orthodox rite at St. George's Church in the Old Fortress in Corfu, his godparents were his paternal grandmother Queen Olga of Greece, represented by Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark, Alexandros S. Kokotos, the Mayor of Corfu, representing the people of Corfu. Shortly after Philip's birth, his maternal grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg known as Louis Mountbatten, Marquess of Milford Haven, died in London. Louis was a naturalised British citizen, after a career in the Royal Navy, had renounced his German titles and adopted the surname Mountbatten—an Anglicized version of Battenberg—during the First World War, owing to anti-German sentiment in Great Britain. After visiting London for the memorial and his mother returned to Greece where Prince Andrew had remained behind to command an army division embroiled in the Greco-Turkish War; the war went badly for Greece, the Turks made large gains. On 22 September 1922, Philip's uncle, King Constantine I, was forced to abdicate and the new military government arrested Prince Andrew, along with others.
The commander of the army, General Georgios Hatzianestis, five senior politicians were executed. Prince Andrew's life was believed to be in danger, Alice was under surveillance. In December, a revolutionary court banished Prince Andrew from Greece for life; the British naval vessel HMS Calypso evacuated Prince Andrew's family, with Philip carried to safety in a cot made from a fruit box. Philip's family went to France, where they settled in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud in a house lent to them by his wealthy aunt, Princess George of Greece and Denmark; because Philip left Greece as a baby, he does not have a strong grasp of the Greek language. In 1992, he said that he "could understand a certain amount". Philip has stated that he has thought of himself as Danish, his family spoke English and German. Philip, who in his youth was known for his charm, was linked to a number of women including Osla Benning. Philip was first educated at The Elms, an American school in Paris run by Donald MacJannet, who described Philip as a "know it all smarty person, but always remarkably polite".
In 1928, he was sent to the United Kingdom to attend Cheam School, living with his maternal grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, at Kensington Palace and his uncle, George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, at Lynden Manor in Bray, Berkshire. In the next three years, his four sisters married German princes and moved to Germany, his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and placed in an asylum, his father took up residence in Monte Carlo. Philip had little contact with his mother for the remainder of his childhood. In 1933, he was sent to Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, which had the "advantage of saving school fees" because it was owned by the family of his brother-in-law, Margrave of Baden. With the rise of Nazism in Germany, Salem's Jewish founder, Kurt Hahn, fled persecution and founded Gordonstoun School in Scotland, which Philip moved to after two terms at Salem. In 1937, his sister Cecilie, her husband Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse, her two young sons and Alexander, her newborn infant, her mother-in-law, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, were killed in an air crash at Ostend.
The following year, his uncle and guardian Lord Milford Haven died of bone marrow cancer. After leaving Gordonstoun in early 193
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is a member of the British royal family. Her husband, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is expected to become king of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms, making Catherine a future queen consort. Catherine grew up in Chapel Row, a village near Newbury, England, she studied art history in Scotland at the University of St Andrews, where she met William in 2001. Their engagement was announced in November 2010, they married on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey. The couple's children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis of Cambridge, are third and fifth in the line of succession to the British throne, respectively; the Duchess of Cambridge's charity works focus on issues surrounding young children and art. To encourage people to open up about their mental health issues, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex initiated the mental health awareness campaign "Heads Together" in April 2016; the media has called Catherine's impact on British and American fashion the "Kate Middleton effect".
In 2012 and 2013, Time magazine selected her as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on 9 January 1982 into an upper-middle-class family, she was baptised at St Andrew's Bradfield, Berkshire, on 20 June 1982. She is the eldest of three children born to Michael Middleton, his wife, Carole, a former flight dispatcher and flight attendant who in 1987 founded Party Pieces, a held mail order company that sells party supplies and decorations with an estimated worth of £30 million, her father's family has ties to British aristocracy and benefited financially from trust funds which they established over 100 years ago. Her Middleton relatives were reported as having played host to British royalty "as long ago as 1926", she has a younger sister, a younger brother, James. The family lived in Amman, from May 1984 to September 1986 where her father worked for British Airways. Middleton attended an English-language nursery school.
When her family returned to Berkshire in 1986, she was enrolled aged four at St Andrew's School, a private school near Pangbourne in Berkshire. She boarded part-weekly at St Andrew's in her years, she studied at Downe House School. She was a boarder at Marlborough College, a co-educational independent boarding school in Wiltshire, graduated in 2005 from the University of St Andrews in Fife, with an undergraduate MA in the history of art. Before university, during a gap year, she travelled to Chile to participate in a Raleigh International programme, studied at the British Institute of Florence in Italy. In November 2006, Middleton worked as an accessory buyer with the clothing chain Jigsaw, where she worked part-time until November 2007, she worked until January 2011 at the family business in catalogue design and production and photography. Prior to her marriage, Middleton lived in an apartment owned by her parents in Chelsea, estimated to be worth £1–1.4 million. In 2018, Catherine's total net worth was estimated at £5–7.3 million, most of, from her parents' company.
In 2001, Middleton met Prince William while they were students in residence at St Salvator's Hall at the University of St Andrews. She caught William's eye at a charity fashion show at the university in 2002 when she appeared on the stage wearing a see-through lace dress; the couple began dating in 2003. During their second year, Middleton shared a flat with two other friends. On 17 October 2005, Middleton complained through her lawyer about harassment from the media, stating she had done nothing significant to warrant publicity. Middleton attended Prince William's Passing Out Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 15 December 2006. Media attention increased around the time of her 25th birthday in January 2007, prompting warnings from the Prince of Wales, Prince William, Middleton's lawyers, who threatened legal action. Two newspaper groups, News International, which publishes The Times and The Sun. In April 2007, Prince William and Middleton split up; the couple decided to break up during a holiday in the Swiss resort of Zermatt.
Newspapers speculated about the reasons for the split, although these reports relied on anonymous sources. Middleton and her family attended the Concert for Diana in July 2007 at Wembley Stadium, where she and Prince William sat two rows apart; the couple were subsequently seen together in public on a number of occasions and news sources stated that they had "rekindled their relationship". On 17 May 2008, Middleton attended the wedding of Prince William's cousin Peter Phillips to Autumn Kelly, which the prince did not attend. On 19 July 2008, she was a guest at the wedding of Lady Rose George Gilman. Prince William was away on military operations in the Caribbean, serving aboard HMS Iron Duke. In 2010, Middleton pursued an invasion of privacy claim against two agencies and photographer Niraj Tanna, who took photographs of her over Christmas 2009, she obtained a public apology, £5,000 in damages, legal costs. Prince William and Catherine Middleton became engaged in October 2010, in Kenya, during a 10-day trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to celebrate his passing the RAF helicopter search and rescue course.
Clarence House announced the engagement on 16 November 2010. Prince William gave Middleton the engagement ring that had belonged to his mother, Di
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, is a member of the British royal family. He is the third child and second son of Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of his birth, he was second in the line of succession to the British throne, he holds the rank of commander and the honorary rank of Vice Admiral in the Royal Navy, in which he served as an active-duty helicopter pilot and instructor and as the captain of a warship. He saw active service during the Falklands War, flying on multiple missions including anti-surface warfare, Exocet missile decoy, casualty evacuation. In 1986, Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson; as well as carrying out various official engagements, he served as Britain's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment until July 2011. Prince Andrew was born in the Belgian Suite of Buckingham Palace on 19 February 1960, the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, he was baptised in the Palace's Music Room on 8 April 1960 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher.
He is the namesake of his paternal grandfather, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, who died 16 years before he was born. Prince Andrew was the first child born to a reigning monarch since the birth in 1857 of Queen Victoria's youngest child, Princess Beatrice; as with his older siblings, Andrew was looked after by a governess, responsible for his early education at Buckingham Palace. He was sent to Heatherdown School near Ascot in Berkshire. In September 1973, he entered Gordonstoun, in northern Scotland, which his father and elder brother had attended before him. While there, he spent six months—from January to June 1977—participating in an exchange programme to Lakefield College School in Canada, he left Gordonstoun in July two years with A-Levels in English, history and political science. He instead entered the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth; the Royal Household announced in November 1978 that Prince Andrew would join the Royal Navy the following year. In December he underwent various sporting tests and examinations at the Aircrew Selection Centre, at RAF Biggin Hill, along with further tests and interviews at HMS Daedalus, interviews at the Admiralty Interview Board, HMS Sultan.
During March and April 1979, the prince was enrolled at the Royal Naval College Flight, undergoing pilot training, until he was accepted as a trainee helicopter pilot and signed on for 12 years from 11 May 1979. On 1 September of the same year, Prince Andrew was appointed as a midshipman, entered Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. During 1980 he took the Royal Marines All Arms Commando Course. After passing out from Dartmouth, the prince went on to elementary flying training with the Royal Air Force at RAF Leeming, basic flying training with the navy at HMS Seahawk, where he learned to fly the Gazelle helicopter. After being awarded his wings, he moved onto more advanced training on the Sea King helicopter, conducted operational flying training until 1982, he joined carrier-based squadron, 820 Naval Air Squadron, serving aboard the aircraft carrier, HMS Invincible. The Falkland Islands, which are a British overseas territory claimed by Argentina, were invaded by Argentina on 2 April 1982, an event that instigated the Falklands War.
Invincible was one of the two operational aircraft carriers available at the time, and, as such, was to play a major role in the Royal Navy task force assembled to sail south to retake the islands. Prince Andrew's place on board and the possibility of the Queen's son being killed in action made the British Government apprehensive, the Cabinet desired that Prince Andrew be moved to a desk job for the duration of the conflict; the Queen, insisted that her son be allowed to remain with his ship. Prince Andrew remained on board Invincible to serve as a Sea King helicopter co-pilot, flying on missions that included anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, Exocet missile decoy, casualty evacuation and search and air rescue, he witnessed the Argentinian attack on the SS Atlantic Conveyor. At the cessation of the war, Invincible returned to Portsmouth, where the Queen and Prince Philip joined other families of the crew in welcoming the vessel home; the Argentine military government planned, but did not attempt, to assassinate the prince on Mustique in July 1982.
Though he had brief assignments to HMS Illustrious, RNAS Culdrose, the Joint Services School of Intelligence, Prince Andrew remained with Invincible until 1983. Commander Nigel Ward's memoir, Sea Harrier Over the Falklands, described Prince Andrew as "an excellent pilot and a promising officer."Following his return from the Falklands War and until his marriage to Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew dated actress Koo Stark. In late 1983, Prince Andrew transferred to RNAS Portland, was trained to fly the Lynx helicopter, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 1 February 1984, whereupon the Queen appointed him as her personal aide-de-Camp. Prince Andrew served aboard HMS Brazen as a flight pilot until 1986, including deployment to the Mediterranean Sea as part of Standing NRF Maritime Group 2, he undertook the Lieutenants' Greenwich Staff course. On 23 October 1986, the Duke of York transferred to the General List, enrolled in a four-month helicopter warfare instructor's course at RNAS Yeovilton, upon graduation, served from February 1987 to April 1988 as a helicopter warfare officer in 702 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Portland.
He served on HMS Edinburgh as an Office
Succession to the British throne
Succession to the British throne is determined by descent, sex and religion. Under common law, the Crown is inherited by a sovereign's children or by a childless sovereign's nearest collateral line; the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701 restrict succession to the throne to the legitimate Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover who are in "communion with the Church of England". Spouses of Roman Catholics were disqualified from 1689 until the law was amended in 2015. Protestant descendants of those excluded for being Roman Catholics are eligible. Queen Elizabeth II is the sovereign, her heir apparent is her eldest son, Prince of Wales. Next in line after him is Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales's elder son. Third in line is Prince George, the eldest child of the Duke of Cambridge, followed by his sister, Princess Charlotte and younger brother, Prince Louis. Sixth in line is Prince Duke of Sussex, the younger son of the Prince of Wales. Under the Perth Agreement, which came into effect in 2015, only the first six in line of succession require the sovereign's consent before they marry.
The first four individuals in the line of succession who are over 21, the sovereign's consort, may be appointed Counsellors of State. Counsellors of State perform some of the sovereign's duties in the United Kingdom while he or she is out of the country or temporarily incapacitated. Otherwise, individuals in the line of succession need not have specific official roles; the United Kingdom is one of the 16 Commonwealth realms. Each of those countries has the same order of succession. In 2011, the prime ministers of the realms agreed unanimously to adopt a common approach to amending the rules on the succession to their respective Crowns so that absolute primogeniture would apply for persons born after the date of the agreement, instead of male-preference primogeniture, the ban on marriages to Roman Catholics would be lifted, but the monarch would still need to be in communion with the Church of England. After the necessary legislation had been enacted in accordance with each realm's constitution, the changes took effect on 26 March 2015.
No official, complete version of the line of succession is maintained. The exact number, in remoter collateral lines, of the people who would be eligible is uncertain. In 2001, American genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner compiled a list of 4,973 living descendants of the Electress Sophia in order of succession, but did so disregarding Roman Catholic status; when updated in January 2011, the number was 5,753. The annotated list below covers the first part of this line of succession, being limited to descendants of the sons of George V; the order of the first seventeen numbered in the list is given on the official website of the British Monarchy. People named in italics are unnumbered either because they are deceased or because sources report them to be excluded from the succession. In 1485, Henry Tudor, a female-line descendant of a legitimated branch of the royal house of Lancaster, the House of Beaufort, assumed the English crown as Henry VII, after defeating Richard III, killed at the battle of Bosworth when leading a charge against Henry's standard.
Richard was the last king of the House of York, the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. Henry declared himself king retroactively from 21 August 1485, the day before his victory over Richard at Bosworth Field, caused Richard's Titulus Regius to be repealed and expunged from the Rolls of Parliament. After Henry's coronation in London in October that year, his first parliament, summoned to meet at Westminster in November, enacted that "the inheritance of the crown should be, rest and abide in the most royal person of the sovereign lord, King Henry VII, the heirs of his body lawfully coming."Henry VII was followed by his son, Henry VIII. Though his father descended from the Lancastrians, Henry VIII could claim the throne through the Yorkist line, as his mother Elizabeth was the sister and heiress of Edward V. In 1542 Henry assumed the title King of Ireland. Henry VIII's numerous marriages led to several complications over succession. Henry VIII was first married by whom he had a daughter named Mary.
His second marriage, to Anne Boleyn, resulted in a daughter named Elizabeth. Henry VIII had Edward, by his third wife, Jane Seymour. An Act of Parliament passed in 1533 declared Mary illegitimate. Though the two remained illegitimate, an Act of Parliament passed in 1544 allowed reinserting them, providing further "that the King should and might give, limit, appoint or dispose the said imperial Crown and the other premises … by letters patent or last will in writing." Mary and Elizabeth, under Henry VIII's will, were to be followed by descendants of the King's deceased sister Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk. This will excluded from the succession the descendants of Henry's eldest sister Margaret Tudor, who were the rulers of Scotland; when Henry VIII died in 1547, the young Edward succeeded him, becoming Edward VI. Edward VI was the first Protestant Sovereign to succeed to the rule of England, he attempted to divert the course of succession in his will to prevent his Catholic half-s
Theresa Mary May is a British politician serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2016. She served as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016. May was first elected Member of Parliament for Maidenhead in 1997. Ideologically, she identifies herself as a one-nation conservative. May attended St Hugh's College, Oxford. After graduating in 1977, she worked for the Bank of England, she served as a councillor for Durnsford in Merton. After unsuccessful attempts to be elected to the House of Commons she was elected as the MP for Maidenhead in the 1997 general election. From 1999 to 2010, May held a number of roles in Shadow Cabinets, she was Chairwoman of the Conservative Party from 2002 to 2003. When the coalition government was formed after the 2010 general election, May was appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, but gave up the latter role in 2012, she continued to serve as home secretary after the Conservative victory in the 2015 general election, became the longest-serving home secretary in over 60 years.
During her tenure she pursued reform of the Police Federation, implemented a harder line on drugs policy including the banning of khat, oversaw the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners, the deportation of Abu Qatada, the creation of the National Crime Agency, brought in additional restrictions on immigration. She is to the only woman to hold two of the great offices of state. In July 2016, after David Cameron resigned, May was elected as Conservative Party Leader, becoming Britain's second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher; as Prime Minister, May began the process of withdrawing the UK from the European Union, triggering Article 50 in March 2017. The following month, she announced a snap general election, with the aim of strengthening her hand in Brexit negotiations; this resulted in a hung parliament, in which the number of Conservative seats fell from 330 to 317, despite the party winning its highest vote share since 1983. The loss of an overall majority prompted her to enter a confidence and supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party to support a minority government.
May survived a vote of no confidence from her own MPs in December 2018 and a Parliamentary vote of no confidence in January 2019. May has said that she will not lead her party in the next general election scheduled for 2022 under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, but has not ruled out leading it into a snap election. May carried out the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, adhering to the Chequers Agreement, which resulted in the draft Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU; this agreement was defeated by Parliament in January 2019, negotiations continue to try and reach a deal. May’s revised deal was defeated in Parliament by 391 votes to 242. In March 2019, May committed to stepping down as Prime Minister if Parliament passed her Brexit deal, to make way for a new leader in the second phase of Brexit. Born on 1 October 1956 in Eastbourne, May is the only child of Zaidee Mary and Hubert Brasier, her father was a Church of England clergyman, chaplain of an Eastbourne hospital. He became vicar of Enstone with Heythrop and of St Mary's at Wheatley, to the east of Oxford.
May's mother was a supporter of the Conservative Party. She attended Heythrop Primary School, a state school in Heythrop, followed by St. Juliana's Convent School for Girls, a Roman Catholic independent school in Begbroke, which closed in 1984; when she was 13, May won a place at the former Holton Park Girls' Grammar School, a state school in Wheatley. During her time as a pupil, the Oxfordshire education system was reorganised and the school became the new Wheatley Park Comprehensive School. May attended the University of Oxford where she read geography at St Hugh's College, graduating with a second class BA degree in 1977. Between 1977 and 1983 May worked at the Bank of England, from 1985 to 1997 as a financial consultant and senior advisor in International Affairs at the Association for Payment Clearing Services, she married Philip May in September 1980. Her father died in her mother of multiple sclerosis the following year. May stated she was "sorry they never saw me elected as a Member of Parliament".
May served as a councillor for Durnsford ward on the London Borough of Merton from 1986 to 1994, where she was Chairman of Education and Deputy Group Leader and Housing Spokesman. In the 1992 general election May stood unsuccessfully for the safe Labour seat of North West Durham, coming second to incumbent MP Hilary Armstrong by 12,747 votes to 26,734, with future Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron coming third. May stood at the 1994 Barking by-election, prompted by the death of Labour MP Jo Richardson; the seat had been continuously held by Labour since it was created in 1945 and Labour candidate Margaret Hodge was expected to win which she did, with 13,704 votes. May came a distant third with 1,976 votes. Ahead of the 1997 general election, May was selected as the Conservative candidate for Maidenhead, a new seat, created from parts of the seats of Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham, she was elected with 25,344 votes double the total of second-placed Andrew Terence Ketteringham of the Liberal Democrats, who took 13,363 votes.
Having entered Parliament, May became a member of William Hague's front-bench Opposition team, as Shadow Spokesman for Schools, Disabled People and Women. She became the first of the 1997 MPs to enter the Shadow Cabinet when in 1999 she
Princess Michael of Kent
Princess Michael of Kent is a member of the British royal family of German and Hungarian descent. She is married to Prince Michael of Kent, a grandson of King George V. Princess Michael was an interior designer before becoming an author, she undertakes lecture tours as well as supporting her husband in his public duties. Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz was born on 15 January 1945 in Karlsbad, a town in German-populated Sudetenland and now known as Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic, she was born shortly before the defeat of Nazi Germany and end of World War II in Europe, near the family estates of her Austrian maternal grandmother, Princess Hedwig von Windisch-Graetz. Princess Michael is the younger daughter of Baron Günther Hubertus von Reibnitz by his second wife Countess Maria Anna Carolina Franziska Walburga Bernadette, daughter of Count Friedrich Szapáry von Muraszombath, Széchysziget und Szapár, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Saint Petersburg at the outbreak of the First World War.
Princess Michael's father was a Nazi party member serving as a Sturmbannführer in the SS during the Second World War. The parents divorced in 1946. Marie Christine and her mother established a beauty salon, while Fred von Reibnitz joined the Australian Public Service, she subsequently moved to London to study History of Fine and Decorative Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Her first husband was the English banker Thomas Troubridge, younger brother of Sir Peter Troubridge, 6th Baronet, they met at a boar hunt in Germany and were married on 14 September 1971 at Chelsea Old Church, London. The couple separated in 1973 and were civilly divorced in 1977. One month after the annulment, on 30 June 1978, at a civil ceremony in Vienna, she married Prince Michael of Kent, the son of Prince George, Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. Prince Michael is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. Michael presented Marie Christine with a two-stone sapphire-and-diamond ring made from stones that belonged to his mother, Princess Marina.
For the ball held after the wedding, she wore the City of London diamond fringe tiara and a 70s style dress. Upon their marriage, she was accorded the style and title of Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, the female equivalent to her husband's title: not being of royal birth, she is therefore not titled Princess Marie Christine. After receiving Pope John Paul II's permission, the couple received a blessing of their marriage in a Roman Catholic ceremony on 29 June 1983 at Archbishop's House, London. Since the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibited anyone who married a Roman Catholic from succeeding to the throne, Prince Michael of Kent forfeited his succession rights upon marrying Marie Christine. Prince Michael was reinstated to the line of succession to the British throne on 26 March 2015 with the successful passing of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, their children are members of the Church of England and have retained their rights of succession since birth. Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have two children: Lord Frederick Windsor, born 6 April 1979 at St Mary's Hospital, London.
He married Sophie Winkleman on 12 September 2009 and they have two daughters: Maud and Isabella. Lady Gabriella Windsor, born 23 April 1981 at St Mary's Hospital, London. Prince and Princess Michael represented the Queen at the Belize independence celebrations and at the coronation of King Mswati III of Swaziland. Prince Michael supports a large number of different charities and organisations, Princess Michael supports him in his work. Since a teenager, Princess Michael has held a long and enduring passion for the conservation of cheetahs and she is international royal patron for the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. Prince Michael has never received an allowance from the Privy Purse; the couple have had the use of a five-bedroom, five-reception grace and favour apartment at Kensington Palace. The Queen had paid the rent for the apartment at a market rate of £120,000 annually from her own private funds with the couple paying the nominal amount of £70 per week; the rent goes to the Grant-in-aid, provided by the Government for the maintenance of the Occupied Royal Palaces.
The rent is based on the current rate for commercially rented properties at Kensington Palace, is recorded in the overall figures for commercial rents in the Grant-in-aid annual report. This rent payment by the Queen is "in recognition of the Royal engagements and work for various charities which Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have undertaken at their own expense, without any public funding," according to a statement released by the British Monarchy Media Centre. In 2008, it was announced Prince and Princess Michael would be required to begin paying rent of £120,000 a year. Members of Parliament on the palace's committee had demanded the change after the Kents' rent had come to light; the Kents have lived in the apartment since 1979, paying only their utility bills prior to 2002. Princess Michael of Kent observes the Roman Catholic faith and attended several events during Pope Benedict XVI's historic state visit to the United Kingdom in September 2010, she was present at Mass in Westminster Cathedral
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is a member of the British royal family. She is the second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, heir apparent to the British throne. Instead of using the title Princess of Wales, she uses the title Duchess of Cornwall, her husband's secondary designation. In Scotland, she is known as the Duchess of Rothesay. Camilla is the eldest child of Major Bruce Shand and his wife Rosalind Cubitt, the daughter of Roland Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe, she was raised in East Sussex and South Kensington in England, was educated in England and France. In 1973, Camilla married British Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles, they divorced in 1995. Camilla was in a relationship with the Prince of Wales before and after their previous marriages; the relationship became publicised in the media and attracted worldwide scrutiny. In 2005, it culminated in a civil marriage at Windsor Guildhall, followed by a televised Anglican blessing at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle; as Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla assists the Prince of Wales on his official duties.
She is the patron, president and a member of numerous charities and organisations. Since 1994, she has taken action on earning honours and awards, she has raised awareness in areas including rape and sexual abuse, animal welfare and poverty. Camilla Rosemary Shand was born at King's College Hospital, London, on 17 July 1947, she grew up in The Laines – an 18th-century country house in Plumpton, East Sussex – and a three-storey house in South Kensington, her family's second home. Her parents were British Army officer turned his wife, Rosalind, she has a younger sister, Annabel Elliot, had a younger brother, Mark Shand. Her maternal great-grandmother, Alice Keppel, was a mistress of King Edward VII from 1898 to 1910. On 1 November 1947, Camilla was baptised at East Sussex. Camilla's mother was a housewife, while her father had various business interests after retiring from the army, he was most notably a partner in Block and Block, a firm of wine merchants in South Audley Street, Mayfair joining Ellis and Vidler of Hastings and London.
During her childhood years, Camilla became an avid reader due to the influence of her father, who read to her frequently. She grew up with dogs and cats, and, at a young age, learnt how to ride a pony by joining Pony Club camps which garnered her frequent rosettes at community gymkhanas. According to her, childhood "was perfect in every way". Biographer Gyles Brandreth describes her background and childhood:Camilla is described as having had an "Enid Blyton sort of Childhood". In fact, it was much grander than that. Camilla, as a little girl, may have had some personality traits of George, the tomboy girl among the Famous Five, but Enid Blyton’s children were middle-class children and The Shands, without question, belonged to the upper class; the Shands had position and they had help—help in the house, help in the garden, help with children. They were gentry, they opened their garden for the local Conservative Party Association summer fête. Enough said. At the age of five, Camilla was sent to a co-educational school in Ditchling village.
She left Dumbrells aged ten to attend Queen's Gate School in South Kensington. Her classmates at Queen's Gate knew her as "Milla". One of the teachers at the school was the writer Penelope Fitzgerald, who taught French and remembered Camilla as "bright and lively". Camilla left Queen's Gate with one O-level in 1964. At the age of sixteen, she travelled abroad to attend the Mon Fertile finishing school in Tolochenaz, Switzerland. After completing her course in Switzerland, she made her own decision and travelled to France to learn French and French literature at the University of London Institute in Paris for six months. On 25 March 1965, Camilla was a debutante in one of 311 that year. After moving from home, she shared a small flat in Kensington with her friend Jane Wyndham, niece of decorator Nancy Lancaster, she moved into a larger flat in Belgravia, which she shared with her landlady Lady Moyra Campbell, the daughter of the Duke of Abercorn, with Virginia Carington, daughter of the politician Lord Carrington.
Virginia was married to Camilla's uncle Henry Cubitt from 1973 until 1979. Camilla worked as a secretary for a variety of firms in the West End and was employed as a receptionist by the decorating firm Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler in Mayfair. In her spare time, she became a passionate horse-rider and attended equestrian activities, she had a passion for painting, which led to her private tutoring with an artist, although most of her work "ended up in the bin". Other interests were fishing and gardening. In the late 1960s, Camilla met Andrew Parker Bowles—then a Guards officer and lieutenant in the Blues and Royals— through his younger brother, Simon Parker Bowles, who worked for her father's wine firm in Mayfair. After an on and off relationship for years and Camilla announced their engagement in The Times in 1973,marrying on 4 July that year in a Roman Catholic ceremony at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks in London. Camilla was 25 years old and Parker Bowles 33, her wedding dress was designed by British fashion house Bellville Sassoon, the bridesmaids included Parker Bowles' goddaughter Lady