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| Duchess of Gloucester (more)
|Spouse||Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester|
| Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster|
Lady Davina Lewis
Lady Rose Gilman
|House||House of Windsor|
|Father||Asger Preben Wissing Henriksen|
|Mother||Vivian van Deurs|
|Born|| 20 June 1946 |
United Kingdom and the
other Commonwealth realms
Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester (Birgitte Eva; formerly van Deurs; born Henriksen, 20 June 1946) is a member of the British Royal Family, the wife of Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who is a grandchild of King George V.
Birgitte was born Birgitte Eva Henriksen, in Odense, Denmark, the younger daughter of Asger Preben Knud Wissing Henriksen, a lawyer, and his wife, Vivian van Deurs. She took her mother's last name, van Deurs, when her parents separated.
Birgitte moved to Cambridge, England and also worked at the Danish embassy in London.
In February 1972, Birgitte became engaged to Prince Richard of Gloucester, the second eldest son of The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. Their marriage took place on 8 July 1972 at St. Andrew's Church, Barnwell, Northamptonshire. At that time, she was styled Her Royal Highness Princess Richard of Gloucester.
Six weeks after their wedding, Prince Richard's elder brother, Prince William, was killed in a flying accident. Prince Richard unexpectedly became heir to the Dukedom and upon his father's death in 1974, the couple became TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
Together the couple have three children:
- Earl of Ulster (born 24 October 1974)
- The Lady Davina Lewis (born 19 November 1977)
- The Lady Rose Gilman (born 1 March 1980)
Their children do not carry out any royal duties.
The Duchess of Gloucester is patron of a large number of organizations, many of which have medical, educational or welfare connections.
The Duchess is sponsor of two Royal Navy Ships: HMS Gloucester and HMS Sandown. The Duchess is the patron of Bliss, the special care baby charity.
She is also patron of St Paul's Cathedral School, St John's School, Leatherhead and Bridewell Royal Hospital (King Edward's School, Witley) and regularly attends functions at all three schools.
She accompanies the Duke of Gloucester on his official visits overseas: her first such visit was in 1973, when The Duke and Duchess represented The Queen at the 70th birthday celebrations of King Olav V of Norway.
After the death of Princess Diana she became the president of the Royal Academy of Music.
Titles, styles and honorsEdit
Titles and stylesEdit
- 20 June 1946 – 15 January 1966: Miss Birgitte Henriksen
- 15 January 1966 – 8 June 1972: Miss Birgitte van Deurs
- 8 June 1972 – 10 June 1974: Her Royal Highness Princess Richard of Gloucester
- 10 June 1974 –: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester
The Duchess of Gloucester's style and title in full: Her Royal Highness Princess Richard Alexander Walter George, Duchess of Gloucester, Countess of Ulster and Baroness Culloden, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.
- GCVO: Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, 23 June 1989
- DStJ: Dame of the Order of St. John
- Service Medal of the Order of St John
- 1977-: Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal
- 2002-: Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002
- Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II
- Tonga 2008-: The Order of the Crown of Tonga
Honorary military appointmentsEdit
- Colonel-in-Chief, of the Royal Irish Rangers (until 1992)
- Colonel-in-Chief, of the Royal Army Dental Corps
- Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, of the [Adjutant General's Corps
- Royal Colonel, of the 7th (V) Battalion The Rifles
- Colonel-in-Chief, Bermuda Regiment
- Commonwealth Realms
- Colonel-in-Chief, Canadian Forces Dental Service (January 2006 – present)
- Colonel-in-Chief, Royal Australian Army Educational Corps
- Colonel-in-Chief, Royal New Zealand Army Educational Corps