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Princess Alice leaves £30,000 to loyal servants

Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester
on her wedding day.

Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, Queen Elizabeth II's aunt and the longest-lived royal in European history, willed £30,000 to 14 loyal members of staff. Despite having a modest estate of only £500,000, Princess Alice never forgot her retainers who loyally served her. Dubbed as the last great Edwardian, Princess Alice was a popular member of the Royal Family from the time she married the son of King George V, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester younger brother of King George VI, the Queen's father. Her marriage to Prince Henry was blessed with two sons: Prince William, who died on a plane crash in 1972, and Prince Richard, who succeeded his father as Duke of Gloucester.

Princess Alice was praised for her generosity and kindness towards her staff. Royal biographer Hugo Vickers wrote: “The Princess was very Scottish and aristocratic, and she knew she was the mistress of the house.

“So it wasn’t a question of her sitting down to tea with the staff or anything like that. But I remember one of the butlers who worked for her telling me how considerate she was.

“The Princess would never ask people to work after hours and she always left polite notes for the staff. She would never ask people to make a cup of tea at 4pm. It was always ‘Would you be so kind as to?’”


Princess Alice was born to a life of privilege and wealth on Christmas Day in 1901. Her father was the 7th Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. The former Lady Alice Christabel Montagu-Douglas-Scott was not however attracted to the frivolities and gaiety of high society but instead pursued a life of adventure. When she was young, she embarked on a tour in Afghanistan and Kenya.

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