10 Things You Need to Know About the Duchess of Gloucester

HRH The Duchess of Gloucester. Image: Wikipedia

The Duchess of Gloucester is one of the unsung heroes of the British Royal Family. Together with her husband the Duke of Gloucester, the Duchess continues to carry out extensive engagements in support to the Royal Family. This she does without any media fanfare. Learn more about the life and works of HRH The Duchess of Gloucester. 

She was born in Denmark.

Birgitte Eva Henriksen was born in Odense, Denmark, on June 20, 1946. However, in 1966, she took her mother's name, van Deurs.

She went to finishing schools. 

Birgitte van Deurs studied in Odense before attending finishing schools in Lausanne and Cambridge.

A young Birgitte van Deurs

She met Prince Richard of Gloucester in Cambridge.

She met her future husband, Prince Richard of Gloucester while in Cambridge, where the prince was an undergraduate reading architecture at Cambridge University.

She studied commerce and economics.

She finished a three-year diploma course in Commercial and Economic Studies in Copenhagen.

Prince and Princess Richard of Gloucester. Image: Instagram.

She once worked as a secretary.

In 1971, she returned to London where she worked as a secretary at the Royal Danish Embassy.

Her wedding to Prince Richard of Gloucester was a low-key event. 

Birgitte was married to Prince Richard on 8 July 1972 at St. Andrew’s Church, Barnwell in Northamptonshire. The bride's wedding dress was designed by Norman Hartnell. 

The wedding photo of Prince and Princess Richard of Gloucester. Image: Order of Splendor.

Their plans for a peaceful life ended in a plane crash.

A few weeks after their wedding, Prince Richard’s brother, Prince William of Gloucester, died following a flying accident on. In 1974, Prince Richard inherited his father’s title, Duke of Gloucester. Since then, Birgitte became known as the Duchess of Gloucester.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester are blessed with three children.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have three children: Alexander, Earl of Ulster, born in 1974; Lady Davina Lewis, born in 1977; and Lady Rose Gilman, born in 1980. The children do not carry out any official engagement.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester with their three children. Image: Getty.

The Duchess of Gloucester represents the Queen 
in various functions.

Together with the Duke, the Duchess of Gloucester has represented the queen in numerous overseas visits: her first overseas visit was in 1973, when she and the duke represented the Queen at the 70th birthday celebrations of King Olav V of Norway.

She has her patronages, too.

Birgitte supports her own patronages and military units, becoming president of the Royal Academy of Music after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, 1997.  

The Duchess of Gloucester remains busy with her numerous commitments.
Image: Simon Graham/Harrison Photography via Flickr.


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