The Duke of Kent will publish his memoirs just before the Prince’s bomb book

As first cousins, they are whispering confidants, whose lives have been divided into ups and downs in so many royal dramas – and countless family secrets.

She was present at his christening in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace and eight and a half decades later, when the Queen was facing her first birthday parade after Prince Philips’ death, he was there by her side.

He is 86 now, and though the higher-profile activities for young royals like William, Kate, Meghan and Harry catch the headlines, the Duke of Kent continues calmly with his duties with a quiet, effortless dignity and absolute satisfaction.

In fact, it would be hard to find another royal family member who embodies the qualities of loyalty and commitment to queen and country more than Edward Kent, whose father died in a plane crash in wartime when he was only six.

So the news that the Duke is writing his memoirs, in which, we are promised, he will tell the inner story ‘behind the scenes of the world’s most famous family’, is remarkable.

Expected to be announced in May next year, its timing is significant. Not only will it appear just before the Queen’s Platinum Anniversary Celebration, it will also beat the arrival of another royal book – Prince Harry’s autobiography.

The Duke of Kent (right) is writing his memoirs, in which, we are promised, he will tell the inner story ¿behind the scenes of the world's most famous family¿

The Duke of Kent (right) is writing his memoirs, in which, we are promised, he will tell the inner story ‘behind the scenes of the world’s most famous family’

However, the two books are likely to reflect a very different version of events.

The Duke’s story will be in the form of recollections and never-before-seen images – he is a skilled amateur photographer – of a whole life working for the Queen without fanfare to support her public role.

The contrast to the volume written by Harry, who is filled with anger and hurt at how his exit from the Royal Institution was handled, could not be greater.

“Edward’s book,” says a figure close to the Duke pointedly, “will aim to show that the most successful members of the royal family are those who support the Queen and do not compete with her.”

According to the publishers’ brochure, ‘Steady Eddie’ – as the Duke is affectionately known in the family – has been ‘involved in all the royal important events’ of his lifetime.

He is the grandson of George V and Queen Mary, and nephew of the Queen’s father, King George VI. Through his mother, Princess Marina, the Duke is the cousin of Prince Philip, while his father Prince George was the younger brother of the exiled Duke of Windsor.

At that palace baptism, as well as the nine-year-old Princess Elizabeth, were the Duke’s godparents, among them his grandfather and grandmother the King and Queen and the then Prince of Wales. It places the Duke, whose granddaughter Lady Amelia Windsor is model and tatler cover girl, in the epicenter of royal life.

So what can be in the 304-page book, called A Royal Life – and more relevant what can be omitted?

On the surface, his life has been a service, 21 years in the Army as an officer in the Royal Scots Grays followed by 45 years of performing royal engagements.

But at the same time, he has had a place at some of the post-war major events, ranging from the funeral of his uncle George VI, where he walked behind the king’s coffin, and the queen’s coronation in 1953, to June last year socially distanced. Trooping the Color ceremony, where the Duke accompanied the Queen, the only other member of the royal family present.

He was on horseback with Prince Philip and Prince Charles when blank shots were fired when the Queen led the birthday parade in 1981. And he was often a valued source of sound advice in the domestic crises that at times threatened to engulf the Queen, from the failed marriages of three of her children to the death of Princess Diana.

The book will feature a full portrait of both the Duke’s formidable mother as well as his childhood memories of his handsome father, who was killed in a flying boat accident in 1942. The loss of Prince George was one of the most famous deaths during World War II. no royal prince had given his life in defense of his country for 500 years.

Sixty years ago, the beautiful Duke and his fiancée, the daughter of the Yorkshire landowner, Katherine Worsley, were the pin-up couple in the House of Windsor when they married under a fanfare of trumpets at York Minster in 1961.

Sixty years ago, the handsome Duke and his fiancée, Yorkshire landowner’s daughter Katherine Worsley were pin-up couples in the House of Windsor when they married under a fanfare of trumpets at York Minster in 1961.

He was a very popular figure – glamorous, distinctive and sexy. At the time of the abdication, six years earlier, it was believed in court circles that he could succeed the throne over his older brother Bertie (George VI).

Princess Marina, granddaughter of the King of Greece, had given birth to him two sons and a daughter, and many were in favor of a male succession which Bertie, with only two daughters, could not deliver.

Rumors of the plane crash and the prince’s death continue to this day. One theory is that George had a lover on board at the time of the accident. Another equally persistent story is about allegations that Prince George had had another son out of wedlock.

This, of course, may be just the kind of blow that the Duke of Kent can calmly ignore. But if he wants to pay tribute to his parents properly, he may need to address such sensitive issues.

On beautiful days, Edward Kent can be glimpsed enjoying some fresh air in Kensington Gardens, close to his home, or shopping for windows in nearby Kensington High Street.

A tweed cap usually covers his bald head, but the crooked gait and penetrating smile, known from endless royal gatherings, can still be recognized right away. Often he is alone.

Sixty years ago, the handsome Duke and his fiancée, the daughter of the Yorkshire landowner, Katherine Worsley, were the pin-up couple in the House of Windsor when they got married under a fanfare of trumpets in York Minster.

On their wedding day in 1961, thousands stood along the 23-kilometer route between Minster and the reception for 2,000 people in the bride’s family home, whose dress was made of 250-yard orgy woven with rivers of silver thread.

These days, the Duke is best known for his performances at the Wimbledon tennis finals, but he has helped the Queen in so many other vital areas.

These days, the Duke is best known for his performances at the Wimbledon tennis finals, but he has helped the Queen in so many other vital areas.

A plane of the Queen’s plane carried them away on their honeymoon, and the following year they celebrated the birth of a son George, Earl of St. Andrews. Two more children followed, Lady Helen in 1964 and six years later Lord Nicholas arrived to complete their domestic happiness.

What daylight could he let into his own royal marriage?

I’m told that the Duke’s book will be ‘informative without being sensational.’ Still, it will be fascinating to learn how much of what he chooses to write about.

For example, it was widely reported that in 1975, when she was 42, the Duchess underwent an abortion after getting German measles while pregnant. Two years later, however, she was thrilled to be pregnant again. Tragically, the baby was stillborn, triggering a bout of depression.

In 1979, she was back in royal duties, but the shadow of the baby’s death, named Patrick, had never left her, and she was hospitalized for seven weeks of treatment and rest.

These were difficult times in the marriage, and it was later reported that the duke had consulted the queen about the possibility of divorce. She reportedly should have advised her cousin against such an act, and the couple continued to fight.

Later, the Duchess would explain that her depression was caused by not having had enough time to mourn her loss.

She had always been deeply religious, and she turned against Roman Catholicism. In 1994, she was admitted to the Catholic Church. She believed that her conversion made it possible for her to find herself.

Despite his own unwavering Anglican faith, the Duke supported his wife’s religious journey and over the years has attended Mass with her at Westminster Cathedral. Their younger son Nicholas also converted to Catholicism, while their eldest son George, who is married to a Catholic divorcee, is a regular worshiper in the cathedral.

Later, the Duchess of Kent was able to cope when she was diagnosed as suffering from the Epstein-Barr virus, where the symptoms are similar to the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

20 years ago, the Duchess, who began giving piano lessons, asked the Queen if she could drop her HRH style. If it lifted a burden from her shoulders – she felt it was no longer relevant to be Her Royal Highness – her relaxed husband took it all in stride.

The Duke’s book is co-written by Hugo Vickers, the distinguished royal cinema and is based on conversations between the two.

“His involvement began as a helper during the first national Covid lockdown,” says a source close to the project. Unable to carry out his official duties or military and charitable duties, the Duke got the idea to inculcate some thoughts on what it means to work for the royal family.

‘In that respect, it is not an overriding memoir. But he has talked about his father and mother, and some of the memories are very touching. ‘

The book is the result of 15 hours of taped conversations between Vickers and the Duke, many of them via Zoom meetings.

Publishers Hodder and Stoughton say the talks focus on key moments and themes of the Queen’s 70-year reign and will offer a ‘unique set of insights into life as a functioning royal’.

These days, the Duke is best known for his performances at the Wimbledon tennis finals, but he has helped the Queen in so many other vital areas.

For 25 years until 2001, he was overseas trade ambassador – a role then catastrophically handed over to Prince Andrew – and as president of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission since 1970, he has visited cemeteries for the fallen around the world.

It is understood that the Queen is aware of the book, which can only mean that she has given her permission.

According to a source, money paid to the Duke for his contribution will be donated to charity. It could be an unexpected wind – the Duke’s book may just turn out to be a bestseller.

.

Leave a Comment