Who is Princess Alexandra? Royal who was born on Christmas Day

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4 min read
EPSOM, ENGLAND - JUNE 01: Princess Alexandra attends the Epsom Derby at Epsom Racecourse on June 01, 2019 in Epsom, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Princess Alexandra at the Epsom Derby in 2019. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

The Royal Family has shared birthday messages to the Queen’s cousin on Christmas Day, as she celebrates turning 84.

Princess Alexandra is a working royal, who carries out engagements on behalf of the Queen.

She was born on 25 December 1936, and is the daughter of the late Duke and Duchess of Kent. The Duke of Kent was a brother of King George VI, who was the Queen’s father.

Alexandra is the Queen’s cousin, and is the sister of Prince Michael of Kent.

Her father died when she was five-years-old.

Alexandra went to Heathfield School near Ascot, but attended finishing school in Paris.

When she was 11, she was a bridesmaid for then-Princess Elizabeth, who became Queen in 1952.

The princess married Angus Ogilvy in 1963, and Princess Anne was her chief bridesmaid. While she may be a lesser-known royal now, their nuptials were broadcast to

They had two children, James and Marina, who don’t carry out royal duties. Sir Angus died in 2004.

Her other title, as well as being princess, is The Honourable Lady Ogilvy.

As a senior royal, Alexandra is a patron of nearly 100 charities. During the coronavirus pandemic, she has been keeping in touch with them via phone calls, as she was unable to make in-person visits.

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ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 20:  Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy arrive in the royal procession on day 2 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2018 in Ascot, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse )
Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Alexandra in the royal procession of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse in 2018. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse )
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England. The 100th birthday of the RAF, which was founded on on 1 April 1918, was marked with a centenary parade with the presentation of a new Queen's Colour and flypast of 100 aircraft over Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in 2018 in London, England. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Although her main royal work is with charities based in the UK, Alexandra has also been abroad to represent the Queen on several occasions.

In 1960, she travelled to Nigeria, representing the Queen at the country’s independence celebrations, and since then has also been to Rome, Gibraltar, the USA and Thailand.

She makes appearances on the balcony with the other members of the Royal Family on occasions including Trooping the Colour and would have been invited to the Queen’s pre-Christmas Buckingham Palace banquet.

The event did not happen in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Her charity patronages include Cancer Research UK and the British Goat Society.

The princess was sixth in line to the throne when she was born, but is now 53rd.

She lives in the royals home of Thatched House Lodge, in the grounds of Richmond Park, in southwest London. The Grade-II listed home has been for royals for hundreds of years, and Princess Alexandra moved in there with Sir Angus soon after their wedding.

According to some reports, she had been preparing to step back as a senior royal last year, but she has carried on working in the wake of the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle earlier this year. The palace had dismissed the rumours.

Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy pictured with her husband Angus Ogilvy (1928-2004) as they leave Westminster Abbey on the day of their wedding in London on 24th April 1963. (Photo by Harry Benson/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy pictured with her husband Angus Ogilvy (1928-2004) as they leave Westminster Abbey on the day of their wedding in London on 24 April 1963. (Harry Benson/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Princess Alexandra inspecting the troops, at a parade in Hyde Park, London, 19th May 1968. (Photo by Norman Potter/Express/Getty Images)
Princess Alexandra inspecting the troops, at a parade in Hyde Park, in 1968. (Norman Potter/Express/Getty Images)

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She was part of the collective Royal Family efforts to mark International Nurses’ Day during the pandemic.

Once dubbed a “sort of national treasure”, when she began royal duties, she carried out more than 100 every year.

Hugo Vickers, the Queen Mother’s biographer, told The Telegraph: “She has never done anything except royal duties all her life – there were not so many members of the Royal family around when she started working.”

He added: “She is quite royal and holds her dignity.”

Her son James went to school with the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, and the two men are said to continue to be good friends.

Alexandra is now grandmother to four children, as both her children have two of their own.

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