Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Royal engagement: Duke of Kent to wed Yorkshire lady

March 8, 1961

The engagement of the Duke of Kent, cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, was announced earlier today.  He will marry Miss Katharine Worsley, daughter of Sir William Worsley, Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding of Yorkshire, and Lady Worsley.

The 25-year-old duke is the eldest child of the late Prince George, Duke of Kent, and his wife, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark.  He succeeded to the the ducal titles in August 1942, when his father was killed in an airplane accident "while on war service. 

Miss Worsley, 28, recently gave up her teaching career to help her mother "manage the family's large estate at Hovingham." 

The official announcement from Kensington Palace:  "It is with the greatest pleasure that the Duchess of Kent announces the betrothal of her elder son, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, to Katharine, only daughter of Sir William and Lady Worsley, to which union has gladly given her consent."

The Duke is a career army officer.  He is a captain, and was recently assigned to the War Office.   The Duke of Kent, whose Christian name is Edward, is eighth in the line of succession.

The date and place of the wedding was not announced.

Sir Philip Hay, the Duchess of Kent's private secretary, told the press tonight:  "The Duchess has known Miss Worsley for some time now and is naturally delighted by this news."    The Duke of Kent informed the Queen before she left for "her Asian tour."  The Prime Minister and the Commonwealth Prime Ministers were also informed of the duke's engagement. 

It is expected that after the marriage the newlyweds will live at Coppins in Iver, Buckinghamshire, which the Duke inherited from his late father.   The Duchess of Kent will maintain her residence at Kensington Palace.    The official consent for the marriage  is expected to take place at the next meeting of the Privy Council.

Miss Worsley and her parents are among the guests at a private dinner party which will be given tonight by the Duchess of Kent at Kensington Palace.  Miss Worsley is expected to spend several days at Kensington Palace as a guest of her future mother-in-law.

The Duke and Miss Worsley first met when he was serving with his regiment, the Royal Scots Greys, at Catterick, Yorkshire.  She is said to be an "accomplished pianist and is fond of riding and country pursuits."

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