News, Culture & Society

Royal household advertises for a ‘discreet’ personal secretary to the Queen’s cousin

BY CHRISTOPHER WILSON FOR THE DAILY MAIL 

Princess Alexandra is the Queen’s cousin — and, in truth, is more blue-blooded than the monarch, descending as she does from kings through both parents.

Her father — the Queen’s uncle, Prince George, Duke of Kent — was a man for whom the phrase ‘not safe in taxis’ (with either sex) was invented.

Burdened with a libido the size of an elephant, he bedded ladies and the occasional chap before and after his marriage to Princess Marina, grand-daughter of George I of Greece.

Indeed, only days after Princess Alexandra was born — on Christmas Day, 1936 — George was discovered ‘in the company’ of Paula Gellibrand, a noted society beauty married to a former MP, forcing the Prince and the man he cuckolded to issue hot denials. Her father’s biggest crush was Kiki Preston, the morphine-smuggling daughter of a scion of the vastly rich Vanderbilt family in America.

But he never let up his sexual pursuit. Even in the hours leading up to his death in a mysterious plane crash on a Scottish hillside in September 1942, he was playing fast and loose in the apartment of his latest popsy in London’s Grosvenor Square.

Alexandra’s ice-cool mother, Princess Marina, rose above her husband’s infidelity — though, perhaps understand-ably, it took her 20 years to pay a visit to the memorial on the spot where he died as he was travelling to Iceland in a Sunderland flying boat.

Soon after Alexandra (right) married, rumours emerged that Prince Philip and Alexandra had engaged in an affair. In his biography Philip And Elizabeth, writer Gyles Brandreth confirms that Ogilvy was so dismayed by the tittle-tattle that he raised the matter with the Queen’s private secretary Martin Charteris, seeking advice as to what to do

Meanwhile, Alexandra, together with her brothers Eddie (the Duke of Kent) and Michael (Prince Michael of Kent) grew up in relative poverty at their Buckinghamshire home, Coppins.

No one had anticipated Alexandra’s father might die, even though he was a serving RAF officer, and suddenly all of his princely income dried up.

Alexandra’s first years were scarred by the seemingly endless sales of treasured family possessions, humiliatingly stripped from their home and retrieved from various other royal houses.

They were misleadingly priced up for disposal in the salerooms as ‘surplus to requirement’.

The town house in London’s Belgrave Square, where Alexandra was born ‘to the sound of a lone carol singer in the street’ was sold — but her mother, Princess Marina, was still plunged into the red at the bank.

The town house in London’s Belgrave Square, where Alexandra was born ‘to the sound of a lone carol singer in the street’ was sold — but her mother, Princess Marina, was still plunged into the red at the bank.

The parsimonious king, George VI, bailed her out with a tiny allowance, but Marina ‘acquired a reputation for meanness’, according to her biographer Audrey Whiting. With no real income, what else could she possibly do?

Against this background, her daughter Alexandra became the first royal princess to be sent away to school — Heathfield, in Sussex — rather than being taught at home.

And when her cousin Elizabeth became Queen on her father’s premature death, Alexandra was catapulted up the royal batting order to become sixth in line to the throne.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.