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Catharine 08-20-2003 07:27 AM

Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900-1974) and Princess Alice (1901-2004)
Princess Alice equals Queen Mother's record
By Caroline Davies (Filed: 19/08/2003)

Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, is about to overtake the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother this week by becoming the oldest member of the Royal Family in history.

The dowager Duchess, who lives at Kensington Palace, will tomorrow equal the age to which the Queen Mother lived, 101 years and 238 days.

Princess Alice pictured in July 2001
Although frail and sometimes forgetful, Princess Alice continues to carry out royal engagements - albeit very few - but is rarely seen in public.

Her last official photograph was taken just before her 100th birthday when she posed with members of her family including her two bridesmaids - the Queen and Princess Margaret.

Recently she took over as Colonel in Chief of the Royal Anglians, an appointment that surprised many given her great age. And the duties she has performed in recent years have been restricted to granting audiences in her apartment for members of the organisations with which she remains associated.

As the only member of the Royal Family alive during the First World War, she has retained strong links with the Somme Association, and one of her most recent engagements was to hold an audience for its officials in May, where they found her to be "bright, alert and interested in what we are doing".

The following month she also received the retiring chairman of the Queen's Nursing Institute.

But these days Princess Alice is most frequently spotted being wheeled around the gardens of Kensington Palace, where she lives with her son, the present Duke of Gloucester and his family.

The widow of Prince Henry, the late Duke of Gloucester and third son of George V, Princess Alice is often dubbed the most reluctant of Royals. She only accepted Prince Henry's marriage proposal at the age of 34, having devoted much of her young life to travel.

Like Prince William, she fell in love with Kenya and, like him also, she began learning Swahili. She also travelled in India. The third daughter of eight children of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch, the young Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott was seen as the perfect addition to George V's family, despite her self-confessed "horror" of society life.

But first she was determined to experience a life away from the house parties, and financed her travels by painting watercolours and selling them through a Bond Street gallery. She recorded her adventures in detail in her autobiography published some years ago.

Once the Duke had ensnared her, however, she settled down to royal life and produced two sons, Prince William, born in December 1941 and then, after two miscarriages, Prince Richard, the present Duke of Gloucester.

Soon after the latter's birth the Duke replaced Lord Gowrie as Governor General of Australia, and the family decamped there for two years. On their return they settled at her beloved Barnwell Manor, the Northamptonshire home bought for her by the Duke in 1938. It was to remain her home until the 1990s when, due to her infirmity, she moved to Kensington Palace.

She has been touched by the deepest of tragedies during her long life. In 1972 her elder son, Prince William, was killed taking part in an airshow in Staffordshire.

"I was completely stunned and have never been the same since," she wrote in her autobiography, "though I have tried to persuade myself that it was better to have known and lost him than never to have had him at all".

Two years later, her husband the Duke, who had become too ill for public duties since collapsing at the wheel of their car on the way back from Sir Winston Churchill's funeral in 1965, died too. Her younger son became Duke of Gloucester.

Princess Alice has always believed her life of public duty was pre-ordained, and cited an incident when she almost drowned at the age of 14 and made a covenant with God to make use of her life if He spared it.

"So when, through a set of unforeseen circumstances I one day found myself allotted a life of public duty in service of my country, a very secret pledge was honoured," she wrote.

She still holds several honorary appointments and ranks in the Armed Services, as well as being associated with many medical and health charities.

Teresa 08-20-2003 04:26 PM

Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester (1901-2004)
From Hello

20 AUGUST 2003
The Queen's aunt, Princess Alice, has raised the bar on royal longevity, becoming the oldest-ever member of the British monarchy.

On Wednesday, the royal centenarian broke the record set by the Queen Mother, who passed away in March of last year. Born Lady Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott on Christmas Day 1901, Princess Alice has lived for 101 years, seven months and 26 days.

In her younger years, Princess Alice, who is the widow of the Queen's grandfather's third son, was well-known in royal circles for her adventurous and independent spirit. After meeting the man would become her future husband – Prince Henry, a family friend and the son of King George V and Queen Mary – the aristocrat put thoughts of marriage aside in order to travel.

Lady Alice lived in Kenya, spent time in India and famously made an illegal visit to Afghanistan, disguising herself in traditional garb. News of her father's ill health brought her back to Britain in 1935, and the debutante married Prince Henry that same year, aged 34. She was to outlive both her elder son, Prince William, who died in a 1972 plane accident aged 30, and her husband, who passed away two years later.

Princess Alice spent much of her life at the 2,500-acre Barnwell Manor estate near Oundle, Northamptonshire, which she and Prince Henry bought in 1938. In 1995 the elderly widow moved into Kensington Palace to be with her younger son, the Duke of Gloucester.

Three years ago, the Duke announced his mother, described as "frail" but "in good spirits", would be withdrawing from public life. "She does, however, receive family and friends in the comfort of her home and, occasionally, representatives from her charitable organisations," he said.

Teresa 08-20-2003 04:29 PM

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Queen Elizabeth II's aunt has lived for 101 years, seven months and 26 days, overtaking the record set by the late Queen Mother

Teresa 08-20-2003 04:31 PM

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The monarch was among the guests at the Princess' 100th birthday celebrations in 2001

Teresa 08-20-2003 04:32 PM

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Beautiful and adventurous, Princess Alice married Prince Henry, the son of King George V and Queen Mary, in 1935
Photo: PA

ravenprincess 08-20-2003 05:21 PM

It still amazes me how long people are living these days. Can you image all of the changes Princes Alice has seen in the world, and in the monarchy as well...


HuNnIbUnNi 08-20-2003 07:20 PM

Congrats to her and her family it really is amazing how long people live to day. ;) It is an unbelieveable milestone. She has experienced so much it's probably great just to sit down and talk with her. Well again Congrats to Princess Alice. ;)

:flower: HB

hrhcp 10-26-2003 10:48 PM

Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester is the widow of the late Duke of Gloucester, third son of George V.

Lady Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott was born on Christmas Day, 1901 at Montagu House, London. She was the third daughter of the seventh Duke of Buccleuch, who had been a fellow midshipman of the future king George V.

Lady Alice was educated at home until the age of 12. She then went to school at West Malvern, spending a year in Paris before returning home to be presented at Court in 1920. Lady Alice has greatly enjoyed outdoor pursuits, including skiing, and has been an accomplished watercolourist. She also travelled widely, living for many months in Kenya and also spending time in India on a visit to her brother.

TOMMIX 10-27-2003 07:06 PM

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Here is an interesting photo [circa 1980] which has great historical significance. Here are two different Princesses named Alice. On the left is HRH Princess Alice, Dowager Duchess of Gloucester on the right is the late HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Althlone.

What is so historical about this photo is the fact that Princess Alice, Dowager Duchess of Gloucester is the oldest lived member of the British Royal family, bar none. [on Christmas day of this year she will be 102 years old].

As for the other, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, she is the longest lived British Royal of all time who was BORN a Royal Highness. She was born 25 February 1883 and died 3 January 1981, making her 97 years and 312 days old at her death. She was the daughter of Queen Victoria's youngest son Prince Leopold, the Duke of Albany. She was also the longest lived grandchild of Queen Victoria.

So here you have a photo that has the two record holders for longevity within the British Royal Family in the SAME photo! :flower:

tricia 12-25-2003 10:53 AM

Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, celebrates her 102nd birthday today. She was born Lady Alice Christabel Montagu-Douglas-Scott. She lives with her only surviving son, the present Duke of Gloucester, and his family at Kensington Palace. She is the oldest royal in British history. Photo from BBC.

Josefine 02-20-2004 05:14 AM

so she had one son prince william....?

Elspeth 02-21-2004 12:09 AM

She had two sons, Prince William, who was born in 1942 and died in a light-plane crash in 1972, and Prince Richard, who was born in 1944 and became Duke of Gloucester when his father died in 1974.

HMQueenElizabethII 06-22-2004 08:04 AM

Do you have any pics of the life of HRH Princess Alice of Gloucester from 1990 to 2004?

micas 06-22-2004 01:08 PM

:flower: :flower:

Some that i found


No date}

Sorry my iguenorance but she is alive? :blush: :blush:

karla64 06-22-2004 03:24 PM


Yes she still alive and 101 year old now...


CathyEarnshaw 06-22-2004 04:03 PM


Originally posted by karla64@Jun 22nd, 2004 - 2:24 pm

Yes she still alive and 101 year old now...


Actually, as she was born on December 25, 1901, she is 102, approaching her 103rd birthday

C.W 06-22-2004 05:41 PM

I think it is lovely that Lady Davina Windsor is holding her wedding at Kensington Palace so her Gran can attend and not have to leave her palace, she attended Lord Ulsters wedding in St James's Palace in 2002 but unfortunatly no official pictures released of her and the family

sara1981 06-22-2004 06:35 PM

i hope so Princess Alice would feels or not but she still as 102 year old like as Queen Mother who is 101 year old as long lived woman but Princess Alice very strong woman.

Sara Boyce

HMQueenElizabethII 06-22-2004 08:28 PM

Yes,Princess Alice is a strong woman.The Duke of Gloucester said that his mother had a strong spirit.

Elspeth 06-22-2004 10:38 PM

Allowing for the positive spin put on things to do with the royal family by the press office, it sounds as though she's having serious memory problems. I hope she's able to understand what's happening with her grandchildren's weddings. It's like history repeating itself - the present duke was married in his local church rather than in Copenhagen so that the old duke could participate in the wedding since he was too frail to travel.

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