European Royalty. Duchess of Kent. Born Marina zu Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg in Athens, Greece to Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna, grand-daughter of Czar Alexander II. Her family were forced into exile when she was 11 following the overthrow of the Greek monarchy. She married George Edward Alexander Edmund Windsor, 1st Duke of Kent, son of Britain's George V and Queen Mary, in November 1934 at Westminster Abbey. She was, to date, the last foreign-born princess to marry into the British royal family. Considered artistic, intelligent, and headstrong, she and Prince George were a dominate influence in London society. She was invested as Imperial Order of the Crown of India; and invested as a Dame Grand Cross, Order of the British Empire in 1937. The Duke was killed in an airplane crash near Caithness, Scotland, while on active service with the Royal Air Force in 1942. Princess Marina, however, continued to be a popular member of the royal family, and was involved with many charities and royal duties. She was appointed as the Queen's representative in March 1957 when Ghana gained independence from Britain, and again in 1966 when the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland became the Republic of Botswana. She served as the longtime president of the Wimbledon All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. She also served as the first Chancellor of the University of Kent at Canterbury from 1963 until her death from an inoperable brain tumor at age 61. Her funeral service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, was led by Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Marina's niece, and officiating were the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archimandrite of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Bio by: Iola