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How Duke of Kent who works ‘tirelessly’ for the Royal Family was chosen to support Her Majesty

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The Queen was joined by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent on the balcony at Buckingham Palace today in her first balcony appearance since the death of Prince Philip.

Before being joined by the rest of her family, the Queen, 96, stepped out on the Buckingham Palace balcony today to watch the parade ahead of the Trooping of the Colour flypast.

Her Majesty’s first cousin, 86, stepped up to support her. Previously, she was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, who died aged 99 in April 2021, during the occasion. 

The Duke, who is the son of Prince George of Kent – the brother of the Queen’s farther Prince George – also stepped up into the role at the 2013 ceremony when Prince Philip was recovering from surgery. 

Since the Duke of Edinburgh retired from public duties in 2017,  the Duke of Kent has been at The Queen’s side for many state event and during the pandemic, he was the only member of The Firm to accompany to her scaled down birthday celebrations.

The Queen was joined by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent on the balcony at Buckingham Palace today in her first balcony appearance since the death of Prince Philip.

Her Majesty's first cousin, 86, stepped up to support her. Previously, she was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, who died aged 99 in April 2021, during the occasion.

Her Majesty’s first cousin, 86, stepped up to support her. Previously, she was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, who died aged 99 in April 2021, during the occasion.

The pair have previously been described as ‘whisper-close confidants’ and Prince Edward has been praised for his tireless stoicism and work for the Firm.

He is 86 now and though the higher-profile activities of young royals such as William, Kate, Meghan and Harry grab the headlines, the Duke of Kent carries serenely on with his duties with a quiet, unfussy dignity and absolute contentment.

According to royal expert Richard Kay, it would ‘be hard to find another Royal Family member who embodies the qualities of loyalty and obligation to Queen and country more than Edward Kent’.

Affectionately known in the family as ‘steady Eddie’, he is the grandson of George V and Queen Mary, and the nephew of the Queen’s father King George VI. 

Through his mother, Princess Marina, the duke is a cousin of Prince Philip, while his father Prince George was the younger brother of the exiled Duke of Windsor. 

The Queen was accompanied by her cousin, the Duke of Kent, at this year's Trooping the Colour. They are pictured together in 2013

The Queen was accompanied by her cousin, the Duke of Kent, at this year’s Trooping the Colour. They are pictured together in 2013

The Duke of Edinburgh, pictured at Trooping the Colour in 2012, died in April this year

The Duke of Edinburgh, pictured at Trooping the Colour in 2012, died in April this year

The pair appeared to have a lengthy chat today as they observed Trooping the Colour march toward Buckingham Palace. 

Her Majesty did not personally take the salute on Horse Guards Parade due to ongoing mobility issues but her cousin stood ramrod.

BBC’s Huw Edwards commented that it was ‘fascinating’ to see the interaction between the pair.  

‘I have to say I am fascinated,’ the presenter said.

‘This long conversation between the Queen and the Duke of Kent.  

‘They’re obviously comparing notes and pointing to this section of the Guard, that section of the Guard.

‘I’d love to know what they’re saying.’

From left: The Duke of Gloucester, Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, Duke of Kent, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence , the Princess Royal, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales , Queen Elizabeth II , the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince George, the Duke of Cambridge, the Countess of Wessex, James Viscount Severn, Lady Louise Windsor, and the Earl of Wessex on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, to view the Platinum Jubilee flypast, on day one of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations

From left: The Duke of Gloucester, Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, Duke of Kent, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence , the Princess Royal, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales , Queen Elizabeth II , the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince George, the Duke of Cambridge, the Countess of Wessex, James Viscount Severn, Lady Louise Windsor, and the Earl of Wessex on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, to view the Platinum Jubilee flypast, on day one of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Kent watch from the balcony during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Kent watch from the balcony during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Kent watch from the balcony during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade  today

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Kent watch from the balcony during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade  today

The duke is currently writing his memoirs in which he will be telling the inside story ‘behind the scenes of the world’s most celebrated family’.

A key part of the royal family, he has labelled his role in the Quen’s Coronation in 1953 ‘daunting’ – and admitted his ‘chief anxiety was that I’d forget my lines’.

In his new book ‘A Royal Life,’ Her Majesty’s cousin details the events following his uncle King George VI’s death at Sandringham at the age of 56 – including the Queen’s Coronation.

He recalls in his memoir, set for release later this month, how he was nervous about his lines after being told he would have a prominent role in the ceremony.

Then aged 17, the Duke was informed he would be seated in front of the peers alongside his cousin Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and his uncle, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, as one of the three royal dukes who would pay homage to the Queen after the Archbishop of Canterbury.

‘My chief anxiety was that I would forget my lines. I had been given the impression that I had to remember them so I had learned them by heart,’ he recalls.

As Vice Chairman of the Overseas Trade Board, and later of British Trade International (1976 – 2001), The Duke of Kent has undertaken more than 60 overseas trips to promote British trade and exports, including to Europe, Japan, Australia and the Middle East. He was also the first member of the Royal Family to make an official visit to China. 

Extremely hard-working, he is involved with more than 140 different charities, organisations and professional bodies which cover a wide range of issues, from commemorating the war dead, to fostering the development of British technology and industry.

(From left) Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Princess Anne, Camilla, Prince Charles, the Queen, Prince Louis, the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Prince William and Sophie, Countess of Wessex at Buckingham Palace today

(From left) Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Princess Anne, Camilla, Prince Charles, the Queen, Prince Louis, the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Prince William and Sophie, Countess of Wessex at Buckingham Palace today

Queen Elizabeth II points as she stands next to Prince Louis on the balcony at Buckingham Palace in London this afternoon

Queen Elizabeth II points as she stands next to Prince Louis on the balcony at Buckingham Palace in London this afternoon

Queen Elizabeth II stands with Prince Charles to watch a special flypast from the Buckingham Palace balcony today

Queen Elizabeth II stands with Prince Charles to watch a special flypast from the Buckingham Palace balcony today

The Queen was joined by members of the Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony today in front of tens of thousands of cheering Britons as the Platinum Jubilee celebrations marking her 70-year reign got underway.

The 96-year-old monarch, who wore her Guards brooch and the blue Angela Kelly outfit used in her official Platinum Jubilee portrait, exclaimed ‘incredible!’ when she took the salute after arriving from Windsor Castle.

The Queen then returned to the balcony around half an hour later to watch the RAF flypast featuring the Red Arrows along with senior royals including Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William and Kate and their children.

While Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all appeared, there was no place on the Palace balcony for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle or Prince Andrew given that none of them are no longer working royals.

Meghan did however join in the celebrations when she was seen putting her finger to her lips next to Mia Tindall and Savannah Phillips from a balcony at Horse Guards Parade in an apparent attempt to quieten the children. She was also seen speaking with Harry and the Duke of Kent, who joined his cousin the Queen on the balcony.

On the second trip, Charles stood on the Queen’s right-hand side and the pair could be seen chatting and smiling. Huge cheers of ‘hooray’ erupted outside and as aircraft the approached, the Queen could be seen looking ahead and smiling. Meanwhile, Louis waved towards the sky and could also be seen resting his chin in his hands.

Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis wave during the flypast as they stand on the Buckingham Palace balcony today

Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis wave during the flypast as they stand on the Buckingham Palace balcony today 

Meghan Markle puts her finger to her lips next to Savannah Phillips and Mia Tindall at Horse Guards Parade in London today

Meghan Markle puts her finger to her lips next to Savannah Phillips and Mia Tindall at Horse Guards Parade in London today

Cheers go up from thousands of spectators in The Mall in London as they catch sight of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis with proud parent Kate and the Duchess of Cornwall during Trooping the Colour this morning

Cheers go up from thousands of spectators in The Mall in London as they catch sight of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis with proud parent Kate and the Duchess of Cornwall during Trooping the Colour this morning

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis watch Trooping the Colour in London this afternoon

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis watch Trooping the Colour in London this afternoon

The Red Arrows perform a flypast over The Mall on day one of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London today

The Red Arrows perform a flypast over The Mall on day one of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London today

Crowds look up from The Mall as the RAF Red Arrows fly overhead after the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London today

Crowds look up from The Mall as the RAF Red Arrows fly overhead after the Trooping the Colour ceremony in London today

The Queen could also be seen interacting with Louis, who was standing next to her on the balcony. And the young prince was photographed holding his hands over his ears as the aircraft soared overhead. The monarch smiled throughout the flypast and waved at the crowds before going back into the palace.

When the Queen made her appearance on the balcony there was a delayed reaction from the crowds in The Mall and spectators sat in the stands built for tomorrow’s Party at the Palace. A cheer went up when they spotted her on screens and she smiled as the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment passed the gates of Buckingham Palace. he troopers took around five minutes to ride past and she could be seen chatting to the Duke of Kent.

Other Royal Family members had started off the Trooping the Colour festivities earlier today – with the Duchess of Cambridge and her three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis waving for excited crowds.

Three carriages left the forecourt of Buckingham Palace carrying members of the Royal Family down The Mall this morning, with the Duchess of Cornwall riding alongside Kate Middleton and her children in the first carriage.

George, eight, Charlotte, seven, and three-year-old Louis smiled and waved enthusiastically as they sat in a row in the carriage, known as a barouche, with Louis the youngest in the middle of his older siblings.

They were followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex with children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn; then the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence in the third carriage.

The nation is embracing the special extended four-day bank holiday weekend of pomp, pageantry and star-studded festivities, which will see celebrities and the public gather in their millions in tribute to the monarch.

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