Queen Elizabeth marked a very important milestone on June 2nd – her platinum anniversary.
But during one of the main events – the Trooping the Color parade – a special, lesser-known person appeared alongside her: Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent.
So who is this lesser-known king?
The Duke, 86, is the first cousin of the 96-year-old Queen and he emerged on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to receive the official salute in celebration of the monarch’s momentous 70 years of reign.
The Duke took the place of the Sovereign’s late husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died aged 99 last year.
Prince Edward donned his red military uniform for the event and later joined other members of the royal family to wave to the crowd below the palace.
The Duke of Kent is the son of Prince George, who died in a plane crash in 1942 and inherited the duchy at the age of 6. Prince George was the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary, and the younger brother of King George VI.
King George VI was the Queen’s father; he died in February 1952.
Prince Edward’s mother, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, was also a first cousin of Prince Philip.
This line of the royal family tree would make him both a second cousin and a first cousin once he was transferred to the Queen’s eldest son and heir, Prince Charles.
Edward is married to Katharine Worsley, Duchess of Kent and they have three children – George, Earl of St Andrews, Lady Helen Taylor and Lord Nicholas Windsor.
The Duchess of Kent, 89, rose to fame in 1994 when she converted to Catholicism. She was the first member of the royal family to do so publicly since the Act of Settlement was passed in 1701. Since the conversion took place after their marriage, the duke did not gamble away his position in the line of succession.
According to the Royal Family’s official website, Edward has also served in the military for more than 20 years.
He was the first family member to pay an official visit to China in 1979.
The family website says the father of three “works with over 140 different charities, organizations and professional bodies covering a wide range of issues, from commemorating those who died in war to supporting the development of Britain’s technology and industry.
“His Royal Highness makes numerous engagements in support of these organizations each year, both in the UK and across the Commonwealth,” the website added.
He also accompanied Queen Elizabeth during last year’s scaled-down Trooping the Color ceremony amid the COVID-19 pandemic.