Prince Richard was born on 26 August 1944. His father was Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the third son of King George V and Queen Mary. His mother was Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester (née Lady Alice Montagu Douglas Scott), a daughter of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch. He was baptised at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park on 20 October 1944 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Gordon Lang. When Richard was four months old, he accompanied his parents to Australia, where his father served as Governor-General from 1945 to 1947. The family returned to Barnwell Manor in 1947, where Richard was largely raised.
At the time of his birth, he was fifth in the line of succession to the throne and second in line to his father's dukedom, behind his brother, Prince William of Gloucester. William died in 1972 when the plane he was piloting crashed at Halfpenny Green near Wolverhampton. Richard then became heir apparent to his father's dukedom and inherited it two years later upon the death of the first duke.
Prince Richard's early education took place at home; later, he attended Wellesley House School at Broadstairs and Eton College. In 1963, he matriculated at Magdalene College, Cambridge where he studied Architecture, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in June 1966; he proceeded as MA (Cantab) in 1971.
Later in 1966, straight after university, Prince Richard joined the Offices Development Group in the Ministry of Public Building and Works for a year of practical work. He returned to Cambridge in 1967, completing both parts of the Diploma in Architecture degree in June 1969. Upon passing his exams, he became a practising partner in Hunt Thompson Associates in London, an architectural firm.
Richard intended to practise full-time as an architect, but had to take on other responsibilities after the death of his elder brother Prince William in 1972, when he crashed his plane in a flying competition. Richard became first in line to his father's dukedom and had to take on additional family obligations and royal duties. He resigned his partnership and began representing his cousin, Queen Elizabeth II on royal duties.
On 10 June 1974, Prince Richard succeeded to his father's titles as Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster, and Baron Culloden. The Duke remains particularly interested in architecture and conservation. He was elected as a corporate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (and FRIBA) in 1972. He is President of the Society of Architect Artists. He serves as a Commissioner of the Historic Building and Monuments Commission for England (English Heritage).
The Duke has been Patron of construction charity Construction Youth Trust for many years and has a wide set of charitable interests, many of which benefit young people. With his background in architecture The Duke of Gloucester takes a keen interest in the work of the Trust and frequently visits their projects, in addition to giving his name to their long standing Duke of Gloucester Young Achiever's Scheme Awards.
He is Royal Patron of the UK branch of the charity Habitat for Humanity, Royal Patron of the St. George's Society of New York, and President of The London Society.
A keen motorist, Prince Richard passed the Advanced Driving Test of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, of which he was President for more than 32 years. On his appointment in 1971, it was recorded that the new President was "currently [driving] an Austin 1300", reflecting the modest image with which he has always been identified. He stood down as President in January 2005.
The Duke has a longstanding interest in conservation and education. In 10 April 2008, the Duke was installed as Founding Chancellor of the University of Worcester in a ceremony at Worcester Cathedral. A former teacher training college, the institution was raised to university status in 2006.
On 10 April 2008, the Duke of Gloucester was officially installed as inaugural Chancellor of the University of Worcester at a ceremony in Worcester Cathedral. In this role, the Prince officiates at degree ceremonies and major events, as well as promoting the University overseas. The Duke carried out the first of these duties on 5 and 6 November 2008 at the Graduation Award Ceremonies.
The Duke is also patron of the Severn Valley Railway and the Pestalozzi International Village Trust. He is also a patron of the British Homeopathic Association, a charity dedicated to the study, research and promotion of homeopathy. He shares a name with another Duke of Gloucester, King Richard III, and is the patron of the Richard III Society. On 22 March 2015, he attended ceremonies for the reinterment of Richard III in Leicester.
During 2009, the Duke became patron of the De Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre in support of its bid to raise funds through private means and through a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding to help develop this learning experience, protect the priceless exhibits and improve visitor access to the oldest aviation heritage centre in Britain. It celebrated its 50th anniversary on 15 May 2009.
On 8 November 2011 he opened the new Law School Building at the University of Hertfordshire on the de Havilland campus site of the former de Havilland Aircraft factory.
On 19 March 2013, the Duke represented Queen Elizabeth II at the Vatican for the inauguration of Pope Francis.
He is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the Royal United Services Institute.
On 11 March 2015, the Duke visited the Royal School Dungannon in Dungannon, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland to celebrate their 400th anniversary since King James I opened the school; presenting a commemorative plaque and raising an anniversary flag on the grounds.
On 22 March and 26 March 2015, the Duke represented the Queen at the ceremonies marking the reburial and commemorations of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral. The King had held the title Duke of Gloucester himself before his ascension to the English throne.
On 8 July 1972, Prince Richard married the Danish-born Birgitte van Deurs in St Andrew's Church at Barnwell, Northamptonshire; they have three children and six grandchildren:Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster, born 24 October 1974. He married Claire Booth on 22 June 2002. The couple have two children:
Xan Richard Anders Windsor, Lord Culloden (born 12 March 2007)
Lady Cosima Rose Alexandra Windsor (born 20 May 2010)
Lady Davina Lewis, born 19 November 1977. She married Gary Lewis on 31 July 2004. The couple have two children:
Senna Kowhai Lewis (born 22 June 2010)
Tāne Mahuta Lewis (born 25 May 2012)
Lady Rose Gilman, born 1 March 1980. She married George Gilman on 19 July 2008. The couple have two children:
Lyla Beatrix Christabel Gilman (born 30 May 2010) currently 32nd in line to the British throne
Rufus Frederick Montagu Gilman (born 2 November 2012) currently 33rd in line to the British throne
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester's official residence is at Kensington Palace in London. They have leased their private home, Barnwell Manor, since 1994.26 August 1944 – 10 June 1974: His Royal Highness Prince Richard of Gloucester
10 June 1974 – present: His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester
His Royal Highness Prince Richard Alexander Walter George, Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster and Baron Culloden, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Grand Prior of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem.
See also: List of honours of the British Royal Family by country 1997 Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG)
1974 Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO)
1975 Grand Prior of the Order of St John (GCStJ)
2 June 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal
6 February 1977 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal
6 February 2002 Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
6 February 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
1984 Service Medal of the Order of St John (with 3 Bars)
1978 Solomon Islands Independence Medal
1980 Badge of Honour, New Hebrides
1980 Vanuatu Independence Medal
1 August 2008 Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Tonga
2008 Star of the Solomon Islands (SSI)
1975 Member, 1st Class of the Order of Tri Shakti Patta
24 February 1975 Nepalese Coronation Medal
1973 Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav
1975 Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Polar Star
1974 Sash of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
Colonel-in-Chief, of the Royal Australian Army Education Corps
Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps
Colonel-in-Chief, of the Royal Anglian Regiment
Colonel-in-Chief, of the Royal Army Medical Corps
Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, of the Royal Logistic Corps
Royal Colonel, of the 6th (V) Battalion, The Rifles
The Royal Honorary Colonel, of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia)
Honorary Air Commodore, of RAF Odiham
Honorary Air Commodore, of 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 16 June 2001.
Honorary Air Marshal, Royal Air Force, 1 September 1996.