We take a closer look at the life of His Royal Highness Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the son of King George V and Queen Mary.

When we think of members of the Monarchy and indeed, infamous historical figures, there are some names that are more commonly brought up than others.

As far as royalty goes, King Henry VIII is certainly one of the most well-known royals, as is Queen Victoria. Other names, however, get pushed to the back of the queue as it were, despite themselves having quite the backstory.

Today for example, we’re going to be looking at the life of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the son of King George V and Queen Mary.

Early Life

Prince Henry was born on the 31st of March, 1900, on the Sandringham Estate, at York Cottage no less.

He was born during the reign of his great grandmother, the queen whom we mentioned earlier on, Queen Victoria.

His father, the then Duke of York, a grand old fellow on all accounts, who would later become King George V.

When Henry was born, he was fifth in line of succession to the throne, behind his two older brothers, his father, and his grandfather.

Henry had four brothers George, John, Albert and Edward as well as a sister Mary.

From a young age, young Henry, much like his brother Albert (later George VI), was plagued with all manner of ailments and was a very sickly young child. To make matters worse, he also had to wear shin splints due to his knocked knees.

Henry was a nervous, socially awkward child who suffered from a speech impediment whereby he had a nasal lisp, couldn’t pronounce his R’s and had a very high pitched voice. He also used to become ill a lot and likely suffered from a weak immune system.

In terms of stature, he was undersized and frail.

Education And Military

Despite his list of ailments, Henry went on to study at Eton College in 1913, before attending Royal Military College, Sandhurst in 1919.

He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

To his credit, Henry was eager to serve in a more hands-on role, but because of his status, he wasn’t permitted to do so.

In 1927 he was promoted to Captain, until 1937, whereby he was retired from active duty and was promoted to major-general.

In 1944, he was promoted to full general.

Becoming A Duke

In 1928, Henry’s father made him Duke of Gloucester, Barron Culloden, and Earl of Ulster. These titles linked him with three different parts of the UK, in the form of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

During a hunt in Africa, Henry embarked on an affair with Beryl Markham, but when word got out, there was an enormous outcry.

Henry began drinking excessively and was kept busy deliberately by his father to keep him out of trouble.

In 1935 he married Lady Alice Montagu Douglas, and the couple had two sons together.

Death

In 1974, aged 74, Henry died on the 10th of June. He was the only surviving son of Queen Mary and George V and was buried at the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore.

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