Who is the Duke of Kent – The Queens lesser-known cousin

The Queen's official 95th birthday is just around the corner – but things will be slightly different for her bash this year.

The traditionally crowded celebrations will be restricted due to lockdown, and Prince Philip will be absent due to his passing in April.

In previous years, Prince Philip would have joined The Queen for the Trooping the Colour parade – a grand military procession of 1,400 soldiers on the Mall in London.

Typically, The Queen would be surrounded by crowds of royal fans waving flags. She would also be with her family, who would join her to watch the Red Arrows fly over at the end of the procession.

How will The Queen Celebrate this year?

Due to current restrictions, the Trooping the Colour will not go ahead this year. This is only the third time in The Queen's reign that the procession has been cancelled.

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This year things will be a bit more low-key. It is likely that the day will be marked with a small parade in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle – just as it was last year during the pandemic.

Although we have no confirmed concrete plans just yet, it has been confirmed that The Queen will be accompanied by Prince Edward, The Duke of Kent.

Prince Edward is The Queen's cousin and will be accompanying her in place of Prince Philip.

Who is Prince Edward?

The Duke of Kent is The Queen's first cousin on her father's side. He was also the first-cousin once removed of Prince Philip on his mother's side.

Edward has been the Duke of Kent since he was 6 years old, after his father died in a plane crash.

He was born in Belgrave Square in London, a site that has historically been home to many diplomats and aristocrats including Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill.

Formerly a military captain, he now carries out charity engagements on behalf of The Queen – he is involved with a whopping 140 charities.

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Prince Edward has three living children with his wife Katharine Worsley. The pair sadly lost their stillborn baby – Sir Patrick Windsor – in 1977.

Beyond his professional pursuits, Prince Edward is also a member of the Freemasons. He has been in the mysterious club for nearly 60 years and was even elected as 'Worshipful Master' in the 60s – a position that manages over 'lodges' – which are units within the Freemasons.

The ritualistic club is thought to date back to the 1400's. Little is known about it other than that it is founded on the belief in a 'supreme being' and that women are not allowed to join.

You can watch Prince Edward join The Queen for her birthday, which will take place at 10.15am on Saturday 12 June, and will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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