Pictures of royalty at Southampton's Royal South Hants Hospital

Duchess of Kent at Civic Centre. 9th May 1954.      7772a - REF © THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO ARCHIVES.  Tel: +4423 8042 4479.
Duchess of Kent at Civic Centre. 9th May 1954. 7772a - REF © THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO ARCHIVES. Tel: +4423 8042 4479.

It’s 1954, and a local hospital is celebrating a royal occasion.

The Duchess of Kent visited Southampton’s Royal South Hants Hospital in May of that year.

Additionally, she met staff members and made an impression with her kind words.

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During her visit to Southampton, the Duchess went on a tour of the city centre with the mayor and was also shown around the Civic Centre.

On meeting the mayor and his wife, the duchess admired their gold chains of office and chatted for a while with staff catering in the Civic Centre.

Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent, was born in Athens in 1906. Her father was Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark. Her mother was Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, a granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia.

Daily Echo: Duchess of Kent at R.S.H (Royal South Hants) hospital. 9th May 1954.      7765a - REF © THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO ARCHIVES.  Tel: +4423 8042 4479.
Daily Echo: Duchess of Kent at R.S.H (Royal South Hants) hospital. 9th May 1954. 7765a - REF © THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO ARCHIVES. Tel: +4423 8042 4479.

The family were forced into exile when she was 11 following the overthrow of the monarchy in Greece. The family later moved to Paris.

The princess married Prince George, Duke of Kent, in November 1934 at Westminster Abbey, and the couple had three children.

The duke died in a plane crash in 1942 in Scotland while on active service with the RAF.

Daily Echo: Duchess of Kent at Southampton Civic Centre. 9th May 1954.      7765a - REF © THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO ARCHIVES.  Tel: +4423 8042 4479.
Daily Echo: Duchess of Kent at Southampton Civic Centre. 9th May 1954. 7765a - REF © THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO ARCHIVES. Tel: +4423 8042 4479.

After her husband’s death, the duchess continued to be an active member of the British Royal Family, carrying out a wide range of royal and official engagements, including taking on the role of president of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

The duchess died in August 1968, aged 61, following a brain tumour

These pictures were taken during Princess Marina's visit to Southampton on that day 70 years ago.

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