Duke visits Cathedral to open vestry

THE Queen's cousin the Duke of Kent visited Essex yesterday (17) to open a new vestry block at Chelmsford Cathedral.The royal Duke, who is 22nd in line to the throne, attended the dedication of two new works of art in the 15th Century cathedral.

THE Queen's cousin the Duke of Kent visited Essex yesterday (17) to open a new vestry block at Chelmsford Cathedral.

The royal Duke, who is 22nd in line to the throne, attended the dedication of two new works of art in the 15th Century cathedral.

The 20ft Tree of Life painting by Mark Cazalet in the blocked window of the north transept, and a new Philip Sanderson-designed altar frontal depicting the life of the Essex saint, Cedd, which marks the 1350th anniversary of the Christian faith in the county.

An appeal for development work at the cathedral, which is the smallest in England, was opened in May 2000 and since then £1.3million has been raised, including a £413,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £120,000 from church congregations.


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Around £230,000 was also donated by the Freemasons of Essex and the Duke, who is the Grand Master of the United Lodge of Freemasons of England, unveiled a plaque acknowledging their support for the cathedral works, which also include new toilets and kitchen facilities.

His Royal Highness had lunch with invited guests at Chapter House, which the Duke opened on his last visit in 1990.

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Born in 1935, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, is a cousin to both the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.

His father, Prince George, was the fourth son of King George V and his mother, Princess Marina, was the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece.

He inherited his title at the age of seven after his father was killed in a flying accident while on active service in 1942.

After school at Eton and Switzerland he entered Sandhurst, where he won the Sir James Moncrieff Grierson prize for languages and qualified as an interpreter of French.

The Duke's Army career with the Royal Scots Greys lasted 21 years, including taking command of a regiment serving in Cyprus as part of the United Nations force.

The father-of-three retired in 1976 with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and was promoted to Field Marshal in June 1993.

Married to Katharine Worsley, the Duchess of Kent, since 1961, the Duke is also President of the FA and the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and his interests include tennis, skiing, opera, flying and photography.

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