Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark
Princess Katherine in 1937
4 May 1913|
|Died||2 October 2007
London, England, United Kingdom
|Burial||11 October 2007
Royal Cemetery, Tatoi Palace, Greece
|Father||Constantine I of Greece|
|Mother||Sophia of Prussia|
Her paternal grandparents were King George I of Greece, child of King Christian IX of Denmark, and Olga Konstantinovna of Russia. Her maternal grandparents were Frederick III, German Emperor, and the Empress Victoria, the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
Katherine was born in the Royal Palace in Athens, a few weeks after her grandfather, King George I of Greece, was assassinated in Salonika. She had five siblings - three brothers (George, Alexander and Paul, each of whom would become King of the Hellenes) and two sisters (Helen, who married Carol II of Romania, and Irene who married Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Spoleto). When she was christened, the members of the whole Greek Army and Greek Navy became her godparents. At three years of age, the princess "had to be rescued from the family's villa, Tatoi, outside Athens, after the secret police set the house ablaze"; her mother being a sister of the Kaiser, the Greek royal family was suspected of being pro-German.
Life in exile
Her father abdicated in 1917, replaced as king by her brother Alexander. She and her parents were exiled to Switzerland. They were re-instated following Alexander's death in 1920, but Constantine abdicated again in 1922. Exiled again, this time to Sicily, her father died in Palermo in 1923. The family moved to Villa Sparta in Florence, where Katherine took up painting. Her second brother George became King George II in 1922, but was deposed in 1924.
Katherine was educated in England, at a boarding school at Broadstairs and then North Foreland Lodge. Her mother died in January 1932, after which she continued to live at the Villa Sparta with her sister, Helen. She and the future Elizabeth II were bridesmaids at the wedding of her first cousin, Princess Marina, to [Prince George, [Duke of Kent]] in 1934.
Return to Greece and marriage
Her brother George was reinstated as king in 1935, and Katherine returned to Greece with her sister, Irene. She joined the Greek Red Cross when the Second World War broke out in 1939. In 1941, after Greece had been overrun by Axis forces, she fled to South Africa with her third brother, Paul, in a Sunderland flying boat, where she worked as a nurse at a hospital in Cape Town. She heard no news of her sister Helen for four years. She returned to England in 1946, sailing the last leg from Egypt to England on the Cunard liner RMS Ascania. On board, she met Major Richard Campbell Brandram MC (5 August 1911 – 5 April 1994), an officer in the British Royal Artillery. They were engaged three weeks after they arrived in England, and married on 21 April 1947 at the Royal Palace in Athens. Her brother George died on 1 April, three weeks before the wedding, and was succeeded on the Greek throne by her third brother Paul, who acted as best man at the wedding.
She then accompanied her husband to his new army posting in Baghdad, and they later settled in England. King George VI granted her the status of a duke's daughter in the order of precedence. She and her husband lived in Eaton Square in Belgravia, and later moved to Marlow, Buckinghamshire.
According to her obituary in The Daily Telegraph, "Lady Katherine lived quietly but remained in close touch with her own and the British royal families. She attended the Queen's wedding to Prince Philip (her first cousin), and was a guest at the service to mark Prince Philip's 80th birthday at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in 2001."
After the death of Infanta Beatriz of Spain in 2002, Katherine was the last surviving great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, as well the last surviving grandchild of Frederick III, German Emperor and Victoria, Princess Royal. She lived for almost 87 years after the death of her brother, King Alexander, and her death left Count Carl Johan Bernadotte of Sweden (31 October 1916 - 5 May 2012) as Queen Victoria's last living great-grandchild.
From the time of the death of her sister Helen, Queen Mother of Romania (Helen of Greece and Denmark) in 1982, to the time of her own death, she was Queen Victoria's most senior female line descendant. Her death marked the end of all female-line direct descendants of Frederick III, German Emperor and Victoria, Princess Royal.
Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark and Major Richard Campbell Andrew Brandram had one child, a son:
- Richard Paul George Andrew Brandram (b. 1 April 1948), married, firstly, Jennifer Diane Steele, on 12 February 1975 at London, England. The couple had three children:
Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark
|Reference style||Her Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 4 May 1913–2 October 2007: Her Royal Highness Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark
- In United Kingdom - 21 April 1947–2 October 2007: Lady Katherine Brandram
- Marlene A. Eilers, Queen Victoria's Descendants (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987), page 165.
- "Lady Katherine Brandram," The Daily Telegraph, 4 October 2007, accessed 8 March 2013.