Queen's aunt celebrates 102nd birthday

Princess Alice, the Queen's aunt and the oldest British Royal in history, today celebrates her 102nd birthday.

Also born on Christmas Day, Princess Alexandra is 67 today.

Alice, born in 1901, has outlived even the 101-year-old Queen Mother who, when she died, was 17 months her senior.

The elderly Princess and dowager Duchess of Gloucester, has endured the death of her elder son, Prince William, who died in a plane crash in 1972, and the loss of her husband, Prince Henry, two years later.

Her eventful life has spanned a century of social change when not even a close relative of the Queen was protected from the pressure of rising costs, which forced her to move out of the family's country home.

The Princess had been devoted to Barnwell Manor, an impressive Elizabethan house, complete with adjoining 13th-century castle, set in 2,500 acres of arable farmland near Oundle, Northamptonshire.

But the sprawling house proved too expensive to run and the farm hit relatively barren years.

It was announced in January 1995 that the Princess would move to Kensington Palace, in London, to be with her son, the present Duke of Gloucester, and his family.

Lady Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott, third daughter of the seventh Duke of Buccleuch, was born on December 25, 1901, at Montagu House, the family's London residence.

Alice's childhood was spent between the family's houses, Boughton and Bowhill, Dalkeith, and Drumlanrig. It was a way of life which no longer exists, when armies of servants and tons of luggage travelled from house to house.

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now