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Prince Alfred, duke of Edinburgh (1844–1900) by Abel Lewis, c. 1875–80 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Alfred, Prince, duke of Edinburgh (1844–1900), duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, naval officer, and son of Queen Victoria, was born Alfred Ernest Albert at Windsor Castle on 6 August 1844, the second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. An extroverted child, his capacity for learning delighted his parents. They feared that the comparative academic weakness of his elder brother ...

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Ashmore, Sir Peter William Beckwith (1921–2002), naval officer and courtier, was born on 4 February 1921 at 5 Coombe Villas, Saltash, Cornwall, the younger son (there were no daughters) of Lieutenant (later Vice-Admiral) Leslie Haliburton Ashmore (1893–1974), naval officer, and his wife, Tamara, ...

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Sir Peter William Beckwith Ashmore (1921–2002) by Godfrey Argent, 1968 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brooke, Sir Charles Anthoni Johnson (1829–1917), naval officer and second raja of Sarawak, was born at Berrow vicarage, near Burnham, Somerset, on 3 June 1829, the second son of Francis Charles Johnson (1797–1874), from 1825 vicar of White Lackington, and his wife, Emma Frances Brooke (1802–1870)...

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Clifford, Sir Augustus William James, first baronet (1788–1877), naval officer and court official, was born abroad on 26 May 1788, the illegitimate son of William Cavendish, fifth duke of Devonshire (1748–1811), and Lady Elizabeth Foster (1757–1824) [see Cavendish], daughter of the ...

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D'Auvergne, Philippe (bap. 1754, d. 1816), naval officer and claimant to the duchy of Bouillon, was born in St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, and baptized at St Helier parish church on 13 November 1754. He was the only surviving child of Charles Dauvergne...

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L. G. C. Laughton

revised by Andrew Lambert

Ernest (1830–1904), prince of Leiningen and naval officer, was born Ernst Leopold Victor Karl August Joseph Emich at Amorbach, Bavaria, on 9 November 1830. He was the elder son of Charles, reigning prince of Leiningen (1804–1856), and his wife, Marie, countess of Klebelsberg...

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Ernest (1830–1904) by Frederick Richard Say, 1856–7 [[Left to right] Victor, prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Count Gleichen (1833-1891) and ] The Royal Collection © 2004 HM Queen Elizabeth II

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Feilding, William, first earl of Denbigh (c. 1587–1643), naval officer and courtier, was the eldest of the three sons of Basil Feilding (c.1567–1633) of Newnham Paddox in Warwickshire and Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Walter Aston of Tixall in Staffordshire. His date of birth is uncertain, but he is likely to have been at least sixteen years old when he entered ...

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FitzRoy [formerly Palmer], Henry, first duke of Grafton (1663–1690), naval officer, the second illegitimate son of Charles II (1630–1685) and Barbara Palmer, née Villiers, countess of Castlemaine and later duchess of Cleveland (bap. 1640, d. 1709), was born at his mother's house in ...

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George, Prince, first duke of Kent (1902–1942), naval and air force officer, was born George Edward Alexander Edmund at York Cottage, Sandringham, on 20 December 1902, the fifth child and fourth son of George V (1865–1936) and Queen Mary (1867–1953). After several years (1912–16) at ...

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Prince George, first duke of Kent (1902–1942) by Dorothy Wilding, 1934 © Tom Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Andrew Lambert

Hotham, Sir William (1772–1848), naval officer and courtier, was born on 12 February 1772, the second son of General George Hotham and his wife, Diana, youngest daughter of Sir Warton Pennyman, bt. He was a nephew of William Hotham, first Baron Hotham, and was educated at ...

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Mountbatten, George Louis Victor Henry Sergius, second marquess of Milford Haven (1892–1938), naval officer and businessman, was born at Darmstadt on 6 November 1892 as Prince George of Battenberg, third child and elder son of Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg (1854–1921), later Louis Mountbatten, ...

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Mountbatten, Louis Alexander, first marquess of Milford Haven [formerly Prince Louis of Battenberg] (1854–1921), naval officer, was the eldest son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and his morganatic wife, Countess Julia Theresa von Haucke. He was born Ludwig Alexander at Graz, Austria...

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Mountbatten, Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, first Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900–1979), naval officer and viceroy of India, was born at Frogmore House, Windsor, on 25 June 1900 as Prince Louis of Battenberg, the younger son and the youngest of the four children of ...

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Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, first Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900–1979) by Yousuf Karsh, 1943 © Karsh / Camera Press, London; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Payne, John Willett (1752–1803), naval officer and royal official, was born on 23 April 1752 at St Kitts in the Leeward Islands, the second son of Ralph Payne (d. 1760), chief justice of the island, and his second wife, Margaret, née Gallwey...