Queen’s cousin and his wife take part in remarkable challenge in support of vital charity

The Duke of Gloucester is Her Majesty's first cousin

Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester and Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester attend the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Mr Thomas Kingston at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 18, 2019 in Windsor, England
(Image credit: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

The Queen’s cousin and his wife are taking part in an incredible challenge this month to raise money for a very significant cause. 

The Queen’s cousin Richard, Duke of Gloucester and his wife Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester are taking part in a remarkable challenge - Prostate Cancer UK's March the Month. Whilst perhaps not as well known to royal fans as Her Majesty’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are, the Duke and Duchess are nonetheless significant senior members of the Royal Family. 

As a son of the late Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, who was brother to King George VI, the Duke is a paternal first cousin to the Queen. The Queen has previously supported his fight against Covid-19.

Duchess Birgitte and Duke Richard’s participation in this amazing charity challenge was announced on March 1 on the Royal Family’s official Twitter account. Posting a picture of the royal couple in the great outdoors, the caption shared the important cause they will be raising awareness for.

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‘The Duchess of Gloucester, Patron, is taking part in @ProstateUK’s #MarchTheMonth challenge!' the caption read.

‘HRH - supported by her walking partner, The Duke of Gloucester - will complete 11,000 daily steps this month, representing the 11,000 men who die from prostate cancer every year.’

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The March The Month challenge is a virtual walking challenge that everyone can get involved with. The Prostate Cancer UK website states that you can take on the challenge either alone or, as the Duchess of Gloucester has chosen to do, with other people. 

The challenge sees those taking part walk 11,000 steps a day throughout March and participants can also track and share their progress using a JustGiving fitness tracker. This important challenge will help to raise awareness and money to fund lifesaving research. 

Duchess Birgitte has been a Royal Patron of this vital charity for many years. She and the Duke of Gloucester hold a great number of royal patronages and are important working members of the Royal Family. 

rince Richard, Duke of Gloucester (R) and Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester attend day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 17, 2014 in Ascot, England

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

The Gloucesters live in the Old Stables at Kensington Palace - the same royal palace where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their young children live during term-time. The Cambridges are understood to have been spending lockdown at their Norfolk residence, Anmer Hall.

Though with schools set to reopen on March 8, it’s been speculated that the family will move back to London so that Prince George and Princess Charlotte can return to Thomas’s Battersea school.

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!