Marina, daughter of Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, first met George, the fourth son of George V, in London in 1932 at a party given by Lady Cunard. Marina was staying at Claridge’s at the invitation of her sister, Olga, and brother-in-law, Paul of Yugoslavia.
A year later, Marina returned to London with her sister and brother-in-law, who invited George to visit their home in Yugoslavia which George accepted. A week into the visit, George proposed to Marina and the engagement was officially announced by Buckingham Palace on 28 August 1934.
The wedding took place on 29 November 1934 at Westminster Abbey and was followed by a private Greek Orthodox ceremony in Buckingham Palace.
Marina’s wedding dress was designed by Captain Edward Molyneux, a couturier with salons in Paris and London whom Marina had worked with in the past. The dress had a simplistic style with a sheath silhouette and a draped cowl neckline, however the real star of the show was the exquisite fabric which was made of silver and white French brocade with a raised English rose medieval design that glittered in the sunlight. The material was so delicate, it was woven only two weeks prior to the wedding and then shipped straight to London so the seamstresses could make the dress.
In a break with royal tradition, Marina became the first royal bride to wear a tiara to keep her tulle veil in place instead of the customary flower wreath. Although Marina was given a diamond fringe tiara as a wedding gift from the city of London, she actually wore a fringe tiara belonging to her mother, Elena Vladimirovna, on her wedding day. However, the London Fringe tiara was worn by Marina throughout her life and was eventually inherited by her son, Michael.
George, Duke of Kent, had a number of affairs with men and women before and during his marriage to Marina, affairs which she appears to have ignored. In 1942, George was killed when the flying boat he was travelling in crashed into a hillside in Scotland. Marina gave birth to her third child, Michael, seven weeks after her husband’s death, and she continued to have an active role in the royal family during her widowhood.