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She said: “I never had an education, I just met boys”. Helen, 56, is the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, 85, who is the first cousin of the Queen. Edward’s father was Prince George, Duke of Kent, the younger brother of King Edward VIII and King George VI.
Helen was one of the first girls to attend Gordonstoun, a tough boarding school in Scotland attended by Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and other royals.
The school, which turned co-educational in 1972 when Helen was eight, was reportedly branded ‘Colditz in kilts’ by the Prince of Wales, who detested the harsh regime.
Helen, on the other hand, rather enjoyed her time at Gordonstoun.
The Lady, who went on to become an ambassador for Calvin Klein, Bulgari and Armani, opened up about her experience at the launch of Emporio Armani in Edinburgh in 2004.
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Queen’s cousin once removed, Lady Helen Taylor
She said: “Yes, we did have cold showers, the heating never worked and we had to go on morning runs before school, but it was a healthy lifestyle.
“That’s where my love affair with Scotland began. It’s a really special place.”
On the other hand, in an interview with The Lady magazine in 2018, she claimed teachers at the school doubted her abilities and recalled being told she would be most suited to “stacking shelves at Waitrose”.
She added: “I never had an education. At Gordonstoun I just met boys.”
Lady Helen Taylor and her husband Tim Taylor
Helen also endured a cruel nickname while she was at Gordonstoun, which she only managed to shake off much later.
She was given the nickname ‘Melons’ in reference to her weight.
She told The Scotsman: “I was slightly chubby. It was the boys at Gordonstoun who called me that.
“I think there are only about two people who call me that now. The original context has gone.”
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Royal Family Tree
While Helen was at school, she also garnered herself a bit of a reputation as a party girl, but she claimed this was not as wild as it was made out to be.
She said in 2004: “It’s all relative. If having a pint of Tennents in the woods at Gordonstoun could be considered wild, then I was.
“The trouble with me and parties is I like to be in bed by 10:30.
“I did used to smoke but I was always terrified of drugs.”
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Helen admitted she was lucky to have such a highly lucrative part-time career as a brand ambassador, something she was able to juggle with her family commitments.
Helen has three children with her husband Timothy Taylor, all of which have unusual names.
Her children are Columbus, 26, Cassius, 24, Eloise, 17 and Estella, 16.
Their mother said: “It’s an absolute dream to have a job like this. I travel a lot and I’m able to spend the majority of my time with my children.
“I am totally involved with their lives. I am very lucky.
“A lot of my friends are really jealous ‒ but I lend them clothes, so not too jealous.”
After 17 years years as the face of the brand, Lady Helen hung up her Armani jacket in 2018, saying she was glad to get rid of the “uniform”.
She said as fashion ambassador she was only allowed to wear clothes by the Italian designer for all public engagements.