London — Princess Alice, aunt of Queen Elizabeth II and the oldest member of the British royal family, has died, Buckingham Palace said Saturday. She was 102.
The palace said the princess died peacefully in her sleep on Friday with her family around her.
A spokesman said the queen was greatly saddened by the death of her aunt. He said the queen "remembers with gratitude Princess Alice's service to the monarchy and to the country."
Born Lady Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott on Christmas Day, 1901, the princess married Henry, Duke of Gloucester -- the third son of King George V and brother of the queen's father, King George VI -- in 1935.
After helping to boost morale on the home front during World War II, Alice moved with her husband to Australia, where the Duke was governor general from 1945 to 1947. Back in Britain, she kept a busy schedule of charitable work and official duties until she was in her 90s.
According to the royal family's Web site, in her 99th year Princess Alice retired from official engagements away from Kensington Palace, although she continued to receive family and friends in the comfort of her home and, occasionally, representatives from her regiments and charitable organizations.
She was the second member of the royal family to reach her centenary, after the Queen Mother Elizabeth, who died in March 2002 at the age of 101.
The princess and her husband had two sons: William, who died in a flying accident in 1972, and Richard, the current Duke of Gloucester.
The princess's husband died in 1974. She is survived by her son and three grandchildren. Funeral details were not immediately announced.