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Thirty years on and Princess Michael still happy with her Prince

June 29, 2008
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"Being friends long before we fell in love" is the secret of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent's enduring marriage – and it's a recipe that seems to have served them well. On Monday, the couple celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, making their union one of the most successful in royal circles.

Prince Michael - the Queen's cousin - tied the knot with his Austrian-born wife Marie-Christine in 1978 after Lord Mountbatten suggested their relationship went deeper than friendship and they went on to have two children, Gabriella and Freddie.

The marriage has survived financial problems – in 2004 their beloved country Nether Lypiatt was sold because of the crippling maintenance costs – and speculation about her close friendship with a Russian businessman 21 years her junior.

As the couple mark three decades of a life together, another well-known aristocrat is getting over the end of his latest romance. Charles Spencer, the brother of the late Princess Diana, has finished his two-year relationship with American TV presenter Coleen Sullivan.

In 2006 Earl Spencer separated from his wife Caroline Freud, with whom he has a son and daughter. He also has four children by his former marriage to former model Victoria Lockwood.

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Photo: ©
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have one of the longest lasting marriages in royal circles. Together the couple, who wed in 1978, have weathered financial problems and questions over her close friendship with a millionaire businessmanPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
Unlike the Queen's cousin, her godson Charles Spencer has not been so lucky in love. The twice-married Earl recently ended a relationship with attractive American TV presenter Coleen Sullivan, whom he dated for two yearsPhoto: © Getty Images

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