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Who is Prince Michael of Kent? Everything you need to know

The late Queen's cousin will be mourning following the death of his son-in-law, Thomas Kingston

Prince Michael of Kent attends a Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Sir Donald Gosling at Westminster Abbey on December 11, 2019© Getty
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
Updated: March 12, 2024
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Prince Michael of Kent will be supporting his daughter, Lady Gabriella Windsor following the death of her husband, and the Prince's son-in-law, Thomas Kingston

The death was announced on 27 February in a joint statement that read: "It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the death of Thomas Kingston, our beloved husband, son and brother. Tom was an exceptional man who lit up the lives of all who knew him. His death has come as a great shock to the whole family and we ask you to respect our privacy as we mourn his passing." 

Prince Michael is a cousin of the late Queen and during his life, the 81-year-old has been involved in several scandals. Read on to find out more about the royal, from his extended family to his scandals...

His royal connection

Prince Michael of Kent standing with the Queen, Prince Philip in a top hat is in the background© Samir Hussein
Prince Michael and the late Queen were cousins

Prince Michael of Kent was born in Buckinghamshire on 4 July 1942 to Prince George, the Duke of Kent, and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. His siblings are Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy.

The Prince is the late Queen's first cousin on her dad's side, meaning their shared grandparents were Queen Mary and George V. 

His family life 

In 1978, the Prince married Princess Michael of Kent, who was born Baroness Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz and is of German, Hungarian and Austrian descent. She is an author and interior designer.

The royal wedding of Prince Michael of Kent and Baroness Christine von Reibnitz © Getty Images
The royal wedding of Prince Michael of Kent and Baroness Christine von Reibnitz

The couple share two children: Lord Frederick Windsor, 44, and Lady Gabriella Kingston, 42. They also have two grandchildren from their son's marriage to Sophie Winkleman: Maud, ten, and seven-year-old Isabella.

Britain's Lady Gabriella Windsor poses with her father, Britain's Prince Michael of Kent, before her wedding ceremony to Thomas Kingston © Getty
Prince Michael of Kent with Lady Gabriella on her wedding day in 2019

His career 

Prince Michael runs his own management consultancy business, working with clients around the world. The royal has also made documentaries about European royals and occasionally represented the late Queen at Commonwealth events. 

officers marching in parade at sandhurst © Getty Images
Prince Michael Of Kent Marching In The Sovereigns Parade At Sandhurst

Prior to this, Prince Michael attended Sandhurst and had a long military career spanning 20 years. According to his biography on the royal family's website, he served in Germany, Hong Kong, and Cypress.

However, he is no longer a senior working member of the royal family and he withdrew from public life in 2022 ahead of his 80th birthday.

Prince Michael's scandals

In 2021, the Prince, who speaks fluent Russian and was a regular visitor to the country before COVID-19, was reported to have offered to "sell access" to Vladimir Putin's representatives for more than £143,000. The report, published by The Times, was based on Zoom call footage of Prince Michael and the Marquess of Reading filmed by undercover reporters. The royal later told the newspaper he had not been in contact with the Russian president since 2003.

Back in 2002, the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent were scrutinised by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. The rent on their Kensington Palace apartments was found to be just £69 per week, and the committee called for the Queen to evict her cousins and charge a market rate to rent the property.

WATCH: All you need to know about Prince Michael of Kent's royal scandal

However, Buckingham Palace defended the decision and released a statement in support of the royal couple. It read: "The Queen is paying the rent for Prince and Princess Michael of Kent's apartment at a commercial rate of £120,000 annually, from her own private funds. 

"This rent payment by The Queen is in recognition of the Royal engagements and work for various charities which Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have undertaken at their own expense, and without any public funding."

Princess Michael of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent attended the Thanksgiving Service for King Constantine of the Hellenes hours after Thomas Kingston's death© Getty
The royal's life has not been without controversy

In 2008, it was announced Prince and Princess Michael would take over paying the full rent on the property.

RELATED: The Queen's cousin Prince Michael of Kent returns Russian honour amid Ukraine conflict

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Between 2002 and 2008, the Prince was given financial help by Boris Berezovsky, a Russian oligarch and vocal critic of Vladimir Putin who lived in the U.K until his death in 2013. 

The money, which totalled £320,000, was another issue over which Prince Michael faced scrutiny, but speaking to The Sunday Times at the time, his benefactor insisted: "There is nothing underhand or improper about the financial assistance I have given Prince Michael. It is a matter between friends."

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