Mysterious Personality Of Queen's Cousin Prince Michael of Kent
People sometimes don't realize how numerous the members of the British Royal Family can be. While there are many integrants the world knows about and follows closely, there are some others that can relatively be under the radar. One of those is Prince Michael of Kent, the Queen's cousin.
The truth is that this high-born gentleman has had an amazingly exciting life, ranging from his unique heritage to his controversial wife. Here's everything you have to know about this lesser-known royal. Take a look!
HIS FAMILY TIES WITH A COUPLE OF MONARCHIES
Michael George Charles Franklin was born on July 4, 1942, to Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark and Prince George, who was a son of King George V and Queen Mary. He was also one of the younger brothers of King George VI (yes, the family loved the moniker "George").
Therefore, he is a paternal first cousin of Her Majesty. At the time of his birth, Michael was the seventh in line to the British throne. However, he's currently in the 48th spot thanks to the many offsprings of the noble household. But Michael's heritage does not stop in the borders of the United Kingdom.
Shockingly, the 77-year-old Prince is also distantly related to the last imperial family of Russia, the Romanovs. Town & Country explained that Michael's grandmother was a first cousin to Tsar Nicholas II, making the British Prince a close relative of the Emperor.
HIS ROLE IN THE BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY
The Queen's cousin is not a working royal, which means he doesn't receive public funding. Nevertheless, he regularly joins the family in celebrations such as weddings and the Trooping the Color festivities. Besides, he sometimes takes on public duties to represent his cousin if deemed necessary.
So what does Michael do for a living? The source revealed that he developed a long military career, serving in countries such as Germany and China, which got him promoted to Commodore and Colonel. However, all that was before setting up his own consultancy business with operations throughout the world.
But as a nobleman, the Prince has also developed a philanthropic side, working with as a patron of around 100 charities like the Children's Burns Trust and the National Eye Research Centre. One more striking fact is that he's a qualified Russian interpreter. Despite all that, his life was relatively out of the spotlight, but that was until he married a quite controversial noble lady.
A WIFE THAT HAS RUFFLED A FEW ROYAL FEATHERS
Back on June 30, 1978, the Prince of Kent tied the knot in Austria with Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz. To start with the fuss, the noble lady was a Roman Catholic and a divorcée. Although the British Family has indeed modernized its rules regarding marriage, the reforms took place long after Michael's wedding.
In fact, the Prince forfeited his spot in the line of succession to marry the Baroness as he was under the terms of the Act of Settlement from 1701. However, after 2013's Succession to the Crown Act came into force, he was reinstated to the line. But the polemic was just getting started.
THE BIGOT ACTIONS AND SO MUCH MORE
It is no surprise that Princess Michael of Kent (yes, the Baroness goes by that title) is considered one of the most controversial members of the entire British Royal Family. After reading some of her personal faux pas, you'll agree with us. Actually, some royal circles have nicknamed her "Princess Pushy." Not a nice label, right?
So, let us brush up by starting in the 80s, shortly after her wedding. According to Town & Country, rumors began to circulate that Marie's father, Baron Gunther von Reibnitz, was a member of the Nazi party. This obviously created a huge disgrace for the newly-minted royal.
Fast-forwarding to 2004, the Princess herself received negative press thanks to some alleged racial issues. Presumably, she uttered racist comments to some patrons of color at a NY restaurant. However, her spokesman claimed that it wasn't true.
On 2017's Christmas day, the Czech Republic native created another stir when she wore a blackamoor brooch to a luncheon with Meghan Markle at the Palace. As The Telegraph explained, blackamoor art comes with resolutely racist connotations, so it was not the right fashion choice due to Meghan's biracial heritage.
And continuing with the bad streak of racial actions, Aatish Taseer, who is an ex-boyfriend of Lady Gabriella, the Baroness' daughter, revealed that she had allegedly named two black sheep Venus and Serena. Any resemblance to actual people is "unintentional" coincidence, right?
In this case, a spokesperson of the Palace refused to comment on that story, but some people close to the Kent stated that the story was pure fiction. In spite of that, we're not done with the royals yet. Apart from the racist stir, the Prince and Princess Michael have one more controversial aspect.
UNDESERVED ROYAL PRIVILEGES?
To close with a flourish, we need to mention the commotion the couple created when their residence was unveiled. In 2002, the world learned that the Kents had been living in Kensington Palace. The worst part? Rent-free! As you might know, apartments inside the royal mansion are reserved to those full-time royals carrying out official duties.
Read more: Prince Charles Won't Automatically Be The Head of the Commonwealth Once He's King, And This Is The Reason Why.
The Palace later clarified that the Queen agreed to pay his cousin's rent out of her own pocket. "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," an official announcement claimed.
Officials explained as well that the rent was a recognition for the numerous engagements and work that Prince Michael and his wife had undertaken at their own expense and without any public funding. Nevertheless, the couple decided to start paying their own rent in 2010.
Read more: Prince Charles Was Crying Before His Wedding Day, And Prince Harry May Not Be Charles’ Son.
THEIR LOVELY OFFSPRING
Putting controversy aside, the Prince and Princess Michael have had a lovely family. The lovebirds had two children together: Lady Gabriella and Lord Frederick Windsor. Perhaps you recall that Gabriella recently tied the knot with Thomas Kingston.
The grand wedding took place at Windsor Castle on Saturday, May 18, 2019, just a year after his cousin, Prince Harry, got hitched to American actress Meghan Markle in the same venue. As for Lord Frederick, the royal married Sophie Winkleman, an English actress, on September 12, 2009, and the couple has two kids together: Maud and Isabella.
Did you know all these facts about Prince Michael of Kent and his family? What do you think about his controversial wife? Share your opinion with us in the comment section down below, and stay tuned for more exciting updates about our favorite Royal Family. Until next time!