Prince Michael denies ‘special relationship with Putin’
Prince Michael celebrated his 80th birthday on Monday and the royal is reportedly considering “retiring from public life” when he marks the milestone. His wife, 77-year-old Princess Michael, is expected to follow suit. Born in 1942 to the Queen’s aunt and uncle, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, and Prince George, Duke of Kent, Michael was seventh in line to the throne.
But today, the prince has fallen far behind in the royal rankings, sitting at No. 52.
In 1978, Michael briefly lost his place in the line of succession when he married Marie Christine, now known as Princess Michael of Kent, who is Roman Catholic.
However, he was later reinstated on March 26, 2015 after Parliament changed the rules of succession.
Unlike his older siblings Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra, he receives no allowance or parliamentary pension for his work as Queen’s representative, as he is technically classified as a non-working royal, despite having served up to 200 years of engagements on their behalf each year.
Prince Michael of Kent celebrates his 80th birthday on Monday.
Michael, Alexandra and Edward with their partners: Princess Michael, Sir Angus Ogilvy and Katharine
As a non-working king, Michael has built his own successful career and amassed considerable wealth in the process.
According to multiple reports, Michael has an estimated net worth of $40 million (£33.3 million).
But how did the prince earn his money?
In the early 1960s, Michael began a 20-year military career which took him to Germany, Hong Kong and Cyprus, retiring in 1981 with the rank of Major.
Michael had a military career that spanned two decades.
He has since been appointed Honorary Air Marshal of RAF Benson, Royal Honorary Colonel of the Honorable Artillery Company and Colonel-in-Chief of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment in Canada.
He now acts as a consultant to business clients and his own company, Cantium Services, which operates in sectors such as real estate, education and new technology.
In addition, he is involved in about 100 charities and organizations and is a qualified interpreter for Russian.
Meanwhile, his wife Princess Michael is an accomplished author having written several novels about European royalty.
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His wife has a similar track record of success in the art and design world, having started her own interior design business and spent 13 years on the board of directors of the Victoria & Albert Museum before being appointed President of Partridge Fine Art.
According to numerous websites, the Queen’s efforts have netted her an estimated $8million (£6.6million) over the years.
Although the Prince and Princess receive no public funds, they remain close relatives of the Queen and attend royal events from time to time.
The Kents’ finances were previously under scrutiny after it was revealed the couple had been living rent-free at Kensington Palace, despite not holding official duties full-time.
The Queen then agreed to pay her rent out of her own pocket.
Kensington Palace officials said: “The Queen pays the rent for the home of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent at a commercial rate of £120,000 a year from her own private funds.
“This payment of rent by the Queen is a recognition of royal obligations and the work for various charities that Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have undertaken at their own expense and without public funding.”
However, in 2010 it was agreed that they would henceforth pay their own rent.
In the past, both Prince and Princess Michael have taken on some public duties to represent the Queen when necessary, in the Prince’s case primarily when Russia was at stake, a particular interest of his.
Michael is related to Tsar Nicholas II through his grandmother and has been visiting Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992, according to his website.
Earlier this year, amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the prince returned a Russian honor, the Order of Friendship, one of the highest decorations in Russia, which he received in 2009 from former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for his work on the Anglo-Russian received relationships.
A spokesman for the Prince said at the time: “I can confirm that HRH Prince Michael of Kent is returning his Russian Friendship Order. There will be no further comment.”
Last year, Michael was accused of selling access to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime.
According to the Sunday Times, he was secretly filmed during a business meeting with two undercover reporters posing as investors in a fake South Korean company seeking contacts in the Kremlin.
The prince reportedly offered his royal confirmation for a fee of $200,000 and reportedly said he would use his home at Kensington Palace as the backdrop for the recorded speech.
A spokesman for Prince Michael said in a statement: “Prince Michael has no special relationship with President Vladimir Putin.
They added: “Lord Reading is a good friend who has made suggestions that Prince Michael would not have or could not have fulfilled.”