Frequently Asked Questions
In what way is Prince Michael related to the Queen?
Prince Michael is HM The Queen's first cousin. His father was a younger brother of the late King George VI, the father of The Queen. Prince Michael's father was Prince George, Duke of Kent. The late king's name was actually Prince Albert but he took the title of King George on his accession. Their father was King George V.
Why does Prince Michael have the title of Prince when his older brother has the title of Duke?
In the British Royal Family a son of a monarch is a royal prince and he is given the title of duke on his marriage. Prince Michael's father, Prince George, was made Duke of Kent when he married Princess Marina of Greece, Prince Michael's mother. The title Duke of Kent was inherited by Prince Michael's older brother. If his parents had more sons they would also have had the title of Prince, only the eldest inheriting the ducal title.
Why is Princess Michael not called Princess Marie-Christine?
Traditionally, all wives of male members of the British Royal Family, the aristocracy and members of the public take the style and title of their husbands. Diana, Princess of Wales was not "Princess Diana" as the media called her, because she was not born a British princess. Her correct title was The Princess of Wales and when she divorced she became Diana, Princess of Wales. When the present Duke of Gloucester was still Prince Richard prior to the death of his father, his wife was known as Princess Richard. It just so happens that Prince Michael is the only grandson of a king titled HRH who is a second son and so there are no other princesses with the name of their husbands. The other princesses in the British royal family were all born into the royal house.
Why do Prince and Princess Michael's children have the titles of Lord and Lady and not Prince and Princess?
When King George V created the House of Windsor in 1917 he ruled that only the sons of a brother of the king would be princes with the title of Royal Highness. Their children would have the style and title of the sons of non-royal English dukes. The eldest son of the Duke of Kent is the Earl of St.Andrews and he will inherit the title of Duke of Kent but not the HRH. The children of a second son, as in the case of Prince Michael, have the style and title of the younger children of a non-royal English duke. This was done to avoid the situation in many European aristocratic houses where everyone is born with their father's title and they are often very numerous.
How exactly is Prince Michael related to Tzar Nicholas II?
Prince Michael's English grandfather, King George V was Tsar Nicholas II's first cousin as their mothers, both Danish princesses, were sisters. Their brother was appointed King Georgios I of Greece. Therefore, Prince Michael's Greek grandfather, Prince Nicholas, was also a first cousin of the Tsar.
The above makes Prince Michael of Kent a first cousin "twice removed" of Tsar Nicholas II on both sides of his family. The strong family likeness comes through the Danish connection and not the Romanov.
How did Prince Michael become interested in Russian Imperial history and become fluent in Russian?
Prince Michael's grandmother, Princess Nicholas of Greece, was born Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna, a member of the Romanov family. Princess Nicholas (as she was known) interested her grandson in her native country. In 1966 Prince Michael attended a Russian language course in what is now the Defence School of Languages at Beaconsfield. The course included a period of study in Paris living with a White Russian family. Prince Michael qualified as a Military Interpreter in 1968.
Does Prince Michael receive any funding from the tax-payer?
No. In fact, only The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh receive payments from Parliament, which are not reimbursed by The Queen. Since 1993, The Queen has repaid to the Treasury the annual parliamentary allowance received by other members of the Royal Family. Prince Michael, however, is in a unique position within the Royal Family, being a second son, and so he does not receive these parliamentary annuities. But having been brought up as a member of the Royal Family, Prince Michael has always felt it is his duty to respond in the same way as other members of his family, if requested to help and support a charity or other non- commercial organisation. Because he does not receive the parliamentary annuity that the other members of the Royal Family receive, Prince Michael runs his own private consulting business, which helps Prince and Princess Michael to fund and carry out charitable and public duties.
Why does the Court Circular not include the public engagements of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent?
The Court Circular records the official engagements carried out by The Queen and Members of the Royal family. Engagements undertaken by Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are not included in the Court Circular because they do not usually carry out official duties on behalf of The Queen. Prince Michael is not eligible for the parliamentary annuities received by other members of the Royal Family, because he is a second son. Under prima genitor rules it is Prince Michael's older brother, The Duke of Kent, who carries out official duties which are included in the Court Circular. Prince Michael's sister, Princess Alexandra, was asked by the Queen to undertake such duties because of a lack of female members of the family during the 1960s. However, although not categorised as 'official', Prince and Princess Michael carry out a great many charitable and public engagements each year both in the United Kingdom and abroad.
Was Prince Michael forced to renounce his place in the succession to the throne for marrying a Catholic?
In marrying a Catholic, Prince Michael lost his place in the succession as an automatic consequence of the 1701 Act of Settlement, which states that a member of the Royal Family can not remain in the line of succession if he marries or becomes a Catholic.
What connections does Prince Michael have to the military?
Prince Michael entered the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in January 1961 and was commissioned into the 11th Hussars (Prince Albert's Own) in 1963. He saw service in Germany, Hong Kong and Cyprus where his squadron formed part of the UN peacekeeping force in 1971. Subsequent tours of duty, during a military career that spanned twenty years, included a number of appointments on the Defence Intelligence Staff. He retired from the army with the rank of Major in 1981.
In 2002 Prince Michael was made Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Benson and in 2012 was promoted to Honorary Air Marshall of the Royal Air Force.
In 2009, Prince Michael was made Regimental Colonel of the Honourable Artillery Company and their Royal Honorary Colonel in 2012.
His Royal Highness is Senior Colonel of the King's Royal Hussars. Prince Michael was also appointed Honorary Colonel in the Army with effect from 10th November 2010.
Prince Michael is Colonel-in-Chief of the Essex and Kent Scottish, Ontario, Canada.