Princess Michael of Kent

Princess Michael of Kent
Princess Michael of Kent

Princess Michael of Kent (born January 15, 1945), born Marie-Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida Freiin von Reibnitz, is a member of the British Royal Family. She is married to Prince Michael of Kent, who is a grandson of King George V.

Princess Michael is an author, and has published several books on the royal families of Europe. She also undertakes lecture tours, and supports her husband in his public work. However, she does not officially carry out royal duties on behalf of her husband's cousin, Queen Elizabeth II.

Early life

British Royal Family

Princess Michael of Kent was born on January 15, 1945 in Carlsbad (now in the Czech Republic), the only daughter of the late Baron, Günther Hubertus von Reibnitz (of Silesian descent), and the late (and former) Baroness of Reibnitz, Maria Anna Carolina Franziska Walpurga Bernadette Szapáry von Muraszombath, Széchysziget und Szapár, Countess Szapár, a Hungarian.

After her parents' divorce, her father, a Nazi party member later wrongly accused of having been a member of the SS, moved to South Africa; Marie-Christine, her mother, and her brother, Friedrich, moved to Australia, where her mother ran a beauty salon.

In Sydney she attended Rose Bay Convent, a private Roman Catholic girls' school run by nuns of the Sacred Heart (Sacré Coeur) order. She grew to approximately 6' tall.

Through her mother, the Princess is a great14-granddaughter of Diane de Poitiers, mistress of Henry II of France, and a great12-granddaughter of Catherine de Medici, Queen of France.

Marriage

Styles of
Princess Michael of Kent
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am

She was first married to English banker Thomas Troubridge (born December 26, 1939) on September 14, 1971, at Chelsea Old Church, London, UK. She met him during a boar hunt in Germany. The couple separated two years later, and the marriage was formally annulled by the Roman Catholic Church in May 1978 for undisclosed reasons. He is the son of Sir Peter Troubridge, 6th Baronet.

Two months after the annullment, on June 30, 1978, in a civil ceremony in Vienna, Austria, she married Prince Michael of Kent, the son of HRH Prince George, Duke of Kent (1902-1942) and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark (1906-1968). Prince Michael is a first cousin of the current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Upon marriage, she assumed the style and title of HRH Princess Michael of Kent. After receiving the Pope's permission, the couple later married in a Roman Catholic ceremony on June 29, 1983, at the Archbishop House, London.

Since the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibits anyone who has married a Roman Catholic from succeeding to the throne, Prince Michael of Kent (at the time, eighth in the line of succession) lost his succession right upon his marriage to Marie-Christine. However, their children retain their rights of succession because they are in communion with the Anglican Church.

TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have two children:

Career

Royal duties

As the second son of King George V's fourth son, there was never an expectation that Prince Michael of Kent would undertake royal and official duties. Prince Michael has never received a parliamentary annuity or an allowance from the Privy Purse. Despite this, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent represented The Queen at the independence celebrations in Belize and at the Coronation of King Mswati III of Swaziland. Prince Michael of Kent also supports a large number of different charities and organisations and Princess Michael supports him in these roles. The couple also have use of a grace and favour apartment at Kensington Palace.

Author

She is the author of three books, Crowned in a Far Country: Eight Royal Brides (Weidenfeld), and Cupid and the King - Five Royal Paramours (Harper Collins)and in 2004 released 'The Serpent and The Moon' a true sizzling story of love and betrayal in a royal family. She also writes a society column for www.bestselections.com, an on-line shopping website.

Before her marriage to Prince Michael, she was an interior decorator.

Media coverage

Princess Michael of Kent has received considerable media attention, much of it critical, in the years since her marriage. It has been alleged that she does not get along well with other members of the Royal Family, including the Queen, and that she is regarded by them as pushy and self-important, once declaring to an American fashion magazine that she had more royal blood in her veins than any person to marry into the royal family since Prince Philip. She also has said she was probably the first tall person to marry into the clan. (The Queen reportedly has referred to her as "Our Val," a reference to the warrior-like Valkyries.) With the arrival of younger royals such as Diana, Princess of Wales and Sarah, Duchess of York, she had a much lower public profile. However, in May 2004 she was in the news when a group of black diners in a New York restaurant alleged that the Princess had told them to "get back to the colonies" when complaining about their noise - an accusation she denied, but which made headlines around the world. She said that she had merely told one of her fellow dinner guests that she would be glad to go back to the colonies (the Princess grew up in Mozambique) in order to escape her noisy neighbours. She later described her accusers as a "group of rappers."

In September 2005 she appeared in the news again, after the News of the World reporter Mazher Mahmood apparently gained her confidence and claimed that she made a number of in intemperate remarks, including calling Diana, Princess of Wales "bitter" and "nasty".

Titles

  • Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz (1945–1971)
  • Mrs. Thomas Troubridge (1971–1978)
  • Mrs. Marie-Christine Troubridge (1978)
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent (1978—)

References

  • HRH Princess Michael of Kent. Princess Michael's Descent from Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de' Medici.

 

Preceded by:
Katharine, The Duchess of Kent
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Ladies
Succeeded by:
Princess Alexandra of Kent

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