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Prince Michael of Kent

Prince Michael of Kent (4 July 1942-) is a member of the British Royal Family. He is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and first cousin once removed of her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His older brother is the current Duke of Kent and his older sister is Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy.

His Royal Highness Prince Michael George Charles Franklin, GCVO was born at Iver, Buckinghamshire, a godson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He is the youngest child of Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary, and his wife, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna of Russia. His father was killed in an aeroplane crash near Caithness, Scotland on 25 August 1942, a few days after his christening.

Prince Michael of Kent was educated at Eton College and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He received a commission as a second lieutenant in 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 United Nations peacekeeping force in 1971. He later served on the Defence Intelligence Staff. Prince Michael retired from active duty at the rank of major in 1983. He was appointed Honorary Commodore of the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service in 1994.

On 30 June 1978, he was married at a civil ceremony at the Rathaus, Vienna, Austria, to Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz (15 January 1945-), the daughter of Silesian nobleman Baron Gunther Hubertus von Reibnitz and his Hungarian wife, Countess Marianne von Szapary Muraszombath Széchysziget und Szapar (she was a member of the Hungarian ski team at the 1936 Olympics and later married Thaddäus Koczorowski). The marriage was controversial because the Baroness was not only a Roman Catholic, but also a divorcée. She was previously married to banker Thomas Trowbridge; they divorced in 1977 and had their marriage annulled a year later. Under the terms of the 1701 Act of Settlement, Prince Michael forfeited his place in the line of succession through marriage to a Roman Catholic.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have two children, both of whom remain in line to throne because they are in communion with the Church of England:

As a male-line grandson of George V, Prince Michael of Kent enjoys the titular dignity of prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the style His Royal Highness. However, as the third son of George V's fourth son, there was never an expectation that he would undertake royal and official duties. Prince Michael has never received a parliamentary annuity or an allowance from the Privy Purse. Although he has represented the Queen on a number of state occassions and supports numerous charitable organizations, the prince has to work for a living. He is the chairman of a consulting firm and has frequently appeared in various television programs on the history of the British, Danish, and Russian royal families. The prince's business interests have led to frequent accusations, particularly in the British tabloids, that he has capitalized on his royal status for commercial gain.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent divide their time between their home at Nether Lypiatt Manor in Gloucestershire and Kensington Palace in London.