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Prince Michael of Kent
Full name
Michael George Charles Franklin
Born 4 July 1942 (age 78)
Coppins, Iver, Buckinghamshire
Spouse Princess Michael of Kent
Issue
Lord Frederick Windsor
Lady Gabriella Kingston
House House of Windsor
Father Prince George, Duke of Kent
Mother Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark
The Royal Family of the
United Kingdom
and the
other Commonwealth realms
Badge of the House of Windsor.svg

HM The Queen
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh


v · d · e

Prince Michael of Kent (Michael George Charles Franklin; born 4 July 1942) is a member of the British royal family. He is a paternal first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, being a grandson of King George V and Queen Mary. He is currently 47th in the line of succession to the British throne, but at the time of his birth was seventh in the line of succession.

Prince Michael occasionally represents the Queen at some functions in Commonwealth realms outside the United Kingdom. Otherwise, he manages his own consultancy business and undertakes various commercial work around the world. He has also presented some television documentaries on the royal families of Europe.

Early life Edit

Prince Michael was born during the Second World War on 4 July 1942, at Coppins, Iver, Buckinghamshire.[1] He was the third child of Prince George, Duke of Kent, who was a son of King George V and Queen Mary and a younger brother of King George VI. At the time of his birth Michael was seventh in the line of succession to the British throne. His mother was Princess Marina, a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia.

He has two older siblings: Prince Edward (born 1935) and Princess Alexandra (born 1936).

Because Prince Michael was born on American Independence Day, the Duke of Kent asked President Franklin Roosevelt to be one of his son’s godparents. President Roosevelt accepted and the baby prince was named Michael George Charles Franklin.[2]

At his christening on 4 August 1942 in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle, his godparents were: his paternal uncle the King; the Queen of the Netherlands (for whom her son-in-law Prince Bernhard stood proxy); the King of Norway (his great-uncle); US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (for whom the Duke of Kent stood proxy);[3] the Hereditary Princess of Greece (who was not present), the wife of Paul of Greece, his first cousin-once-removed; the Duke of Gloucester (his paternal uncle, who was absent); the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven (his paternal first cousin twice-removed); and Lady Patricia Ramsay (his paternal first cousin twice-removed). Because of the war, newspaper reports did not identify the location of the christening and said instead that it took place at "a private chapel in the country".

Just seven weeks after Michael's birth, his father was killed in a plane crash near Caithness, Scotland, on 25 August 1942.

At the age of five, Prince Michael was a page boy at the wedding of his cousins, Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.

His Royal Highness Prince Michael Of Kent

Education and military service Edit

He was educated at Sunningdale School and Eton College. Besides being fluent in French and having a "working knowledge" of German and Italian, he was the first member of the royal family to learn Russian.

Prince Michael entered the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in January 1961, from where he was commissioned into the 11th Hussars (Prince Albert's Own), in 1963, he later served in The Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own) after the 1969 amalgamation between the 11th Hussars and the 10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own). He saw service in Germany, Hong Kong, and Cyprus, where his squadron formed part of a United Nations 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 1994, Prince Michael was made Honorary Commodore (later Honorary Rear Admiral and currently Vice Admiral) of the Royal Naval Reserve, and in 2002, he was made Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Benson (promoted to Honorary Air Marshal in 2012). From 2009 to 2012, he was Regimental Colonel of the Honourable Artillery Company and has been, since 31 January 2012, Royal Honorary Colonel of that regiment. He is also Colonel-in-Chief of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment in Canada.

Marriage Edit

On 30 June 1978, Prince Michael was married, at a civil ceremony, at the Rathaus, Vienna, Austria, to Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz, the only daughter of the Silesian nobleman Baron Gunther von Reibnitz and of his Austro-Hungarian wife, Countess Maria Szapáry de Muraszombath. After receiving Pope John Paul II's permission, the couple later received a blessing of their marriage in a Roman Catholic ceremony on 29 June 1983 at Archbishop's House, London.

At the time of the marriage, Marie Christine von Reibnitz was not only a Roman Catholic, but also a divorcée. She had previously been married to the banker Thomas Troubridge; they separated in 1973, divorced in 1977, and had their marriage annulled by the Roman Catholic Church a year later, two months before her marriage to Prince Michael. Under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701, Prince Michael forfeited his place in the line of succession to the throne through his marriage to a Roman Catholic. He was reinstated to the line of succession on 26 March 2015 with the coming into force of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, and is 47th in line to the throne as of June 2018.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have two children, both of whom were brought up as members of the Church of England, and have therefore been in the line of succession to the throne since birth:

External links Edit

References Edit

  1. No. 35623. The London Gazette. 7 July 1942. p. 2987.
  2. Prince Michael of Kent. Unofficial Royalty
  3. Invitation to FDR to become Godfather. Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
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