Prince and Princess Michael of Kent will retire after a sometimes controversial royal career

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Prince and Princess Michael of Kent attended the thanksgiving service for the queen at St Paul's during the platinum jubilee celebrations. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent attended the thanksgiving service for the queen at St Paul's during the platinum jubilee celebrations. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

They've had their fair share of headline-hogging over the years and there may well be a few people who are relieved Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are retiring. 

The queen's first cousin and his wife are set to step down from public life ahead of his 80th birthday next month. An official announcement is likely to be made soon, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The news comes just months after Prince Michael cut all ties with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. 

The prince is a fluent Russian speaker and his business connections with the Kremlin came under scrutiny when Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February. He then severed ties with Moscow but he's believed to still have dodgy dealings in a business run by a former Russian spy.

(PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
The couple with Sophie Windsor, the wife of their son, Lord Frederick Windsor, at the thanksgiving service for the queen at St Paul's. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Although he's not one of the senior royals, he's often seen at the queen's side at family events, sometimes with his siblings, Princess Alexandra and the Duke of Kent.

According to the official royal family website, Prince Michael is classified as a “non-working royal” who's actively involved in many non-profit organisations.

He and his wife, Czech-born Marie-Christine (77), have two children, Lord Frederick Windsor (43) and Lady Gabriella Windsor (41).

The couple are no strangers to controversy. The princess, who comes from European aristocracy, raised eyebrows when she married Michael in 1978. At the time, people likened her to controversial US socialite Wallis Simpson, who wed King Edward VIII in 1937, because she was divorced and Catholic at the time.

(PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Princess Michael of Kent arrives at Royal Ascot during the queen's platinum jubilee weekend with Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, and Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Her background also raised eyebrows. She was born in Karlsbad, a German-populated town now part of the Czech Republic, and her father, Baron Günther von Reibnitz, was a member of the Nazi party.

On this topic, she once declared in a TV interview, “My shoulders are broad. I shall have to carry it. I wasn’t alive when all this happened, so I hope people will judge me on my performance, on what I am.”

She was accused of racism in 2004 when she reportedly told a group of African American diners to “go back to the colonies” at a New York restaurant.

She also wore a piece of jewellery that's racist and offensive when Meghan joined the royals for the first time at Christmas lunch in 2017.

And she's said to have angered members of the royal family when it was reported that she said she had “more royal blood” in her veins than any person to marry into the British royal family since Prince Philip. 


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