Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Princess Michael of Kent
Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent (Marie-Christine Anne Agnes Hedwig Ida Windsor née von Reibnitz) (born June 15, 1945), is a member of the British Royal Family, the wife of HRH Prince Michael of Kent, 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. She does not normally carry out royal duties on behalf of her husband's cousin, Queen Elizabeth II.
Princess Michael of Kent was born at Carlsbad (now in the Czech Republic), the only daughter of the late Günther Hubertus, Freiherr von Reibnitz , and his wife, the late Maria Anna Caroline Franziska Walpurga Bernadette, Countess Szapáry von Muraszombath, Széchyziget und Szapár . After her parents' divorce, her father, a Nazi party member later wrongly accused of having been a member of the SS, moved to Africa; Marie-Christine, her mother, and her brother, Friedrich, moved to Australia, where her mother ran a beauty salon.
She married firstly English banker Thomas Troubridge (born December 26 1939) on September 14 1971 at Chelsea Old Church , London. 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.
Two months after the annullment, on June 30 1978, in a civil ceremony in Vienna, she married HRH Prince Michael of Kent, the son of HRH Prince George, Duke of Kent (1902-1942) and HRH 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:
- The Lord Frederick Windsor (Frederick Michael George David Louis), born April 6 1979,
- The Lady Gabriella Windsor (Gabriella Marina Alexandra Ophelia), born April 23 1981.
As the third 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 II 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.
She is the author of two books, "" (Weidenfeld), and "Cupid and the King - Five Royal Paramours " (Harper Collins). She also writes a society column for www.bestselections.com, a on-line shopping website. Before her marriage to Prince Michael, she was an interior decorator
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 and which made headlines around the world. (She later described her accusers as a "group of rappers.")
- Marie-Christine, Freiherrin von Reibnitz (1945–1971)
- Mrs. Thomas Troubridge (1971–1978)
- Mrs. Marie-Christine Troubridge (1978)
- Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent (1978 onwards)
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