Who is Princess Michael of Kent? Oldest British royal to contract coronavirus

·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read
File photo dated 10/07/18 of Princess Michael of Kent who is "on the mend" after contracting coronavirus which left her with extreme fatigue and fevers.
Princess Michael of Kent, here in July 2018, became the third British royal to catch coronavirus. (PA)

Princess Michael of Kent has become the third member of the British Royal Family to contract coronavirus, her spokesman has confirmed.

The princess was said to be over the worst of the illness having suffered “extreme fatigue and had regular fevers” for three weeks.

The 75-year-old’s spokesman, Simon Astaire, said she was “on the mend”.

Prince Charles, 72, contracted the virus in March but suffered mild symptoms, while his son William, 38, had the virus a month later, but kept it secret.

While she is only the third, and the oldest, British royal to contract COVID-19, Princess Michael is not as well known as other key figures in the family.

Who is Princess Michael of Kent?

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Princess Michael of Kent attends day eleven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
Princess Michael of Kent at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in 2019. (Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

Princess Michael of Kent is married to Prince Michael, who is one of the Queen’s cousins.

Prince Michael is another grandchild of King George V, as is the Queen.

The princess was born in Karlsbad, a town in what was Nazi Germany, and her father was a member of the Nazi Party. The town is now part of the Czech Republic.

Watch: Who is The Queen?

She was previously married to a banker called Thomas Troubridge, but they divorced in 1977, with the marriage annulled by the pope the year after.

She married Prince Michael in 1978.

As she is a Catholic, Prince Michael had to give up his rights to the throne when the couple married.

The royal wedding of Prince Michael of Kent and Baroness Christine von Reibnitz at the Town Hall in Vienna, 3rd July 1978. Guests, from left to right, Angus Ogilvy (behind the bride and groom), Princess Anne, Lady Helen Windsor the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Lord Mountbatten of Burma. (Photo by Ian Tyas/Keystone/Getty Images)
The royal wedding of Prince Michael of Kent and Baroness Christine von Reibnitz in 1978. Guests, from left to right, Angus Ogilvy (behind the bride and groom), Princess Anne, Lady Helen Windsor the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Lord Mountbatten of Burma. (Ian Tyas/Keystone)

But she was still styled as Her Royal Highness Princess Michael, the female styling of his title.

In 2015, when the Succession to the Crown Act (originally tabled in 2013) was passed, he was reinstated in the line, as the law banning those who married Catholics from holding their place was repealed.

The couple has two children - Lord Frederick Windsor and Lady Gabriella Kingston.

What does she do in the Royal Family?

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Michael of Kent during the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Mr Thomas Kingston at St George's Chapel on May 18, 2019 in Windsor, England. (Photo by UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images)
Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Michael of Kent at their daughter's wedding. (UK Press Pool/UK Press)

Princess Michael is not a working royal nor is Prince Michael, so they don’t get any funding from the Sovereign Grant.

However they do live in an apartment in Kensington Palace, and for some time did not pay much rent on it.

They did once represent the Queen at the independence celebrations in Belize, and at the coronation of King Mswati II of Swaziland.

Princess Michael has written several books, including three non-fiction and three novels. She has also published her autobiography, focusing on her love of cheetahs.

She and her husband represent charities and non-profit organisations too.

They often appear at the balcony for events like Trooping the Colour, and get an invitation to the Queen’s Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace every year.

Their daughter, Lady Gabriella Windsor, got married at Windsor Castle in 2019 in a private ceremony, and many members of the Royal Family attended.

Controversies

In 2017, Princess Michael was pictured wearing a blackamoor brooch as she went to the palace for Christmas lunch with the Queen and the Royal Family.

It was the first lunch that Meghan Markle attended, and the princess’s choice of brooch became the subject of many headlines.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 20:  Princess Michael of Kent attends a Christmas lunch for the extended Royal Family at Buckingham Palace on December 20, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Princess Michael of Kent wore the brooch to Christmas lunch in 2017. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press)

Blackamoor is a European art style with stylised figures, and the brooch in question featured a Black man in gold clothing.

A spokesman for the princess apologised after she was accused of wearing “racist jewellery”.

In 2002, the Queen agreed to pay the couple’s rent on their home in Kensington Palace, which they lived in without paying despite not carrying out royal duties.

But in 2010, they started paying their own rent.

Watch: Is The Crown a true story?

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