Princess Michael of Kent facts for kids

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Marie Christine
Princess Michael of Kent
Princess Michael of Kent (Armistice Day 2008).jpg
Princess Michael of Kent on Armistice Day, 2008
Born Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz
15 January 1945 (1945-01-15) (age 74)
Karlsbad, Greater Germanic Reich (now Czech Republic)
Spouse
Issue
  • Lord Frederick Windsor
  • Lady Gabriella Windsor
House Windsor (by marriage)
Father Baron Günther von Reibnitz
Mother Countess Maria Szapáry von Muraszombath
Religion Roman Catholicism
Occupation Author, interior designer

Princess Michael of Kent (born Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz; 15 January 1945) is a member of the British Royal Family of German, Austrian and Hungarian descent. She is married to Prince Michael of Kent, a grandson of King George V. Princess Michael was an interior designer before becoming an author; she has written several books on European royalty (mostly her cousins). She also undertakes lecture tours as well as supporting her husband in his public duties.

Early life

Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz was born on 15 January 1945 in Karlsbad, a town then in German-populated Sudetenland and now known as Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. She was born shortly before the defeat of Nazi Germany and end of World War II in Europe, near the family estates of her Austrian maternal grandmother, Princess Hedwig von Windisch-Graetz; the expulsion of Germans resident in Czechoslovakia followed later that year. Princess Michael is the younger daughter of Baron Günther Hubertus von Reibnitz (Freiherr) by his second wife Countess Maria Anna Carolina Franziska Walburga Bernadette (1911–1998), daughter of Count Friedrich Szapáry von Muraszombath, Széchysziget und Szapár, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Saint Petersburg at the outbreak of the First World War.

Princess Michael's father was a Nazi party member serving as a Sturmbannführer (Major) in the SS during the Second World War. The parents divorced in 1946; along with her mother and elder brother, Baron Friedrich (Fred) von Reibnitz (1942), Princess Michael moved to Australia where she was educated at Kincoppal School. Marie Christine and her mother established a beauty salon, while Fred von Reibnitz (now living in Canberra) joined the Australian Public Service. She subsequently moved to London to study History of Fine and Decorative Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Marriages

HRH Princess Michael of Kent Allan Warren
1999 portrait of Princess Michael by Allan Warren

Her first husband was the English banker Thomas Troubridge, younger brother of Sir Peter Troubridge, 6th Baronet. They met at a boar hunt in Germany and were married on 14 September 1971 at Chelsea Old Church, London. The couple separated in 1973 and were civilly divorced in 1977 (the marriage was ecclesiastically annulled by the Pope in May 1978).

One month after the annulment, on 30 June 1978, at a civil ceremony in Vienna, Austria, she married Prince Michael of Kent, the son of Prince George, Duke of Kent (1902–1942) and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark (1906–1968). Prince Michael is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. Michael presented Marie Christine with a two-stone sapphire-and-diamond ring made from stones that belonged to his mother, Princess Marina. For the ball held after the wedding, she wore the City of London diamond fringe tiara and a 70s style dress. Upon their marriage, she was accorded the style and title of Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, the female equivalent to her husband's title: not being of royal birth, she is therefore not titled Princess Marie Christine. 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.

Since the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibited anyone who married a Roman Catholic from succeeding to the throne, Prince Michael of Kent (at that time, 15th in the line of succession) forfeited his succession rights upon marrying Marie Christine. Prince Michael was reinstated to the line of succession to the British throne on 26 March 2015 with the successful passing of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013. Their children are members of the Church of England and have retained their rights of succession since birth.

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent have two children:

  • Lord Frederick Windsor, born 6 April 1979 who, on 12 September 2009, married Sophie Winkleman; Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor have two daughters: Maud Elizabeth Daphne Marina (born 15 August 2013) and Isabella Alexandra May Windsor (born 16 January 2016).
  • Lady Gabriella Windsor, born 23 April 1981 at St Mary's Hospital, London.

Activities

Prince and Princess Michael represented the Queen at the Belize independence celebrations and at the coronation of King Mswati III of Swaziland. Prince Michael also supports a large number of different charities and organisations, and Princess Michael supports him in his work.

Since a teenager, Princess Michael has held a long and enduring passion for the conservation of cheetahs and she is international royal patron for the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia.

Related Pages

Royal family on the balcony
The British royal family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace



Princess Michael of Kent Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.