British Prince Michael of Kent intended to use his status as a member of the royal family for personal gain вЂ” and for money to provide access to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Sunday Times and Channel 4.
Prince Michael of Kent is Queen Elizabeth II's first cousin.
Their investigation was shown footage of Prince Michael, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, meeting with undercover journalists. During the meeting, reporters posing as representatives of a private company were told that the prince could be hired to put in a word for the clients in front of the Kremlin.
Prince Michael's friend, the Marquess of Reading, later described him as вЂњ Her Majesty's unofficial ambassador to Russia.вЂќ
Prince Michael, 78, denies the allegations. His official spokesman said that during a meeting with reporters, the Marquess вЂњmade statements that Prince Michael would not-and could not-comply with.вЂќ The statement also said that Michael Kentucky has not met with Russian President Vladimir Putin since 2003.
вЂњAs is usually done in such cases, Prince Michael's private secretary explained to the representatives of this company that nothing can be done without the consent of the British Embassy вЂ” and without the assistance of the Russian-British Chamber of Commerce, of which Prince Michael is the patron,вЂќ the prince's representatives say.
According to the Dispatches program of Channel 4 and the Sunday Times, the Marquess of Reading said that Prince Michael could meet with Putin and makeup patronage for the company, which is represented by reporters.
At the same time, it is alleged, the Marquess warned that the prince provides services вЂњon a confidential basis,вЂќ adding: вЂњWe are now talking without attracting too much attention. We would not want the whole world to know that he is meeting with Putin solely for business reasons.вЂќ
The Marquis estimated that the prince could charge about 50 thousand pounds for a five-day trip to Russia, according to the investigation.
The authors of the program also claim that Prince Michael agreed to record a video message with the recommendation of a private company in the background of Kensington Palace, where he lives. The cost of such a service, according to the investigation, was supposed to be 200 thousand dollars.
Prince Michael's office told the Sunday Times that he has no вЂњspecial relationshipвЂќ with Putin and has not had contact with the Russian president or his administration for almost 18 years.
According to the publication, the Marquis of Reading later sent an email to journalists expressing regret about the excessive openness about ties with Russia. The email says that any agreements will still need to be approved by the prince's advisers to ensure that what is happening is correct.
In a statement to the newspaper, the Marquis says that during a meeting with reporters, he made a mistake and вЂњmade unrealistic promisesвЂќ, for which he вЂњsincerely regretsвЂќ.
Prince Michael of Kent and his wife, the Princess of Kent, are not members of the royal family who have official duties, but in the past, they have served as representatives of the Queen. According to the website of the British royal family, before the coronavirus pandemic, they took part in about 200 events a year.
The website contains a biography of Prince Michael, which describes his вЂњconnection to Russia through his maternal grandmotherвЂќ and notes his вЂњ high interest in this country.вЂќ
Russian biography says that he was вЂњthe first member of the royal family who learned Russian and qualified as a translator into Russian.вЂќ
The Prince and Princess of Kent do not receive government funding, and Prince Michael is not in line for the British throne.
Prince Michael's official spokesman said that he earns a living with the help of a long-established consulting company and pays rent for his apartment in Kensington Palace.
Michael's father, Prince George of Kent, was the fourth son of King George V and the brother of George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II.