Before CB and I recorded this week’s Gossip with Celebitchy podcast, we had a little debate about whether we should discuss all of the Russian shadiness within the UK, specifically how various Russian oligarchs have bought their way into British society, and how there’s a lot of Russian money involved in several royal and royal-adjacent scandals. We decided against talking about it on the pod because there are still so many unknowns even now. I will mention a few things before we get to the meat of this Prince Michael story though. One, the Duchess of Cornwall’s nephew, Ben Elliot, is in deep trouble because he’s a major fundraiser for the Tories and he’s been bringing in Russian money for years. Two, Russians were a smaller part of Prince Charles’s cash-for-honours scheme, although the main focus seems to be on one particular Saudi national.
As for Prince Michael of Kent, he is Queen Elizabeth’s cousin and he’s been “in trouble” before because of his Russian links. Michael owns and operates a “consulting firm” which does a sh-tload of business in Russia and with Russians. Michael has accrued a multi-million dollar fortune and no one really knows how, or exactly what his consulting firm facilitates. All of which is notable because Michael is considered a working royal, someone who is often invited to the big royal events and often works his own “royal” events. Well…sh-t has gotten more complicated for Prince Michael, big surprise.
Queen Elizabeth’s cousin has returned a Russian honor amid the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Prince Michael of Kent is returning the Order of Friendship, one of the highest orders in Russia, that he received from former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2009 for his work on Anglo-Russo relations.
“I can confirm that HRH Prince Michael of Kent is returning his Russian Order of Friendship,” a spokesman for the prince said, according to the Daily Express. “There will be no further comment.”
Prince Michael is related through his grandmother to Tsar Nicholas II, and he has been visiting Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992, according to his website. He speaks Russian and is the patron of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce.
Last year, Prince Michael was accused of selling access to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime. He was secretly filmed during a business meeting with two undercover reporters posing as investors from a fake South Korean business seeking contacts in the Kremlin, according to the Sunday Times of London. Prince Michael, 79, allegedly offered his royal endorsement in exchange for a $200,000 fee, reportedly saying he’d use his home in Kensington Palace (where Prince William and Kate Middleton also live with their three children) as a backdrop for the recorded speech.
His friend and business partner Simon Isaacs, whose title is the Marquess of Reading, reportedly described Prince Michael as “Her Majesty’s unofficial ambassador to Russia” during the Zoom meeting. The Sunday Times also reported that Icaacs said Prince Michael would be prepared to help “open the door” for the phony company through contact with Putin.
I noted something similar in my previous coverage of the sting operation on Prince Michael – the operation revealed that Michael wasn’t exactly selling access to the royals, he was selling access to Russia and Putin’s inner circle. You could argue that the only reason why Prince Michael has such an “in” with Putin and the oligarchs is because of his prince title and his close connection to the Queen, but it’s definitely just… weird. It’s always been very strange. MI6 might want to double-check that Prince Michael isn’t a double-agent. As for Michael handing back the Russian honor… lol, yeah, let’s see if that works. No more questions!!
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.