Prince Michael of Kent title: Why is Michael a Prince but his older brother is a Duke?

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Prince Michael of Kent, 78, is a member of the British royal family and the younger brother of Edward, Duke of Kent. He is also Queen Elizabeth II’s first cousin, as both are descended from King George V and Queen Mary of Teck. Prince Michael was seventh in line to the throne when he was born but now 47th in the order of succession.

His parents are Prince George, Duke of Kent – the young brother of the Queen’s father, King George VI – and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark.

He has one older brother, Edward, Duke of Kent. He was born in 1935 and married Katharine, Duchess of Kent in 1961. They have three children: George, Earl of St Andrews, Lady Helen Taylor, and Lord Nicholas Windsor.

Prince Michael also has an older sister Princess Alexandra of Kent, born in 1936. She was married to Angus Ogilvy from 1963 to his death in 2004, and has two children – Marina and James.

Prince Michael was then born in 1942. He married Marie Christine von Reibnitz – now known as Princess Michael of Kent – in 1978 and they have two children – Lord Frederick Windsor and Lady Gabriella Kingston.

You can see how the trio are related to one another in the graphic above.

But it’s interesting to note that Prince Michael’s elder brother Edward is style as a Duke and not a Prince.

Prince Michael of Kent’s website explains why this is – although Edward is still also a Prince.

The website reads: “In the British Royal Family a son of a monarch is a royal prince and he is given the title of duke on his marriage.

“Prince Michael’s father, Prince George, was made Duke of Kent when he married Princess Marina of Greece, Prince Michael’s mother.

“The title Duke of Kent was inherited by Prince Michael’s older brother.

“If his parents had more sons they would also have had the title of Prince, only the eldest inheriting the ducal title.”

So while Edward is style as the Duke of Kent – in the same way as Prince William also being the Duke of Cambridge – he is still also a Prince.

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Prince Michael is not a working royal, but lives with his wife in Kensington Palace – along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and the Duke and Duchess of Kent.

He manages his own consultancy business, is a qualified Russian translator and undertakes various commercial work around the world.

However, Prince Michael still occasionally represents the Queen at some functions.

His website explains: “Although not categorised as ‘official’, Prince and Princess Michael carry out a great many charitable and public engagements each year both in the United Kingdom and abroad.”

Prince Michael’s engagements also do not appear on the Court Circular, and they do not receive any funding from the taxpayer.

This is because Prince and Princess Michael of Kent do not usually carry out official duties on behalf of The Queen – unlike Prince Charles or Prince William who frequently step in for her.

Prince Michael is also not eligible for the parliamentary annuities received by other members of the Royal Family, because he is a second son.

His website says: “Under prima genitor rules it is Prince Michael’s older brother, The Duke of Kent, who carries out official duties which are included in the Court Circular.

“Prince Michael’s sister, Princess Alexandra, was asked by the Queen to undertake such duties because of a lack of female members of the family during the 1960s.”

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