Queen's cousin Prince Michael hands back Kremlin's Order of Friendship award


Queen’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent who was caught in cash-for-access sting boasting of his ties to Putin’s regime hands back Kremlin’s Order of Friendship award

  • Prince Michael of Kent has handed back his Kremlin Order of Friendship award
  • The Queen’s cousin, 79, released the news in a short statement on Thursday
  • He had previously been caught boasting of arranging access to Putin cronies for cash by undercover reporters


Prince Michael of Kent, the Queen’s cousin, has returned the Order of Friendship award he was given by the Kremlin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Michael, 79, released the news in a statement on Thursday after he was gifted the honour by then-President Dmitry Medvedev in 2009.

Prince Michael has previously been caught in a cash-for-access scandal after getting caught boasting that he could set up relationships with Vladimir Putin’s inner circle for a fee.

The short statement read: ‘I can confirm that HRH Prince Michael of Kent is returning his Russian Order of Friendship. There will be no further comment.’

The Prince and Princess Michael of Kent

Prince Michael's ancestor Tsar Nicholas II

Prince Michael of Kent (left) has handed back his Kremlin-issued award after previously showing himself as a Russophile because of his relation Tsar Nicholas II (right)

Prince Michael of Kent (right) received an honorary professorship from one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's oldest and most trusted cronies

Prince Michael of Kent (right) received an honorary professorship from one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s oldest and most trusted cronies 

Prince Michael is a relative of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of the Russian Empire who was overthrown and killed in the Russian revolution.

Michael bares a striking resemblance to the Russian monarch who was the first cousin of his grandmother Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna.

He attended the burial of Nicholas and the entire Romanov family in 1998 – 70 years after they were shot by Bolsheviks, and is also patron to organisations with close links to Russia like the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce and the St Gregory’s Foundation.

He attended an event with Vladimir Putin in 2003 at Kensington Palace to promote an obscure Russian martial art. 

In 2020, fictitious executives were reportedly told Prince Michael of Kent could be hired to endorse their company to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

The Queen’s cousin told undercover reporters posing as investors from South Korea in a virtual meeting that he could be hired for £10,000 a day to make ‘confidential’ representations to Putin’s regime.

Prince Michael and Putin were joint patrons of an event at Kensington Palace promoting sambo, an obscure Russian martial art (pictured, Prince Michael and Putin in London in 2003)

Prince Michael and Putin were joint patrons of an event at Kensington Palace promoting sambo, an obscure Russian martial art (pictured, Prince Michael and Putin in London in 2003)

Journalists from Channel 4 Dispatches and The Sunday Times were investigating claims that Prince Michael and the Marquess of Reading were selling their links to the Russian regime.

Prince Michael said he would be ‘very excited’ to work with the fictitious ‘House of Haedong’ – which alleged it wanted to further its business in Russia by making links with Putin’s inner circle.

Prince Michael, a grandson of King George V, allegedly said he would give the ‘House of Haedong’ his endorsement in the Kremlin for a $200,000 fee.

He added his relationship with the state could ‘bring some benefit’ to the firm, billed as ‘new boutique fund that invests in the most regal of assets: gold’.

A representative for Prince Michael has insisted the royal has ‘no special relationship with President Putin’, adding they have had no contact since June 2003.

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