Prince Michael and his wife Marie-Christine – known, formally, as Princess Michael – are closing their business, less than a year after reports he was ‘selling access’ to the Russian officials.
Last year the royal family member, who also speaks fluent Russian, told undercover reporters posing as gold investors that he could be hired to make ‘confidential’ representations to Vladimir Putin’s regime – for £10,000-a-day.
He added that he was prepared to endorse the – entirely fictional – company by recording a speech in return for a $200,000 fee, using his apartment in Kensington Palace as a backdrop.
‘I have never had any close connection before with gold and the idea makes me very happy,’ Prince Michael told the undercover reporters.
Following the embarrassing event, the couple – nicknamed the ‘Rent- a-Kents’ – have now shut down their business called Cantium Services.
Prince Michael (left) and his wife – the statuesque Marie-Christine, formally known as Princess Michael (right) — are closing their business, Cantium Services
The company — Prince Michael owns more than 75 per cent, and he and Princess Michael are the only directors — was founded in 1978, the year they married
After the reports about ‘selling access’ his spokesman subsequently issued a statement, explaining that Prince Michael had ‘no special relationship’ with Putin, having last met him in 2003 and having had ‘no contact with him or his office since then’.
Today, his spokesman declines to comment on the application at Companies House to ‘strike off’ Cantium, while Jeremy Jennings, a Brussels-based chartered accountant named as Cantium’s contact, did not respond.
But it would appear to mark the end of an era for the ‘Rent-A-Kents’, as the couple were cruelly known. The company, of which Prince Michael, 80, owns more than 75 per cent, and of which he and Princess Michael, 78, are the only directors, was founded in 1978 – the year they married.
They were always candid about the scope of their money-making ventures, with Princess Michael declaring that she would ‘go anywhere for a hot meal’ – and seemingly proving the point by attending the opening of a Happy Eater on the A3 near Guildford.
In 2012, it emerged that they’d received £320,000 – to assist with staff costs – from oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who, the following year, was found dead in his bath at his Berkshire mansion.
It comes less than a year after Prince Michael, 80, a fluent Russian speaker, told undercover reporters posing as gold investors that he could be hired to make ‘confidential’ representations to Vladimir Putin’s regime — for £10,000 a day
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group