The PrincessHer Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent is the younger child of the late Baron Gunther von Reibnitz and his wife, the late Marianne, née Countess Szapary. She was born near Carlsbad in Bohemia on the estate of her maternal grandmother Princess Hedwig zu Windisch – Graetz, and descends from ancient European lineage on both sides of her Family.
Having lived in Austria, Australia and on her father’s farm in Mozambique, the Princess moved to London from Vienna to continue her historical studies, including the History of Fine and Decorative Art at the V&A. Princess Michael subsequently formed her own interior design company, Szapar Designs. She married His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, the first cousin of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in Vienna in 1978. They have two children: Lord Frederick Windsor and Lady Gabriella Windsor.
Their Royal Highnesses undertake over 200 public and charitable engagements annually as royal Patrons or Presidents for more than 100 charities and other not-for-profit organisations which they support independently. Both speak a number of languages and are active in several different sectors and countries which reflect their interests, not least in Russia. They also support the promotion of British business and exports overseas.
An accomplished author ...The Princess is author of six books, three non fiction books and three historical novels
Princess Michael’s fourth book and her first historical novel, “The Queen of Four Kingdoms”, set in 15th century France, is Volume I of The Anjou Trilogy. This first volume was published in October 2013 on Amazon and other on-line outlets. Volume II, “The Mystery of Agnès Sorel” was published in November 2014 and the third volume, “Quicksilver”, was published at the end of October 2015, marking the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
For the past twenty years she has pursued an active career in lecturing, speaking on various historical subjects at international establishments such as the French Institute in New York City, the Metropolitan Museum and Sotheby’s in USA. Princess Michael has also lectured in other countries including Canada, Argentina, Greece, Austria, Switzerland and Russia, both commercially and for a variety of charities and national institutions, most often at museums, universities and galleries.
Princess Michael’s other love is for her animals ...in particular horses, dogs and her Siamese and Burmese cats of which she is particularly fond
Her Royal Highness is the Royal Patron of three animal conservation organizations in Africa which are respectively concerned with cheetah in South Africa, rhino and wild dogs in Tanzania and an elephant and rhino orphanage in Kenya. Alongside her love of animals she harbours a passion for gardening. Princess Michael has a number of lectures in her repertoire on the history of the garden and is an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, a City of London Livery Company. She is also Honorary Freeman of two other livery companies: the Worshipful Company of Weavers and the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.
Princess Michael was awarded the Order of the Starry Cross, the ladies’ equivalent of the Order of the Golden Fleece, by Her Imperial Highness the Archduchess Regina of Austria. Her Royal Highness is also a Grand Dame of the Order of Malta, and in September 2010 received the Order of Mercy in recognition of her 32 years voluntary charity work.