Sunday, 26 January 2014

Latest News: Princess Michael of Kent "Older Royals Are Boring" and Princess Diana was "Uneducated"

I was glancing over the front pages this morning and was interested to see the cover of the Sunday Express. The headline reads "Old Royals Are Boring" and surprisingly the quote is taken from an older member of the Royal Family, Princess Michael of Kent.

Sunday Express

The outspoken 69-year-old made her comments during an interview with Conrad Black on Canadian television. Described as the "Pushy Princess", she has making the headlines lately during a series of interviews for her latest book. More from Phil Dampier's exclusive story:

'When asked about William and Kate, she said: "Of course we're thrilled to have a beautiful young married couple with a baby. Let's hope there are more marriages soon because I think to have that young generation is terribly good for the people. The people love to see happy young people and I think the older generation are a bit boring for most people.'

Princess Michael of Kent also discussed the late Princess of Wales: "Like probably many people of little education who find themselves suddenly lauded by the whole world, it is very difficult if you have not had a mother bringing you up who was quite stern and strict. She did not have a mother bring her up and she did not have much education."

You can watch the interview in full here.

Vision TV

Royal biographer Lady Colin Campbell has described the interview as "quite wrong". I don't know about you, but I've always been fascinated with Her Majesty and don't think anyone could described her as boring.


  1. Charlotte, I had seen this in the DM and didn't realize you included it here. Thank you!

    Overall, I think the interview is far less sensational than the headlines. It's true that Diana didn't have a terrific support system (both before and after her marriage) and I think that played a far greater role in her life than education because she was not a stupid woman; she was very intuitive. I must admit that PM's emphasis on the "younger royals" made me giggle and I don't believe it will result in an invitation to tea at Clarence House! LOL.

  2. Have to agree. What she said was not really all that sensational. Lots of people look only to the young and attractive. After all, she did not say SHE thought they were boring. Her point about Diana is probably difficult for Diana-lovers. There were so many admirable things about Diana, but PM is not wrong (sorry royal biographer); Diana was not an intellectual and had no preparation for the storm that was to overtake her. She was so young and naive; perhaps some education and a more intellectual leaning might have helped her.

  3. This woman can't seem to keep her mouth shut. Being that she is also an older member of the royal family, I suppose she is speaking of herself as well. It is widely known that prince Charles wasn't such a smart cookie, why speak ill of a dead woman? I believe it doesn't get more uneducated when someone in her position does that.

  4. True or not true, there is no reason to make such a remark. The Queen, the Queen Mum and Princess Anne had no real education either and they are or were massively loved and/or admired. It is unclear how much formal education Princess Michael had (her mother ran a hair salon in Australia.) And she was thirty-three when she married. Diana was barely twenty. The hundreds of thousands who mourned her death show how loved Diana was. No book learning can buy that.

    Yes, the remarks were taken out of context but Princess Michael has been on the royal scene for thirty years and that history is littered with her unfortunate remarks. Her recent Tatler article is a masterpiece of indiscretion (The Gloucesters moving out of their flat is none of her business and there are many similar remarks) She was a victim of the fake sheik in the past (saying worse things about Diana) She may consider herself educated but she seems incapable of learning to be discreet. Anyone who deals with the press knows that little remarks will be pulled out and used and so the best thing is not to discuss subjects in detail. (Diana was a lovely person, end of discussion.)

    Intelligence has a lot to do with learning from experience, not just from books and Princess Michael seems sadly wanting here. Unless she is doing this on purpose to get headlines to sell her book and that is even sadder.

  5. bluhare in Washington State27 January 2014 at 18:12

    I'm with everyone else. I clicked on the article hoping for a nice royal smackdown and got nothing.

  6. There is nothing in her remarks that was objectionable. It was just the press attacking a favorite target. I tend to agree with what she said, and I think most people do understand her remarks. I also think the press loves to deliberately misunderstand people, because it sells papers and magazines.

    1. I agree with you JulieB, nothing in this interview to get all up in arms about. Really compared to all that's going on with the Cambridges and Tindalls, the older generation isn't as interesting right now.

  7. Americanfan Florida27 January 2014 at 23:53

    Ditto bluhare.......

  8. I am appalled that Princess Michael is even hinting at labeling Princess Diana uneducated. If Princess Michael is so smart, why doesn't she know not to speak ill of the deceased? Princess Diana had to deal with this insult throughout her royal life, which was based on her self-depracting comment that she made about her school grades. As soon as she did this, she knew she had made a huge mistake because the media instantly seized upon it. She felt just fine with her education. While Princess Diana didn't have a college education, she was Lady Diana from a young age, mixing with aristocracy, The Queen & family. This is an education in itself, & in all of Princess Diana's travels, meetings with people, I never heard of her making a faux pas. In addition, Princess Diana's mother's absence was indeed a sad situation, but she did end up having a good relationship with her step-mom, regardless of what the media want people to think. I really wish people would stop talking ill of Princess Diana. Someone just recently made negative comments that Diana didn't love Charles, blah, blah. I hope folks think of William & Harry & stop with these remarks.

  9. Who is this "princess" anyway. Which of the queens relatives is she married to. Is she an HRH, and why does she have the title princess while Kate takes the title duchess? Anyway, I guess the saying "money doesn't buy class" has never been more applicable in this case. Very unfortunate....wonder why the queen hasn't put the theoretical "gag" on this woman?!

    1. I tried posting a reply to you anonymous, I don't think it went through, anyway, thank you again for explaining! Well done

  10. Okay Jenndog, quick royal lesson although Charlotte can do this much better and more accurately someday in The Royal Digest, with her lovely writing style and with pictures.
    Younger sons of the monarch or sons of the Prince of Wales are often granted royal dukedoms or earldoms by the monarch. Until they are, often on marriage, they carry the title of Prince. The nonroyal spouse of a male prince normally takes her husband's name with the title of princess, since she is not a princess in her own right. (Husbands of prncesses are out of luck and have no title, unless the queen gives them one as she did with sister Margaret's husband, the Earl of Snowdon.)
    So Catherine Middleton would have called Princess William, had the queen not made William the Duke of Cambridge. Being a royal duke (or earl like the Earl of Sussex) is more prestigous than being a mere prince or princess. A royal dukedom is a gift from the monarch.
    Now who is HRH Princess Michael?
    George VI, the queen's father had among his siblings two surviving younger brothers who were made royal dukes by their father George V. They were the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent.
    The Duke of Kent died in an aircrash during WWII shortly after Michael's birth, and Michael's elder brother Edward inherited the title, the Duke of Kent as a young boy.
    So Michael is not a royal duke because he has an older brother, the Duke of Kent, best known for being patron of Wimbledom (a royal role Kate is rumoured to be in line for, if she ever gets back to work full time.) All these folks are first cousins of the queen's. The late Duke of Gloucester also had one surviving son and three grandchildren so Michael and his children would be way down the list of royal successon and he has never had official duties. But he is an HRH, through his royal father.
    Michael was a bit of a playboy in the 70's. I remember him being linked rather improbably to the much younger Caroline Kennedy, But in 1978 he married an Austrian baroness named Marie-Christine, who became Princess Michael on her marriage. SHE says their marriage was arranged by Louis, Lord Mountbatten, apparently in an unwise moment. (Tatler January 2014) Princess Michael was not seen as very suitable; her father had Nazi links (admittedly small beans) she was a Roman Catholic so Michael had to give up his place in the royal succession, (though their two chiidren are still in line way, down the list ) and she was divorced (although it was anulled.)
    But most of all, Princess michael has one of the biggest and most indiscreet mouths out there. And she likes royal trappings far too much. Over tthe years she has said a ton of indiscreet things and been involved in several potential scandals including a recent close relationship with a Russian who was later murdered in Moscow. She also writes royal histories and now a romance novel, hence her many rather tacky interviews, needed to promote her book.
    The real crime is that she (through Michael) carries the title HRH along with all the other royal cousins while Diana, mother of the heir and spare after Charles and one of the best things that happened to a floundering monarchy in the early 80's was stripped of her HRH. It is one of the most vindictive and stupidest things Charles did and one wonders about Camilla's role in that. It would be lovely if William reinstates her title (if that's possible) when he becomes king but I doubt he has the guts. But one can always hope, for Diana certainly earned it and that she lost it where so many other less worthy royals retain it, demeans the HRH honour.
    The Danes when faced with a royal divorce of the hugely popular Princess Alexandra, wife of the younger son, did it much better and made her a royal duchess. They lost a tiara in the process, but survived with their dignity and compassion intact, more than can be said for the Prince of Wales.

    1. bluhare in Washington State29 January 2014 at 17:47

      Very knowledgeable post. Two quibbles.

      You said "when Kate gets back to working full time". When has she ever worked full time?

      You indicate it was Charles who stripped Diana of her HRH honourific. Charles does not have the power to do so.

  11. Anonymous, whew! That was great thank you. I took in every word. Your writing style is not to shabby either. I just can't believe that she I HRH, what a farce. She reminds me a little of Dianas step grandmother (the romance novelist) in personality. Just tacky and lacking in class/grace

  12. Jenndog, thanks for the thanks. My remarks would have been clearer but I ran out of word space. (My husband would say, if only that was always true.) I wanted to say that Prince Michael is the third and youngest child of the Duke of Kent, uncle to the present queen, and his elegant wife princess Marina. Hope you figured out the relationship because I didn't make it too clear. Agree Priincess Michael is a lot like Barbara Cartland.

    Bluhare, you are right on both counts. I remain silent on the Kate part as that is so controversal but I will comment on the HRH bit.

    I do think Charles was behind the decision to strip Diana of HRH even though the power to do so only lies with the queen. There is a good expanation in Royal Baronage from 1996 available online. But the situation was somewhat unprecedented. It wasn't the first royal marriage break-up (think Henry VIII and George IV) but the situation is so unusual, each one has to be considered individually.

    The queen has considerable power in this regard and she could and should have kept Diana an HRH. For instance, she allowed the widowed Duchess of Gloucester (wife of that other uncle) to call herself Princess Alice to distinguish herself from her son's wife even though the duchess was not a princess in her own right. An example of royal rule bending.

    Of course, in theory, we hope, hope, hope, the royal family didn't know Diana was going to be killed. It seemed likely she might remarry. But that problem could have been solved when the situation occurred. The Danish solution of making Alexandra (who in the British style would be Princess Joachim but the Danes don't use that form) a royal Duchess was a brilliant and tactful one. She kept that title even when she remarried. It is similar to making the former Edward VIII the Duke of Windsor.

    But of course the Danes had the British bad example to caution them. Stripping Diana of HRH must have seemed like a great idea at the time but it cost Charles and Camilla enormously even if it was the queen's act. Giving Diana a royal dukedom (and yes, women can be royal dukes, the queen is Duke of Landcaster, and called duke, although other females would likely be called Duchess) would have made it much easier for Camilla to be called Princess of Wales because that title would be less linked to Diana if she had another title. Hindsight is wonderful, isn't it.

    Plenty of royal tampering goes on. None of this is really set in stone. The dukedom of Fife was allowed to pass through the female line when a royal princess failed to give her husband a son. Something interesting is going to have to happen to the title of Prince of Wales, now primogenitor has been elimanated. So while Diana's death probably stopped her from being an HRH, maybe William can still do something when he is king. But I'm not holding my breath.

    1. bluhare in Washington State29 January 2014 at 21:33

      Hi Anonymous, thanks for the well thought out response. I just want to throw one thing out into the mix. IMO, I think the Queen Mother had more influence over the Queen and Diana's grandmother was one of her ladies in waiting (the one who famously testified against her own daughter in her custody dispute). Neither one of them were fans of people who bucked the status quo. What do you think?

    2. Anonymous, I agree that the Danes handled divorce in a much classier way than what happened to Diana. In her case, I think it was more about "pay back". Unfortunately, they didn't factor in their own cost. And bluhare I *do* believe the QM had something to do with it. The QM was sympathetic to Charles, she had the Queen's loyalty, and she was capable of being spiteful. As for Diana's grandmother, well, I could see her going along with it more than being an influence.

    3. @Anonymous 11:07 I agree with you but the Queen did offer to give Diana her HRH back after she passed. However her brother turned it down and I think it was a mistake because she deserved to be kept HRH and be buried as a royal in the royal grounds. I do understand why Earl Spencer was angry and that he wanted her to be buried on his land but it was wrong to strip her of the title and wrong that he didn't accept the Queen's offer of reinstatement.

  13. How rude! Diana was very well educated and was a noble. A real lady in every sense of the word. She was shy and naive but was educated. She also grew more educated every day by what she was exposed to in her life as a royal princess. Princess Michael has always been too full of herself in my opinion. She is a beautiful woman but she lacks the inner beauty Diana had. Diana had it all.

  14. All I can say is "wow". She thinks quite highly of herself doesn't she? She gives people who feel the monarchy should end, fuel with her "they are terribly good for the people".


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