Icons / August 2016

Golden Ageing: Prince Michael of Kent

When it comes to demeanour, deportment, intelligence and dress sense, Prince Michael of Kent is arguably the finest of his stock. We cast an eye over some of his most remarkable features.

There have been many well-dressed royals over the years. There have also (contrary to popular belief) been many handsome royals, and many royals whom have achieved great things and indeed arguably reached the pinnacle of their monarchical influence later in life. King George VI might perhaps be the best (relatively) recent example of this; a man whom was never destined for the throne and by rights never should have inherited it, with a chronic confidence issue, speech impediment and by all accounts rather gentile and unassuming character. To rule in the manner he did, and to overcome the personal issue of being rather a shy and retiring type, is extraordinary. Yet even this eminent rakishness is overshadowed by the continual efforts of HRH Prince Michael of Kent, a gentleman of exceptional gravitas and decency.

Born the third child of King George V’s fourth son, the Prince could, with the best will in the world, have faded into the obscurity of minor-royaldom - overshadowed by those closer in line to the throne (and therefore of infinitely more interest to the media) than himself. Yet even from a young age, it became clear to all concerned that he was not destined to shiver in the shadows. In spite of a fairly conventional start for a royal, namely an education at Eton before enrollment into the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in 1961 and a distinguished military career to follow (Prince Michael left the military at the rank of Major in 1981), there were minimal expectations for him to perform duties or attend engagements on behalf of the royal family. Even so, throughout his life he has risen to the responsibility of his monarchical bloodline with aplomb – representing Her Majesty repeatedly in both the Commonwealth and abroad his whole public career long. To this end, Prince Michael has represented the Queen at state funerals in India, Cyprus and Swaziland and with his wife, Princess Michael of Kent, represented the Queen at the independence celebrations in Belize, and at the Coronation of King Mswati III of Swaziland.

He is, furthermore, the patron of over 100 charities and voluntary organisations including the Maritime Volunteer Service, Anglo-Hellenic League, Institute of Linguists, the Royal Aeronautical Society and perhaps most rakishly, Battersea Cats & Dogs Home – a cause particularly close to The Rake’s heart. In other words, he is quite evidently a selfless man, not content to disappear into the backdrop, but set instead upon using the inherent advantage of his situation, rather selflessly one might say, for the genuine good and the benefit of others. This drive to do good has been with him his whole life long, right up to this, his seventy-fourth year.

 

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Contributor

Aleksandar Cvetkovic

Aleks is Deputy Editor at The Jackal and former staffer at The Rake. He’s long harboured a passion for fine menswear, well-timed dramatic pauses and stiff drinks.