Britain's Prince Michael of Kent in Kremlin "cash for access" allegations

Prince Michael of Kent was willing to use his royal status for personal profit, and provide access to Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime, a Sunday Times and Channel 4 report says.

The Queen's cousin was filmed at a meeting in which undercover reporters were told he could be hired to make representations to the Kremlin.

His friend, the Marquess of Reading, later described him as "Her Majesty's unofficial ambassador to Russia".

The prince, 78, has denied the claims.

And in a statement, his spokesperson said that the marquess had "made suggestions which Prince Michael would not have wanted, or been able, to fulfil" during the covertly-recorded meeting.

They added: "As is standard practice, Prince Michael's private secretary made it clear to the company's representatives during their conversations that nothing could proceed without the agreement of the British Embassy and the help of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, of which Prince Michael is patron."

The Sunday Times and Channel 4's Dispatches allege that the marquess described Prince Michael as being able to meet Mr Putin and make representations on behalf of a company set up by the reporters.

The marquess is said to have warned them that the prince's services were "confidential", adding: "We're talking relatively discreetly here because we wouldn't want the world to know that he is seeing Putin purely for business reasons."

He estimated the prince could charge clients in the region of £50,000 for a five-day trip to Russia, the report claimed.

The prince is also said to have appeared willing to give the fictitious company his royal endorsement in a recorded speech for a fee of $200,000 (£143,000), and to use his home at Kensington Palace as a backdrop.

Prince Michael's office denied to the Sunday Times that he had a "special relationship" with the Russian president and said in a statement that he had not been in contact with Mr Putin or his office for almost 18 years.

Image: Prince Michael of Kent after his investiture by President Dmitry Medvedev with the Order of Friendship at the Kremlin in 2009 -By Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/...

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