Michaels of Kent to pay the rent

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are to pay rent on their apartment for the first time.

The couple have lived at the royal residence at Kensington Palace since 2002, with the prince’s cousin, Queen Elizabeth, previously covering the £10,000 monthly bill for the five-bedroom home.

However, they will have to pay the £120,000-a-year bill themselves from 2010 if they want to remain in the property, following demands from MPs on the
Public Accounts Committee.

Buckingham Palace officials said in a statement: “In 2002 it was agreed that rent should be paid on the apartment occupied by Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and the queen agreed to pay this rent from her own funds for up to seven years.

“The rent is paid to the Grant-in-aid, provided by the Government for the maintenance of the Occupied Royal Palaces.

“It has now been agreed that, from 2010, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent will remain at their apartment but pay the rent from their own funds.”

Kensington Palace has been their main home since the prince and princess sold their Gloucestershire country mansion in 2006, though they have used the apartment since 1979.

Prior to 2002, they paid a “peppercorn” rent on the dwelling, covering utility bills.