Undercover journalists, posing as investors in a South Korean company, were told of the QueenMr Putin’s cousin could be hired for £ 10,000 a day to make ‘confidential’ representations to Mr Putin’s regime.
Channel 4’s Dispatches program, working with the Sunday Times, created a bogus South Korean gold company called House of Haedong and approached five members of the Royal family with a job offer.
Dispatches and The Sunday Times said Prince Michael of Kent responded, expressing interest in working with the company, telling undercover reporters he would give House of Haedong his royal endorsement in a recorded speech for a fee of $ 200,000. $ and authorize the use of his house. in Kensington Palace as a backdrop.
Prince Michael earns no income from the civilian list and earns a living as chairman of his own private company, which provides advice on a consultancy basis.
In addition, he was asked if he would be willing to help the fake gold company in Russia.
According to Dispatches, in 2013 the prince’s business partner Lord Simon Reading attempted to sell Mr Putin access at an event at Kensington Palace, to which Prince Michael was invited.
The event, promoting the Russian wrestling sport of Sambo, also offered the chance to meet the Russian president in person at a later date, according to Dispatches.
In a taped meeting with undercover reporters, Lord Reading said: “If he (Prince Michael) represents the House of Haedong, he could mention that Putin and Putin would find the right person to be interested in or interested in South Korea.” by gold. .
“It just opens the door, you know, which is so helpful.” “
He also told reporters: “I think, if I can say this, it’s a bit low-key, we’re talking relatively quietly here.
“Because we wouldn’t want the world to know that they see Putin just for business reasons, if you follow me. “
He added that Prince Michael could be described as “His Majesty’s unofficial ambassador to Russia”, and added that tensions between the UK and Russia had not affected his relations with Mr Putin.
In response to these claims, Prince Michael’s office told the Press Association: “Prince Michael receives no public funding and earns his living from a consultancy company he has run for over 40 years.
“Prince Michael has no special relationship with President Putin.
“They last met in June 2003 and Prince Michael has had no contact with him or his office since then.
“Lord Reading is a good friend who, in trying to help, made suggestions that Prince Michael would not or could not have accomplished. “
Lord Reading told PA: “I thought the House of Haedong approach was genuine and I was only trying to facilitate an introduction to my friend Prince Michael.
“I made a mistake and over-promised and for that I really regret.
“I was not at my peak as I was recovering from a kidney transplant.
“For the record, the Sambo event that took place eight years ago was my event and Prince Michael was just my guest along with a lot of other people. “
Sky News has contacted Prince Michael’s family and Buckingham Palace for comment.