BY ED WEST
LORD FREDERICK Windsor, the son of prominent Catholic royal Princess Michael of Kent, is to marry.
The 29-year-old royal will wed actress Sophie Winkleman, 28, his girlfriend of two years, this September, after proposing on Valentine’s Day.
Lord Frederick Windsor is the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, a Catholic Austrian-born Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz.
Prince Michael is a cousin to both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and married Baroness von Reibnitz in 1978. She refused to convert and consequently Prince Michael, who was eighth in line to the throne at the time of his birth, lost his place in the succession. The 1701 Act of Settlement bars the monarch from becoming or marrying a Catholic.
The couple’s children, Frederick and his sister Lady Gabriella Windsor, were raised as Anglicans. He is 31st in line to the throne.
Princess Michael is an avid supporter of the Cause of John Henry Newman and recently attended a Mass at the Birmingham Oratory to celebrate the return of his relics.
Educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford, Lord Frederick, 29, previously had a reputation for being a party animal.
In 1999 he admitted to taking cocaine while at Oxford “I admit it is true,” he said. “It is very difficult to avoid getting into this sort of thing when you move in these circles, but I don’t blame anyone else for the incident.” He was briefly a music journalist for Tatler magazine, and worked in entertainment law before becoming a banker at JP Morgan’s.
Miss Winkleman grew up in London, the daughter of a publisher and a children’s author, and is the half-sister of presenter Claudia Winkleman. She is best known for her role in the Channel 4 comedy Peep Show, and played Anna Freud in Radio 4 play Doctor Freud Will See You Now, Mr Hitler.
She also played a scheming princess in The Palace, an ITV drama about a fictionalised British royal family.
The couple have no intentions of taking up residence in Kensington Palace along with Prince and Princess Michael, where their parents have lived since 2006. The Queen recently increased the rent on their flat from £3,588 a year to £120,000.
A spokesman for Lord Frederick’s parents said: “It is with very great pleasure that Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Mr and Mrs Barry Winkleman announce the engagement of Lord Frederick Windsor to Miss Sophie Winkleman.”