Princess Michael of Kent "distressed" following death of Russian tycoon friend

Princess Michael of Kent

Princess Michael of Kent is said to be “very distressed” following the death of her long-standing friend Mikhail Kravchencko.

The Russian tycoon was shot in a suburb of Moscow in the early hours of Sunday morning, in an apparent contract killing.

Following the news, Simon Astaire, spokesman for the Kents, said: “Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are very distressed to hear of this tragedy.”

Mr Kravchencko – a 46-year-old furniture magnate – hit the headlines six years ago when he was pictured holding hands with Princess Michael during a holiday in Venice.

Speaking to ! magazine, the royal denied a romantic involvement, saying: “The true nature of our relationship is that it is a very good friendship.

“I hold hands with all my friends. I don’t think that’s being intimate at all. I’m a very tactile person – I do it all the time.”

Mr Kravchenko also denied claims of an affair.

“We (the princess and I) have just normal human relations,” he said. “We are friends”.

Prince Michael of Kent – the Queen’s cousin – and his wife were pictured attending the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Parade and Muster on Saturday afternoon (above).