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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 13:07 GMT
Queen 'does great cockney accent'
Princess Michael on BBC One's Breakfast with Frost in December 2004
The princess has been accused of making racist remarks in the past
One of the Queen's best party tricks is putting on a cockney accent, according to Princess Michael of Kent.

In an interview with a German newspaper Welt am Sonntag (World on Sunday), the princess also talked about religion, politics and fox-hunting.

She told the newspaper the English cared more for their dogs' breeding habits than their children's.

The Bohemia-born royal also said she felt sorry for Prince Harry, who was criticised for dressing up as a Nazi.

She told the paper: "If Harry had worn a hammer and sickle, nobody would have got excited, even though the hammer and sickle stands for Stalin, gulag, pogrom and devastation."

The English take the breeding of their horses and dogs more seriously than they do their children
Princess Michael

The princess, whose father fought for the Nazis during World War II, said the British press has a "different sensibility" because of its "ownership structure".

But a spokesman for the princess denied she was criticising Jewish ownership of British newspapers.

"To suggest she is an anti-Semite is an untruth. She is not a racist," said Simon Astaire.

Cockney

The princess, who is married to the Queen's cousin, Prince Michael, said all members of the royal family have a gift with dialects.

The Queen, she confirmed, is particularly good with cockney and Norfolk accents.

I don't know whether or not it's good that we embrace all religions
Princess Michael

"Queen Elizabeth is reserved when she meets strangers - but with friends and family she can be very witty."

The princess, who also admitted using Botox cosmetic treatment, reserved her most controversial comments for religion and marriage.

"The English take the breeding of their horses and dogs more seriously than they do their children," she said.

"God forbid that the wrong drop of blood should get into their Labrador, but their children marry however they wish. Perhaps [traditional royal] arranged marriages were not the worst option."

'No longer Christian'

She bemoaned the fact that aristocrats and the Church no longer have a say in politics and claimed "pseudo-liberals" had stopped children from praying in schools.

"I don't know whether or not it's good that we embrace all religions. We are no longer Christians - nevertheless a knowledge of God should still be important for Europeans."

The princess said she couldn't understand why fox-hunting was being banned, accusing the government of being more interested in "class-war" than taking proper action.

Criticism

The 60-year-old royal, born Marie-Christine in Carlsbad, Czech Republic, is no stranger to controversy.

Last year she was accused of telling a group of diners in a New York restaurant, some of whom were black, to "go back to the colonies" - a claim she denies.

She has also faced criticism for receiving accommodation subsidised at taxpayers expense.

In 2002 the Queen put an end to the argument by agreeing to pay the Kents' rent for seven years.



SEE ALSO:
Queen to pay Kents' rent
18 Dec 02 |  UK News


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