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

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 HELLO! 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).