British Royals in Shock After Aristocrat Son-in-Law of ‘Problematic’ Princess Dies of Suicide by Gunshot

Thomas Kingston was married to Lady Gabriella Kingston, the great-grandchild of King George V, who is 56th in line to the throne.

Andrew Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston leave after marrying in St George's Chapel on May 18, 2019 at Windsor, England. Andrew Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The death of an aristocrat and financier, Thomas Kingston, 45, has sent shockwaves through the British royal family and the peerage after local authorities said he had died by suicide. His death comes as the palace is under intense pressure to disclose more about the health of the princess of Wales, who hasn’t been seen for weeks since she underwent what the palace said was “abdominal surgery.”

Kingston, the husband of Prince Michael of Kent’s daughter, Lady Gabriella Kingston, who is 56th in line to the throne, died on Sunday of a “traumatic head wound,” according to a coroner’s report. The financier’s body was found in his parent’s home at the central southwest English region of Cotswolds, alongside a gun. 

Thomas Kingston with Pippa Middleton at the Queens Mother Champion Steeple Chase, March 14, 2013, at Cheltenham, England.
Thomas Kingston with Pippa Middleton at the Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase, March 14, 2013, at Cheltenham, England. Danny Martindale/Getty Images

The Cotswolds are the exclusive group of towns where many of the richest Londoners have weekend homes.

A coroner quoted in the Guardian, Katy Skerrett, detailed that the spouse of the king’s second cousin and great-grandchild of King George V “was visiting his parents’ home in the Cotswolds. On February 25, 2024 he ate lunch with his parents. His father went out to walk the dogs. On his return, Mr Kingston was not in the house, and after approximately 30 minutes his mother went to look for him. His father forced entry on a locked outbuilding when no reply could be gained.”

From left to right, Sophie Winkleman, Queen Camilla, King Charles III, Lady Gabriella Kingston, and Thomas Kingston watch a race on day five of Royal Ascot 2023 at Ascot Racecourse on June 24, 2023. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Ms. Skerrett added that the father “found Mr. Kingston deceased with a catastrophic head injury. A gun was present at the scene. Emergency services were called. Police are satisfied the death is not suspicious.”

Prior to his death, the aristocrat had worked as a director of a short-term specialty lender, Devonport Capital. The firm specializes in liquidity solutions for companies in “emerging markets” and “frontier economies.” The Bristol University graduate had previously held diplomatic posts in the Foreign Office, having worked at Baghdad procuring hostage releases.

Kingston married Lady Gabriella in 2019 at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel, where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle. The ceremony was attended by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who have both since died and are now buried in the chapel.

Members of the royal family have expressed their grief over Kingston’s death.

Thomas Kingston arrives for his wedding to Lady Gabriella Windsor at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 18, 2019 at Windsor, England. Frank Augstein – WPA Pool/Getty Images

A Buckingham Palace spokesman told British outlets, “The king and the queen have been informed of Thomas’s death and join Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and all those who knew him in grieving a much-loved family member.”

The palace added, “In particular, their majesties send their most heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Gabriella and to all the Kingston family.”

The news of Kingston’s death was first announced in a statement by Lady Gabriella on Tuesday, which read, “It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the death of Thomas Kingston, our beloved husband, son and brother. Tom was an exceptional man who lit up the lives of all who knew him. His death has come as a great shock to the whole family, and we ask you to respect our privacy as we mourn his passing.”

Lady Gabriella and Kingston are not believed to have had children.

Princess Michael of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent arriving at Westminster Abbey ahead of the coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6, 2023 at London. Andrew Milligan – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Lady Gabriella, who was 18th in line to the crown when she was born in 1981, hails from a family with close ties to Windsor. 

Her father, Prince Michael, is a direct descendant of King George V. The prince is not a working member of the royal family, but has frequently represented the monarch at state funerals throughout the commonwealth. 

The prince has garnered scrutiny in the past for seeking to profit off his royal status and an unseemly coziness with Russia. In 2021, an investigation by the Sunday Times, in which its reporters posed as Korean investors, caught the prince on camera promising he could get them access to the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin for 50,000 pounds. The prince, who speaks Russian, later apologized and admitted that he “over-promised.”  

Lady Gabriella’s mother, Baroness Marie-Christine Anna Agnes Hewdig Ida Von Reibnitz, has Germanic roots, with her father having been a member of the Nazi Party during World War II. She has long been described as “problematic,” and not for her family’s Nazi ties. 

Princess Michael of Kent talks to President Vladimir Putin during the Guildhall Banquet in Mr. Putin’s honor on June 25, 2003 at London. The visit marks the first state visit to Britain by a Russian leader since 1874, when Tsar Alexander II came to London for the marriage of his daughter to Queen Victoria’s second son. Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The 79-year-old baroness has landed herself in hot water for offensive remarks and behavior over the years, earning her the tabloid nickname of “Princess Pushy.” She was accused in 2004 of insulting Black diners at an exclusive New York restaurant, Da Silvano, telling them to “go back to the colonies.”

In an even more controversial nod to Britain’s colonial past, in December 2017, she donned a “Blackamoor Brooch,” a colonial-era decorative pin adorned with the figure of an African man, to a Christmas celebration at Buckingham Palace that was serving as a meet-and-greet for Meghan Markle, who is biracial.

In another racially tinged embarrassment for the princess, a previous boyfriend of her daughter, who later came out as gay, wrote an account of his relationship with Lady Gabriella in which he said that Princess Michael had two pet black sheep named Venus and Serena.

Prince Michael and his wife live at Kensington Palace, London in a five-bedroom five-reception room apartment, which Queen Elizabeth II gifted the pair as a wedding gift in 1978. Scrutiny over the rent-free living ultimately resulted in the queen covering their rent at a rate of 120,000 pounds a year. 

Catherine, Princess of Wales, during her visit to Sebby’s Corner on November 24, 2023 at Barnet, England. The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood are to provide support to families with young children in the run up to Christmas. Sebby’s Corner was formed in January 2021 and provides items to families in need across Barnet, Hertfordshire, and London. Frank Augstein – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Kensington Palace is also the London residence of the prince and princess of Wales. Royal fans in Britain and abroad have been in an uproar in recent weeks over the health of Catherine, the princess of Wales, who has not been seen for weeks due to undergoing what the palace claims is “abdominal surgery.” Furthermore, the palace said the princess would not resume her royal duties until after Easter.

So little information was offered that it led to wild speculation, ultimately leading the palace to offer a new statement this week that Catherine was doing well.


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