Prince Michael of Kent has been accused of being willing to use his royal status to sell access to Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime following an undercover investigation.

The Queen’s cousin allegedly told undercover reporters that he could be hired to make representations to the Kremlin for the price of £10,000 a day.

The investigation – a joint probe between The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme – also told how the prince’s friend, the Marquess of Reading, described him as “Her Majesty’s unofficial ambassador to Russia”.

Prince Michael, 78, has denied the claims and his spokesman stressed that the marquess had “made suggestions which Prince Michael would not have wanted, or been able, to fulfil”.

The report claims that the reporters – posing as executives from fake South Korean firm House of Haedong – met with the prince and the marquess on a Zoom meeting.

It is alleged that the royal said he would be “very excited” to work with the company and assured them that his long-standing connection to Russia “could bring some benefit”.

He then left meeting and the marquess allegedly went on to say that the prince was able to meet Mr Putin and make representations on behalf of the company.

The marquess is said to have warned them that the prince's services were "confidential", adding: "We're talking relatively discreetly here because we wouldn't want the world to know that he is seeing Putin purely for business reasons."

He estimated the prince could charge clients in the region of £50,000 for a five-day trip to Russia, the report claimed.

The prince is also said to have appeared willing to give the fictitious company his royal endorsement in a recorded speech for a fee of $200,000 (£143,000), and to use his home at Kensington Palace as a backdrop.

In a statement, the marquess said he had made a mistake and had “over-promised” during the meeting and that he was “truly regretful”.

Prince Michael's office denied that he had a "special relationship" with the Russian president and said in a statement that he had not been in contact with Mr Putin or his office for almost 18 years.

His spokesperson added: “As is standard practice, Prince Michael's private secretary made it clear to the company's representatives during their conversations that nothing could proceed without the agreement of the British Embassy and the help of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, of which Prince Michael is patron."

The Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are not working members of the Royal Family but have represented the Queen in the past.

Their biography on the Royal Family website described the prince as being "connected to Russia through his maternal grandmother" and as having "a strong interest in the country".

The biography said he "became the first member of the Royal Family to learn Russian, ultimately qualifying as a Russian interpreter".

The prince and princess do not receive public money.

He earns a living through a long-established consultancy company and the couple pay market rent and fees for their home at Kensington Palace, a spokesperson for the prince said.

His father, Prince George, was the fourth son of George V and the brother of George VI, the Queen's father.

Royals for Hire: Dispatches airs at 19:30 BST, Monday 10 May on Channel 4