Queen Sofía of Spain visits the National Gallery in Athens

Queen Sofía of Spain visits the National Gallery in Athens
Queen Sofía of Spain visits the National Gallery in Athens
*Ministry of Culture

Queen Sofia of Spain and her sister, Princess Irene, were welcomed by Greece's Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni at the restored and modernised National Gallery in Athens on Tuesday.

The Spanish royals are currently on a private visit to Greece.

During the tour by the director of the National Gallery, Professor Marina Lambraki-Plaka, Queen Sofia appeared particularly interested in the anniversary exhibition entitled '1821 in Painting: Greece Demands its Historical Art Gallery'.

"She showed special interest in the works that depict the heroic struggles of the Greeks from the siege of Messolonghi and the heroic exit to the great victory, but also the faces of the Struggle that compose the anniversary exhibition of the Gallery," the Ministry of Culture said in a statement.

The Spanish royal also showed her enthusiasm for the state-of-the-art new building facilities of the National Gallery that houses the unique artistic wealth of Greece.

Who is Queen Sofia of Spain?

Queen Sofía of Spain (born 2 November 1938) is a member of the Spanish royal family, who was Queen of Spain from 1975 to 2014 as the wife of King Juan Carlos I.

Born Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark (Greek: Σοφία), she is the first child of King Paul of Greece and Frederica of Hanover.

As her family was forced into exile during the Second World War, she spent part of her childhood in Egypt, returning to Greece in 1946.

She completed her secondary education in a boarding school in Germany before returning to Greece where she specialised in childcare, music and archaeology.

Sofía was in Greece on a private visit to her brother, King Constantine II, when the 1967 Greek military coup took place. Since then, he has been stripped of his title, citizenship and property in Greece.

Except for a brief stay for the funeral of her mother in 1981, Queen Sofía did not visit the Hellenic Republic until 1998.

Queen Sofía and former King Juan Carlos have three children: Elena (born 20 December 1963); Cristina (born 13 June 1965); and Felipe (born 30 January 1968).

*More on GCT: Restored and modernised National Gallery in Athens
GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.