Remembering King Constantine II

Former King Constantine II of Greece

Today, January 10, marks the one year anniversary of the passing of the former King of Greece, Constantine II.

Irrespective if you are a royalist or not, the former reigning and last monarch of Greece, has maintained a significant interest in the country's history, politics, and cultural heritage.

former king Constantine, the former and last King of Greece has died at age 82, doctors announce
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The True Story of The Exiled Greek King | Constantine: A King's Story

Real Royalty YouTube channel has an insightful and informative documentary, an intimate portrait of King Constantine of Greece during his exile - his life in London, his interactions with other royal families and his role in securing the Games for Greece in 2004.

Real Royalty peels back the curtain to give a glimpse into the life of the last King of Greece.

Constantine, the former and last king of Greece, an Olympic gold medalist before becoming entangled in Greece's volatile politics in the 1960's as king and spent decades in exile.

Life in exile

For most of his years in exile, he lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, and was especially close to his second cousin Charles, the Prince of Wales and now King Charles III.

 It took Constantine 14 years to return to his country, briefly, to bury his mother, Queen Federica in 1981, he multiplied his visits thereafter and from 2010, made his home there. There were continued disputes: in 1994, the then-socialist government stripped him of his nationality and expropriated what remained of the royal family’s property. Constantine sued at the European Court of Human Rights and was awarded 12 million euros in 2002, a fraction of the 500 million he had sought.

He is survived by his wife, the former Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, youngest sister of Queen Margrethe II; five children, Alexia, Pavlos, Nikolaos, Theodora and Philippos; and nine grandchildren.

Born into royalty

Constantine was born June 2, 1940, in Athens, to Prince Paul, younger brother to King George II and heir presumptive to the throne, and princess Federica of Hanover. His older sister Sophia is the wife of former King Juan Carlos I of Spain. The Greek-born Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh and husband of the United Kingdom’s late Queen Elizabeth II, was an uncle.

The family, which had ruled in Greece from 1863 apart from a 12-year republican interlude between 1922-1935, was descended from Prince Christian, later Christian IX of Denmark, of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg branch of the Danish ruling family.

Before Constantine’s first birthday, the royal family was forced to flee Greece during the German invasion in World War II, moving to Alexandria in Egypt, South Africa and back to Alexandria. King George II returned to Greece in 1946, following a disputed referendum, but died a few months later, making Constantine the heir to King Paul I.

Constantine was educated at a boarding school and then attended all three military academies as well as Athens Law School classes as preparation for his future role. He also competed in various sports, including sailing and karate, in which he held a black belt.

Watch the documentary for an up-close and personal look into the exiled life of the late Constantine II, former and last King of Greece.

On this day one year ago, royal guests and relatives attended a dinner hosted by the Greek Royal Family at the Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens, on the eve of the Funeral of King Constantine II of Greece, which took place at the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, follwed by the Burial in the Royal Cemetery at Tatoi Palace.

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