Constantine Greece
King of Greece
Constantine Greece
Constantine II was King of Greece from 1964 until the abolition of the monarchy in 1973, the sixth and last monarch of the Greek Royal Family. He succeeded his father Paul in March 1964, being styled His Majesty Constantine II, King of the Hellenes .
Biography
Constantine II of Greece's personal information overview.
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June 20, 2015
Olympic gold medalists Sarah Webb Gosling and Pippa Wilson join King Constantine II of Greece, his wife Queen Anne-Marie and son, Prince Nikolaos onboard the 'Afroessa' for the Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta 2015
August 13, 2012
King Constantine II of Greece. The Basketball final, USA vs Spain, during the London 2012 Olympic Games. London, England - 12.08.12.
August 12, 2012
King Constantine II of Greece The Basketball final, USA vs Spain, during the London 2012 Olympic Games
August 11, 2012
Constantine II of Greece Men's Basketball gold medal game between the United States and Spain on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena
May 18, 2012
Guests are greeted inside the Grand Vestibule at Windsor Castle to attend the Sovereign Monarchs Jubilee luncheon commemorating The Queen's Diamond Jubilee
May 17, 2012
Queen Anne-Marie of Greece and Constantine II of Greece Guests are greeted inside the Grand Vestibule at Windsor Castle, to attend the Sovereign Monarchs Jubilee luncheon, commemorating The Queen's Diamond Jubilee
April 26, 2011
King Constantine II of Greece 'Inside the Royal Wedding' on NBC The people and planning behind the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton
August 23, 2010
Constantine II of Greece, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece Princess Alexia, Carlos Morales Quintana, Prince Philippos and Princess Theodora A pre-wedding reception and gala dinner held for Prince Nikolaos and Tatiana Blatnik
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Constantine II of Greece
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    In an interview he gave on May 31, 2016 at the Istories show of Skai TV, he said: "I am not the ex King Konstantine, I am the King Konstantine".
    More Details Hide Details As a male-line descendant of Christian IX of Denmark, he is a Prince of Denmark. See also List of honours of the Greek Royal Family by country
  • 2015
    In November 2015, the autobiography of Constantine was published in three volumes by the national newspaper, To Vima.
    More Details Hide Details It has not yet been published in English. Constantine serves as patron of Box Hill School a Public School in Dorking, in the south of England.
  • 2013
    As of 2013, Constantine II has returned to reside in Greece.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 2008
    In 2008 and 2012, during the Olympic Games in Beijing and London, Constantine II, in his role as honorary member of the International Olympic Committee, was the official presenter at the sailing medal ceremonies.
    More Details Hide Details Constantine II is also Co-President of Honour of the International Sailing Federation with King Harald V of Norway, since 1994.
  • 2004
    On 24 December 2004, Constantine and Anne-Marie and members of the former royal family visited the Presidential Mansion (the former Royal Palace) in Athens where Constantine met President Costis Stephanopoulos, who gave them a tour.
    More Details Hide Details According to a nationwide 2007 survey of 2,040 households conducted on behalf of the newspaper To Vima, only 11.6% supported a constitutional monarchy. More than half of the respondents, 50.9%, considered the dictatorship of the junta had brought benefits to Greece.
    In 2004, Constantine was back in Greece temporarily during the Athens Olympic Games as a member of the International Olympic Committee.
    More Details Hide Details He freely travels in and out of Greece on a Danish diplomatic passport, as Constantino de Grecia (Spanish for "Constantine of Greece"), because Denmark (upon request) issues diplomatic passports to any descendants of King Christian IX and Queen Louise and Constantine is a Prince of Denmark in his own right. During his first visit to Greece using this passport, Constantine was mocked by some of the Greek media, which hellenized the "de Grecia" designation and used it as a surname, thus naming him Κωνσταντίνος Ντεγκρέτσιας ("Constantine Degrecias"). Constantine and Anne-Marie for many years lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, Constantine being a close friend of his second cousin Charles, Prince of Wales and a godfather to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, his second cousin once removed. Since the wedding of his son, Nikolaos, Constantine and Anne-Marie moved back to Greece, currently residing in Porto Cheli, Peloponnese.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1994
    A law passed in 1994 stripped him of his Greek citizenship, passport, and property.
    More Details Hide Details The law stated that Constantine could not be granted a Greek passport unless he adopted a surname. He continues to use the title "King Constantine," although he no longer uses "Constantine, King of the Hellenes". He is also frequently referred to as Mr. Glücksburg; this reference to his family dates back to at least 1935 when Archimandrite Christoforos Ktenas referred to the late King Constantine I of Greece as "Ντίνος Γλυξβούργος" (Tino Glücksburg), in his book on Mount Athos. Glücksburg was mainly used by opponents of constitutional monarchy, and drew attention to the fact that the Greek royal family is not of Hellenic origin. Today, this appellation draws attention to the fact that Constantine and his family lacks a legal surname in Greece. Constantine has stated: "I don't have a name—my family doesn't have a name. The law that Mr. Papandreou passed basically says that he considers that I am not Greek and that my family was Greek only so long as we were exercising the responsibilities of sovereign, and I had to go out and acquire a name. The problem is that my family originates from Denmark, and the Danish royal family haven't got a surname." Glücksburg, he said, was not a family name but the name of a town. "I might as well call myself Mr. Kensington."
    Until 1994, Constantine's official Greek passport identified him as "Constantine, former King of the Hellenes."
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    In 1994, the second government of Andreas Papandreou passed new legislation reversing the 1992 agreement and stripping Constantine of his property in Greece and his Greek citizenship.
    More Details Hide Details Constantine sued Greece at the European Court of Human Rights for €500 million in compensation for the seized property. He won a much smaller amount, receiving a monetary compensation of €12 million for the lost property, with a far smaller sum awarded to his unmarried younger sister, Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark, and his aunt Princess Ekaterini of Greece and Denmark. The Greek government chose to pay out of the "extraordinary natural disasters" fund, but was not obliged by the court's decision to return any lands (the Court of Human Rights awards only monetary compensation). Constantine, in turn, announced the creation of the Anna Maria Foundation, to allocate the funds in question back to the Greek people for use in "extraordinary natural disasters" and charitable causes. The court decision also ruled that Constantine's human rights were not violated by the Greek state's decision not to grant him Greek citizenship and passport unless his adopting of a surname.
  • 1993
    In 1993, Constantine visited Greece, but faced with government insecurity, he was asked to leave.
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  • 1992
    There were also legal disputes with the Greek state. In 1992 he concluded an agreement with the conservative government of Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis, ceding most of his land in Greece to a non-profit foundation in exchange for the former palace of Tatoi, near Athens, and the right to export a number of movables from Greece.
    More Details Hide Details The latter reportedly included privately owned art treasures from the royal palaces. As such no formal account of what was removed was ever given or needed to be given.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1981
    Constantine remained in exile for almost forty years after the vote in favour of the republic. He was strongly discouraged from returning to Greece, and he did not return until February 1981, when the government only allowed him to return for a few hours, to attend the funeral of his mother, Queen Frederica, in the family cemetery of the former Royal Palace at Tatoi.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1974
    Following Karamanlis' resounding victory in the November 1974 parliamentary elections (his New Democracy party won 54.4% of the vote), he called a referendum (held on 8 December 1974) on whether Greece would restore the monarchy or remain a republic.
    More Details Hide Details Although he had been the leader of the traditionally monarchist right, Karamanlis made no attempt to restore the democratic constitution of 1952. Instead he called on the Greek people to vote "according to their conscience". The former king was not allowed by the government to return to Greece to campaign on behalf of the benefits to Greece of the constitutional monarchy. He was only allowed to broadcast to the Greek people from London on television. Analysts claim this was a deliberate act by the government to undermine any chance to restore the monarchy. The left voted overwhelmingly for the republic because the former king was perceived by them as having engaged in political interference far beyond the scope of the monarchical prerogative. They also objected to the perceived influence exercised by members of the royal family who had no constitutional role in the political life of the country; the former king's mother, Queen Frederica, being a case in point.
    He resigned in 1974 because he was no longer a Greek resident, and was made an Honorary IOC Member.
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  • 1973
    In June 1973, George Papadopoulos condemned Constantine as "a collaborator with foreign forces and with murderers" and accused him of "pursuing ambitions to become a political leader."
    More Details Hide Details In May, officers of the largely royalist navy staged an abortive coup, although Constantine himself was not involved. George Papadopoulos retaliated by declaring Greece a republic (1 June), a decision which was confirmed by a plebiscite on 29 July. The vote was widely acknowledged to be rigged. Constantine refused to accept the outcome. George Papadopoulos then declared himself president, but in November there was a coup within the regime and he was replaced by General Phaidon Ghizikis, who was a front for the new military strongman, Dimitrios Ioannides. In July 1974, the events in Cyprus led to the downfall of the military regime, and Karamanlis returned from exile to become prime minister. The 1973 republican constitution was regarded as illegitimate, and the new administration issued a constitutional decree restoring the 1952 constitution. Constantine confidently awaited an invitation to return. On 24 July he declared his, "deep satisfaction with the initiative of the armed forces in overthrowing the dictatorial regime" and welcomed the advent of Karamanlis as prime minister.
  • OTHER
  • 1967
    The king finally decided to launch his counter-coup on 13 December 1967.
    More Details Hide Details Since Athens was effectively in the hands of the junta militarily, Constantine decided to fly to the small northern city of Kavala, east of Thessaloniki. There he hoped to be among troops loyal only to him. The vague plan he and his advisors had conceived was to form a unit that would advance to Thessaloniki (Greece's second biggest city and unofficial capital of northern Greece) and take it. Constantine planned to install an alternative administration there. International recognition, which he believed to be forthcoming, as well as internal pressure from the fact that Greece would have been split in two governments would, the king hoped, force the junta to resign, leaving the field clear for him to return triumphant to Athens. In the early morning hours of 13 December, the king boarded the royal plane together with Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, their two young children, Princess Alexia and Prince Pavlos, his mother, Queen Frederica, and his sister, Princess Irene. Constantine also took with him Premier Kollias.
    When Stefanopoulos resigned in frustration, Constantine appointed a caretaker government under Ioannis Paraskevopoulos, which called elections for May 1967.
    More Details Hide Details This government did not even last until the scheduled elections. It was replaced on 3 April 1967 by another caretaker government under ERE's leader, Panagiotis Kanellopoulos. Elections were scheduled for 28 May 1967, with expectations of a wide Centrist victory. According to United States diplomat John Day, the Americans worried that, due to the old age of George Papandreou, Andreas Papandreou would have a very powerful role in the next government. According to the United States diplomats Robert Keely and John Owens, who were attached to the United States embassy in Greece at the time, Constantine asked United States Ambassador Phillips Talbot what the attitude of the United States government would be to an extra-parliamentary solution to this problem. The embassy responded negatively in principle, adding that "US reaction to such a move cannot be determined in advance but would depend on circumstances at time". To this day, Constantine denies all this.
  • 1966
    After his failure, Novas was succeeded by Ilias Tsirimokos, who also failed to form a stable government and was dismissed. Constantine next appointed some of Papandreou's dissidents, known as the July Apostates and led by Stefanos Stefanopoulos, to form a government of "king's men," which lasted until December 1966, amidst mounting strikes and protests, supported by the right-wing ERE.
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  • 1965
    Although the accession of the young monarch was initially regarded auspiciously, his reign soon became controversial: Constantine's involvement in the Apostasia of July 1965 created unrest among sections of the population and aggravated the ongoing political instability that culminated in the Colonels' Coup of 21 April 1967.
    More Details Hide Details The coup was successful, leaving Constantine, as head of state, little room to manoeuvre as he had no loyal military forces to rely on. As a result, he reluctantly agreed to inaugurate the putschist government on the condition that it be made up largely of civilian ministers. On 13 December 1967, he was forced to flee the country, following an abortive counter-coup against the junta. He remained the head of state in exile until 1 June 1973, when the junta abolished the monarchy. This abolition was confirmed after the fall of the junta by a plebiscite on 8 December 1974, which established the Third Hellenic Republic. Constantine, who was not allowed to return to Greece to campaign, accepted the results of the plebiscite. Constantine was born at Psychiko, a suburb in northern Athens, the nephew of King George II and the second child and only son of the king's brother and heir-presumptive, Crown Prince Paul. His mother was Crown Princess Frederica, the former Princess Frederica of Hanover. Constantine's older sister Sofia is the former queen consort of Spain, while his younger sister, Princess Irene, has not married.
  • 1964
    On 18 September 1964, in a Greek Orthodox ceremony in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens, he married Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark.
    More Details Hide Details The children of Constantine and Anne-Marie are: His Majesty King Constantine (used within the International Olympic Committee) His Majesty Constantine XIII, King of the Hellenes (used by Greek irredentists) In Greece, he is referred to as ο τέως βασιλιάς ("the former king") or with the pejorative terms ο Τέως ("the Ex") or o Γκλύξμπουργκ ("Glücksburg"). He is referred to as ο βασιλιάς ("the king") by Greek monarchists. He is also referred to as Κοκός ("Kokos"), a pejorative diminutive form of his name, which has been used since the time of his reign.
    In March 1964, King Paul died of cancer, and the 23-year-old Constantine succeeded him as king.
    More Details Hide Details Prior to this, Constantine had already been appointed as regent for his ailing father.
    However, due to his youth, he was also perceived as a promise of change. The ascension of Constantine coincided with the recent election of Centrist George Papandreou as prime minister in February 1964, which ended 11 years of right-wing rule by the National Radical Union (ERE).
    More Details Hide Details Greece was still feeling the effects of the Civil War of 1944–49 between communists and monarchists, and society was strongly polarised between the royalist/conservative right and the liberal/socialist center-left. It was hoped that the new young king and the new prime minister would be able to overcome past dissensions. Initially, relations between the king and Papandreou seemed good, but by 1965, they had deteriorated. The conservative establishment feared the rising influence of Papandreou's left-leaning son Andreas, and the outbreak of the ASPIDA scandal seemed to confirm their suspicions. The name of Andreas Papandreou was implicated in the case, and when the defense minister, Petros Garoufalias tried to form a committee of inquiry into the alleged scandal, the prime minister forced his resignation. Immediately, George Papandreou assigned the defence portfolio to himself, which caused alarm in the palace and the conservative security circles, which interpreted this move as an attempt by Papandreou to control the army. Constantine refused to accept the self-appointment, and a new political issue resulted.
  • 1963
    King Paul's long-time prime minister Konstantinos Karamanlis regarded him partly responsible for his fall in 1963.
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    In 1963 Constantine became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
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  • 1960
    Constantine was a keen sportsman. In 1960, aged 20, he won an Olympic gold medal in sailing (Dragon Class), which was the first Greek gold medal in sailing since the Stockholm 1912 Summer Olympics.
    More Details Hide Details He was also a strong swimmer and had a black belt in karate, with interests in squash, track events and riding.
  • 1947
    King George died in 1947, and Constantine's father became King Paul, making Constantine crown prince.
    More Details Hide Details He was educated at a preparatory school and later a boarding school where he was an above average student academically. A fellow student recalled him as, "a good chap, a young man with all the right instincts. He was at his best on the playing fields." Constantine served in all three armed services, attending the requisite military academies. He also attended the NATO Air Force Special Weapons School in Germany, as well as the University of Athens, where he took courses at the law school.
  • 1946
    He returned to Greece with his family in 1946.
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  • 1940
    Born on June 2, 1940.
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