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Datum objave: 05.07.2019


Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, the Last Queen of Greece

Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, the Last Queen of Greece


The great powers were on the look-out for a new king of Greece.

Having attended his elder sister Alexandra's wedding in England, seventeen year old Prince Vilhelm was back at home in Denmark and about to have lunch when he glanced at the newspaper his packed lunch of sardines had been wrapped in.

To his confusion he read that he had been proclaimed as the next king of Greece. A few months later he arrived in Athens as King George I of Greece.

To pacify the troubled Greeks, who had had a king thrust upon them, Queen Victoria gave Greece the Ionian Islands by way of a dowry.

This mollified them considerably, because they had considerable ambitions to expand their frontiers.

On his arrival in Athens George I decided to move into a couple of rooms in one corner of the vast royal palace in Athens.

He knew his throne was fragile and spent the first couple of years traveling the country and getting to know his subjects. Soon he could read and write fluent Greek.

He captured the Greeks' hearts by storm and demonstrated considerable reluctance to uniforms, preferring to appear in civilian clothes. His courtiers were often more resplendently attired, and as a result Greek peasants often mistook the liveried coachman for the king, quite overlooking George I.

George I knew that the future of Greece would depend on his own relations to the great powers.

In 1867 he married sixteen-year-old Grand Duchess Olga in Russia, and when the newly-weds arrived in Greece the new queen brought with her a trunk load of dolls.

But soon after her arrival her childhood was packed away for good, because Queen Olga proved to be an eager collaborator with her husband when it came to improving social conditions in the country.

They had seven children, and the line of their eldest son, Constantine (I) spread the family across Southern Europe to Romania, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Spain.

Constantine's daughter Helena became Queen of Romania in a hideous marriage to the adulterous King Carol II.

Their other daughter, Irene, married the Italian Duke of Aosta, and their granddaughter Alexandra married the exiled King Peter II of Yugoslavia, but their marriage came to grief in time with Peter's frustration and empty life.

In 1913 George I was murdered in the street in Salonika.

He had been king for fifty years. For the next fifty years Constantine and his three sons took turns to rule the country and live in exile.

The youngest son, King Paul, fathered King Constantine II and Queen Sophia of Spain.

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