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  #1  
Old 06-12-2010, 05:52 AM
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Prince Peter (1908-1980) & Irina Ovtchinnikova (1900-1990)

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It is terrible what happened with Prince George and Princess Marie's son Prince Peter after this wedding with Irene O. I hope they were happy.
They got married for love and they were quite happy. George had a terrible terrible time when he learned that his darling son and heir had decided to marry a russian divored commoner in her mid 30s. Hardly an acceptable combination for any royal bride at the time! Peter was very determined over this and disobeyed all the family and had his way.

George had considered a few princesses as potential matches before that for Peter and one of them was Frederika of Hannover - the very same woman who married later on his cousin Paul and went on to become a Queen of the Hellenes. Their relationship was far from loving , they practically had declared war on each other for years in a way that was serious but it also seems somehow comic nowadays.

One of the best parts of that "war" was when Peter had a press conference after Constantine and Anne Marie got married were he said more all less that he was the legitimate heir to the throne and not Princess Irene , that he was illegally pushed back in the succesion line and that he hoped that , for the country's and the monarhy's sake, someone would kick that disaster of a Queen mother out of the country - of course he used more gentle words , but that is pretty much the meaning !
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:29 PM
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Thanks a lot snowflower ; At least Peter and Irene had a happy life..
I can hardly imagine Frederica of Hannover daughter in low of Marie Bonaparte
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:50 PM
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Prince Peter was no ordinary royal personage. Apart from his imposing elegant appearance, he was a highly educated and sophisticated man with tremendous culture and anti-conformist - like mother like son.

Although he was maintaining the Aixoni Palace [Ανάκτορα Αιξωνής], in the Glyfada area, just north of the old Hellinikon International Airport in Athens, he would come and go without anyone knowing his whereabouts. In the 20 years from Paul's ascent to the throne (April 1947) to the royal family's departure abroad (December 1967), the only public and official appearance of Prince Peter was at the funeral of King Paul - he walked with the cortege standing to the right of Princess Irene (then Diadoch) as next in the Line of Succession. I understand in fact, that even in the solemn swearing-in ceremony of Constantine as king conducted by the Archbishop, at the Athens Palace, Princess Irene and Prince Michael were also in attendance, but not Prince Peter. It is, therefore, crystal-clear that he was banned or, at least, ostracized from and by the Palace.

By the way, Prince Peter was quite popular among the Greek people due to his education and culture and the way he was treated [or perceived to be treated] by the Palace was yet another reason [fair or unfair] that fed into the people's negative attitude toward Queen Frederika.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:18 PM
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Are they pictures of Prince Peter and his wife ?
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:34 PM
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A couple of pictures of Prince Peter:
Getty Images - Unsupported browser detected
Prince Peter of Greece on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:49 AM
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Classified File : Regency by Prince Peter [Απόρρητος Φάκελλος: Αντιβασιλεία Πρίγκηπος Πέτρου] http://www.makthes.gr/news/politics/26676/

While perusing the Internet on an entirely different subject matter, I came across an unknown [to me at least] detail with major significance and importance from the past of the Greek Royal Family. It is an article, titled as above, published by the Salonica daily "Makedonia" [ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΙΑ], the oldest in Northern Greece [author: Thanassis Antonopoulos, October 19, 2008].

This is a three-page long article on a file that was kept secret for 67 years. This file was kept in the Archives of the Hellenic Royal Embassy in London by supervisor Mr. Pentzikis. Upon Mr. Pentzikis death, this file was transferred and officially received at the Royal Palace, on March 20, 1947 (coincidentally, 11 days before King George II's death, on April 1, 1947) and was accepted by the Director of the King's Political Office Mr. Panayotis Pipinelis. Mr. Pipinelis wrote by hand on a correspondence paper bearing the royal escutcheon, "This file contains the Royal Act of August 24, 1941, on the Appointment of Regency in accordance with Article 2 of Law 3061 of August 18, 1941. It was found closed among other documents in the Archives kept by the late Mr Pentzikis, at the London Embassy and was sent to me from the Embassy. The file was opened by the King and was then archived with this Office. Athens, march 20th, 1947, P. Pipinelis".

The Royal Act is hand written [by King George] and reads as follows:
"We, George II, King of The Hellenes, appoint, should need be in accordance of Article 2, of Law 3061 of August 1941, "on the Regency", HRH Prince Peter as President of the Regency and, in his inability, HRH Vassilopaida* George and HRH Vassilopaida Andrew. I ask all to obey the King and his Regency in the interest of the Nation, wishing success on national affairs. Cape Town, August 24th, 1941 George R."

The hand-written Royal Act was placed in a wax-sealed and stamped envelope. On the front of the envelope, it was again hand-written by the King: "To the Royal Hellenic Government. To be opened strictly in accordance with oral instructions. G. R."

There follows a lengthy analysis of the significance and review of the geopolitical circumstances and well as the concern of Mr. Churchill, the Allies and King George's British lady-friend and confidante about the possible Germanophile sentiments of the then Princess Diadoch Frederika.

* Vassilopais = a king's child, equivalent to the Spanish Infante, Infanta. Please note, that is Greece, the title prince, princess, albeit used commonly, did not exist by law.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:39 AM
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Prince George was 72 at the time of the Royal Act and Prince Andrew was in exile since 1922 and died abroad in 1944.

I 'm sorry to say that I find it unlikely for a man well-known for his sense of protocol and royal duty(King George) to take such a step for the reasons given by the author of the article. I do not believe that his intention was to prevent his brother Paul from reigning some day. We do not know the circumstances and/or the motives of the king, therefore we shouldn't jump into conclusions.

Anyway, appointing someone in Regency in times of war does not necessarily give him precedence in succession rights (Remember, the Duke of Windsor served in a similar post in the Bahamas during the war).

I also wonder why no-one mentions the hostile situation between Prince Peter and his mother, Princess Marie, nee Bonaparte, deeply disappointed by his behaviour towards the family and estranged with him after his marriage to Irina Ovtchinnikova? I don't know if the anecdote about him "rejecting" Frederika was true (though it doesn't honour him to laugh about it) but one couldn't attribute such motives to his mother, don't you agree?
(The numbers don't match anyway: Frederika was already engaged to Paul in 1936 and she was 19 at the time...)

I don't say that the manuscript does not exist, but unless I know the facts around it, as well as the whole text, I'm afraid I can't evaluate its importance.

I should add here that Prince George, Prince Peter's father himself, demanded the exclusion of his son from the succession rights list due to his marriage in 1939.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mariazil View Post
Prince George was 72 at the time of the Royal Act and Prince Andrew was in exile since 1922 and died abroad in 1944.

I 'm sorry to say that I find it unlikely for a man well-known for his sense of protocol and royal duty(King George) to take such a step for the reasons given by the author of the article. I do not believe that his intention was to prevent his brother Paul from reigning some day. We do not know the circumstances and/or the motives of the king, therefore we shouldn't jump into conclusions.
.
I don't think either that he would stop Paul from reigning , after all according to the Constitution he couldn't . But Markezinis mention in one of his books that George took a long time to warm up to Frederika , and that their relationship was quite cold and typical at the time of their marriage. Perhaps he had seen that Paul was quite "soft" when it came to Frederika's influence, and George didn't trust a German Princess during the time of war that much to allow her being the Regent's wife

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I don't know if the anecdote about him "rejecting" Frederika was true (though it doesn't honour him to laugh about it) but one couldn't attribute such motives to his mother, don't you agree?
(The numbers don't match anyway: Frederika was already engaged to Paul in 1936 and she was 19 at the time...)
Mariazil, I didn't see the mention of any date about this "rejection" as you say- it writes that " before Paul showed up as a potential husband , before he came close to the Russian, they had offered her hand as a bride - and he had rejected her". I see no date that doesn't much . Did I miss something ?
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:32 PM
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You know very well that discrepancies in the family of Peter was related with the family of his wife, and his left-wing ideas of this man, sometimes appeared as linked to Communist ... When he died in 1980, his spouse requested be buried in Denmark becuase he said have this right, the Danish royal house denied this possibility in a very enlightening statement about this man . Maria Fedorova was buried in soil danish
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:58 PM
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Mariazil, I didn't see the mention of any date about this "rejection" as you say- it writes that " before Paul showed up as a potential husband , before he came close to the Russian, they had offered her hand as a bride - and he had rejected her". I see no date that doesn't much . Did I miss something ?
I meant that Frederika would have been too young, wouldn't she? She got engaged in 1936, after some months of courtship I suppose. I could be wrong of course, but I think the hostility between them was mutual, therefore we don't know what caused it in the first place.

Given the fact that Frederika was a happily married Queen after that, I would say that Peter had, of course, more reasons to be bitter towards her, especially since he felt somehow alienated by the Palace and by his immediate family for that matter, so perhaps it was easier to blame her than his own parents, for instance.

As for the relationship between George and Frederika, I had already read Markezinis' book(s), I believe it couldn't have been any other way: in fact, King George had enough German blood himself to make him very reserved towards any newcomer and this was quite reasonable of him!

He was the King, the country was under dictatorship at the time, Europe was just about to burst into a war, I mean the man had every right to be reserved towards a German princess, his mother having been one and his family having suffered the hostility of the Greeks in the past due to that fact!!! He knew only too well, that ,when time would come to take sides, the people would find it hard to believe that a German-born princess would turn against Germany!

My point was that too much importance is given by the author of the article to the idea of a Regency, neglecting the fact that it was wartime and that it refers to all the men of the royal family(besides Paul, of course) who were alive at the time.
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mariazil View Post
I meant that Frederika would have been too young, wouldn't she? She got engaged in 1936, after some months of courtship I suppose. I could be wrong of course, but I think the hostility between them was mutual, therefore we don't know what caused it in the first place.
First of all, it is a well documented fact by the European Press and, later, the Greek media, that the House of Hanover had sought the tall, athletic, handsome, educated, cosmopolitan and rich prince Peter of Greece and Denmark as groom for Frederika. Of note, prince Peter was a well respected anthropologist, his own man, while prince [later king] Paul a man of no visibility, limited edcuation and fiscally dependent on a very unstable throne. Whether Frederika was in love with Peter will never be known. However, it is likely that she was, because Peter was greater than life.
Who instigated the rift is also unknown. The fact is that prince Peter was not very kind when speaking of Frederika, calling her "the short girl with the ugly fat legs" or just "fat legs".


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Originally Posted by mariazil View Post
Given the fact that Frederika was a happily married Queen after that, I would say that Peter had, of course, more reasons to be bitter towards her, especially since he felt somehow alienated by the Palace and by his immediate family for that matter, so perhaps it was easier to blame her than his own parents, for instance.
He didn't feel alienated; he was alienated and completely ostracized. In the 1950s and 60s, the Court's Circular would include such "news" as the arrival and departure of irrelevant to Greece princes of defunct kindoms and principalities, such as HRH the prince X of Baden and the prince Y of Hessen - which were all irritating the Greek people and yet nothing would be mentioned about prince Peter. The Greek people were oblivious of his presence, even though he was an army officer as well as owned, and lived for long periods at, the Aixoni Palace, bordering the old Hellinikon airport in Glyfada, a suburb of Athens.
Prince George and princess Marie adored their son.

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Originally Posted by mariazil View Post
He was the King, the country was under dictatorship at the time, Europe was just about to burst into a war, I mean the man had every right to be reserved towards a German princess, his mother having been one and his family having suffered the hostility of the Greeks in the past due to that fact!!! He knew only too well, that ,when time would come to take sides, the people would find it hard to believe that a German-born princess would turn against Germany!
General Metaxas died in January 1941 and his successor, Alexandros Koryzis, committed suicide on April 18, 1941, a few hours before the entrance of the German army in Athens. This date is marked by historians as the end of the Metaxas dicatorship. On April 20, 1941, centrist politician Emmanuel Tsouderos was sworn in as prime minister of the so-called Government-in-Exile, which was, for the most part, based in Cairo and the Middle East, aided and supported by British, Australian and some Greek troops. The regency document is dated August 24, 1941. One detail that indicates absolute secrecy is the fact that it was hand-written and this adds great significance and importance!!

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My point was that too much importance is given by the author of the article to the idea of a Regency, neglecting the fact that it was wartime and that it refers to all the men of the royal family(besides Paul, of course) who were alive at the time.
Not really! Prince Andrew was considered an anathema by many Greeks and, in fact, he had been sentenced to death along with six politicans and army officers, after an expedited trial in the aftermath of the Asia Minor Catastrophe [finally, he was removed following the intervention of King George V]. Thus, for king George to decide to appoint prince Andrew as a member of the Regency, he should have been under enormous pressure and literally desperate!
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:56 AM
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General Metaxas died in January 1941 and his successor, Alexandros Koryzis, committed suicide on April 18, 1941, a few hours before the entrance of the German army in Athens. This date is marked by historians as the end of the Metaxas dicatorship. On April 20, 1941, centrist politician Emmanuel Tsouderos was sworn in as prime minister of the so-called Government-in-Exile, which was, for the most part, based in Cairo and the Middle East, aided and supported by British, Australian and some Greek troops. The regency document is dated August 24, 1941. One detail that indicates absolute secrecy is the fact that it was hand-written and this adds great significance and importance!!
I was referring to the time Frederika came to Greece as a young bride of course, not to the time the document was written!

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Not really! Prince Andrew was considered an anathema by many Greeks and, in fact, he had been sentenced to death along with six politicans and army officers, after an expedited trial in the aftermath of the Asia Minor Catastrophe [finally, he was removed following the intervention of King George V]. Thus, for king George to decide to appoint prince Andrew as a member of the Regency, he should have been under enormous pressure and literally desperate!
[/QUOTE]

If you read my post#210, you will see that I mention the fact that Prince Andrew was exiled ever since 1922 and that is what puzzled me in the first place. Then it came to me that this was perhaps a document the King had to write to put things in order for the exiled Greek Government in Kairo needed someone to refer to in cases of emergency, or in case he died during the war and Paul couldn't be found in time or something like that, so that the army knew who would be in charge... You can't deny the fact that the document refers to all living princes of the Royal Family except Paul! Prince Philip couldn't be mentioned for being a) too young and b)living in England.

But of course, I could be wrong and the King's motives could be such as you say: enormous pressure on behalf of the Allies! It seems to me the most natural thing in the world; it is the war and the Allies do not want a German princess to be the Queen of Greece in case the worst happened to George and Paul would have to take his place!

As to Prince Peter I must confess that I would really like to know more about the man. Apart from Markezinis' books, I read about him in the thread dedicated to his fahter and mother here in the Forums:

Prince George (1869-1957) and Princess Marie Bonaparte (1882-1962), (message#57)

I would therefore welcome any suggestions as to books I could read about him. I know he published his war diaries, but I doubt I could find the book here in Greece.

Anyway, I feel I have to repeat my point: the document is important indeed, but since we ignore the circumstances and the motives that led the King write it, we can only guess...
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:03 AM
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And I shall present some more excerpts of this long article because they are historically very important.

The Royal Act of August 24, 1941, was not published in the Government Gazette Εφημερίς της Κυβερνήσεως, while the ertinent [on the appointment of Regency should need be] Law 3061 of August 18, 1941 [without the names of the appointees to the Regency] was published in the Gazette on August 25, 1941, in Cairo, Egypt. Most importantly, only one copy of the Gazette of that day was printed!
The Royal Act itself, containing the names of the appointees, was to remain secret and be opened according to oral instructions by HM the King. Immportantly, the Royal Act was hand-written only one day before the pertinent law was published in the Gazette.
The appointment, as members of the Regency, of princes George and Andrew, sons of George I, brothers of Constantine I and uncles to George II and Paul, is very interesting in that, ever since World War I, they were known for their friendliness toward the Allies. On the other hand, king George failed to appoint [as would be normally expected] as Regent his heir, prince Paul, who was married to Frederika of Hanover.
It was well publicized that king George II was totally aligned with Winston Churchill, particularly during WWII, and he [the king] would never take steps prior to consulting with Churchill. In addition, it is known that, after his divorce from princess Helena of Romania, king George II developed a close relationship with a British lady that was associated with the British Secret Service.
At the same time, it was also known that the House of Hanover maintained a close relationship with, and had engulfed, the Nazi regime. Further, prince Paul was head of the Hellenic Mission to the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Evidently, W. Churchill was disgusted with the pro-German sentiment of Edward VIII and members of the British aristocracy like Oswald Mosley, John Emery etc. Thus, he did not want similar phenomena to occur elsewhere in Allied Countries.
Another perinent detail is that throughout WWII, Paul and Frederika were obliged to stay in South Africa under the "auspices" of Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts.

Spyridon Markezinis, an adviser to King George II, writes in his Modern Political History of Greece about the king's detestation toward Frederika and his awareness of the negative repercussions of his brother's marriage upon European public opinion, further indicating that his [the king's] friendly moments with Frederika were rare [Sp Markezinis: Modern Political History of Greece (1936-1975). Volume I. Athens 1994. Papyros Publishing]

So, we certainly know a lot about the prevailing circumstances, the international milieu and the British and European sentiment toward the House of Hanover and Frederika, at the time. The only thing we do not know is whether king George II did what he did regarding the Regency at Churchill's request or on his own independent judgment.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:57 AM
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after his divorce from princess Helena of Romania
King George had been married to Princess Elisabeth of Romania. Princess Helen of Greece, Queen of Romania, was George's sister as we all know. Of course the mistake was made by the author of the article, not by Vlaha who only translated it.

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The only thing we do not know is whether king George II did what he did regarding the Regency at Churchill's request or on his own independent judgment.
My point exactly. I'm afraid we'll never know the King's motives. It could be the pressure of the British or his own feelings towards Frederika, couldn't it also be his way of arranging things in case both he and his brother died and baby Constantine were proclaimed king? In times of war anything could happen and perhaps he wanted to be sure that the Greek leadership would be in the appropriate hands in such a case. As I said, we can only guess...
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mariazil View Post
It could be the pressure of the British or his own feelings towards Frederika, ...
Or a combination of the above alone or along with a million other factors

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.....couldn't it also be his way of arranging things in case both he and his brother died and baby Constantine were proclaimed king? ...
No, not at all. Is such case, he could and he would have appointed his brother, adding, "and in case of the Diadoch's unavailability or inability, I appoint such and such".
If there is one conclusion that can be drawn with 100% certainty is that HM, at someone else's request, his own judgment or a combination of factors, had decided to bypass Paul. And it was exactly the fact that this decision was not speaking well of Paul [king George's heir] and, by extrapolation, raising questions about Paul's consort - particularly in the eyes of the Greek people - that this hand-written Royal Act was kept secret and was never publicised until recently. In other words, it speaks very negatively of the crown princely couple. And if this Royal Act doesn't reflect the feelings, or just the feelings, of king George II, it represents the sentiment of the Allies. Thus, it is a piece of information of paramount historical significance and importance.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:39 AM
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I think a lot of answers could be answered if we had access to the above mentioned Law. As the text says, the Regent is appointed "διά την υπό του αρ. 2 προβλεπομένην περίπτωσιν" = in the case foreseen by the Article 2 of the 3061 Emergency Law etc.

Anyway, later today, I will present you with the exact translation of the text George II wrote, since the translation you so kindly gave us, Vlaha, is a free one and the text (like the King himself) is very specific.
Now, if someone could find that famous Law, to read Article 2 and find out what is the "foreseen case", well ... Who knows, nothing is impossible in the net
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:31 AM
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I would love to see a photocopy of the king's hand-written, actual text, in Greek. Further, since you are in Athens, you may oblige and visit the National Printing Office and provide us with a photocopy of that Law.
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:03 AM
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Well, here it is as I promised:

ACT: We, George II King of the Hellenes, taking into account the #3061 Emergency Law of August 18th 1941 on Regency , appoint for the case foreseen in Article 2, as Chairperson of the Regency (council) HRH Prince Peter and in his absence acting as such HRH Vasilopais George and HRH Vasilopais Andrew. I call upon everyone to obey the King and His Regency (council) in the interest of the nation, wishing complete success of the national affairs. In Cape Town August 24th 1941 George II.

Now for the photocopy, I found this link yesterday :
Καλωσήρθατε στο Στύξ

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I would love to see a photocopy of the king's hand-written, actual text, in Greek. Further, since you are in Athens, you may oblige and visit the National Printing Office and provide us with a photocopy of that Law.
Great idea, I'll do that on a day off, but that won't be sooner than next month, I'm afraid. In the meantime, I can only keep searching in the net
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:17 PM
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What a great discovery Mariazil ! So , this document does exists and did appoint Peter as Regent. Do you think that Paul and Frederika had found out about this act, or it was kept a secret? Because I guess that, if they had found out about this, this would explain even further their wish to change the constitution and the line of succession , as well as keeping Peter at a distance. In fact , I find it a more possible cause than just his unequal marriage, since others also married unequal but did not get that treatment
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:41 PM
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We cannot know if they did and, of course, an unequal marriage could not have been the cause for all that trouble. As you say, others also married unequal and they were always very well accepted in the family... I believe Peter's was considered an "inappropriate" marriage not only because it was unequal but also for the fact that she was considerably older than him and had already been married in the past. There was only one precedent to that, the marriage of Prince Christopher to his first wife, Nancy Leeds but she had been a millionaire who helped a lot the (then) numerous Royal Family in exile, and she had had the approval of Queen Olga who always treated Christopher with special affection, since he was her youngest one.

There is a book on Marie Bonaparte's life in the bookstores, I plan to buy it and see if the matter is treated in there. I only remember having read in a biography of Princess Alice that neither Prince George nor Princess Marie were happy with their son's choice, what's more, Princess Marie considered his wife to be a fortune-seeker who had somehow managed to trick him into marrying her. (At the time, Princess Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece was staying with and was financially supported by Princess Marie, therefore we can't know if she was partial about it or not, can we?)
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