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Fireweaver 09-22-2003 02:40 AM

The Monarchy in Greece
Having come late into the wonderful world of royalty, I can't help but be saddened every time I hear about a monarchy being abolished. I so hope that in my lifetime I hear of either King Constantine or one of his decendants regaining the throne they lost.

Alexandra 09-22-2003 02:14 PM

Oh, that I hope, too. But I think, it is only a romantic hope. But as the situation is what it is in Greece, they probably never will get the throne. Anyway, I hope they will some day. :P

:Jay: 09-22-2003 04:24 PM

It wouldn't surprise me if they did. It seems as though the euro has put a quite a few Greeks into debt, which they managed to avoid before. The 3 countries in the EU but outside of the euro and doing ok are Denmark, Sweden and the UK. All constitutional monarchies. It's possible, it could also be for the better if KC and his descendants learn from past mistakes.

Sitadevi 09-23-2003 08:32 PM

Learning from past mistakes is what life is about, you are right. If the people
want him back that is good, if not, well, Greece is such a rich nation and there
is the glorious museum collections of Macedonia monarchy from long time ago.
I was there this summer and enjoyed the walks on the beach, the food, I was
at Mykonos and did everything. Athens has everything bristling now-people
walking with all sorts of things and it reminded me of home.

Catharine 09-28-2003 06:40 AM

The chance of King Connie getting his throne slim to none. But, this is a wait and see approach. I just hope Connie has his luggage pack...if the circumstances change in the near distant future!!!!! :innocent:

USCtrojan 09-28-2003 10:45 PM

I am with Catherine on this one. However I dont see Connie really ever getting it back in the back of my mind. With MC at his side, I dont see Pavlos ever getting it back...

Splodger 11-09-2003 11:25 AM

Most Greeks I have spoken to on the subject desperately want the King to return, all be it in a modern constitutional fashion. At the moment its a long way off, however it must be a very real concern for the Greek Government. They do all they can to hush any visit he makes to the country, and are so afraid of his return that they would rather pay him off with all those millions of Euro's than allow him to have his property back.

Constantine has been told he can go home if he abandons the title of king and adopts a surname. However his reluctance to do this is clear in that it doesn’t matter if he called himself Joe Bloggs, he is still the man who would be king and that there is more to being Greek than ones surname. In fact it says something at the lack of liberty and democracy in Greece if the Government will not tolerate an opposition to the regime. What is the worst that could happen... the people might vote in favour of a Monarchist Party at the next elections???

I can totally sympathise with Fireweaver on the sadness of royal downfalls. The story of the Kings exile is very much a result of the major problem with republicanism, in that he was betrayed by people who were more concerned with their own political careers than either loyalty or what was best Greece. Too many people assume that monarchies are just medieval autocracies, when no one is suggesting this is how Constantine would like to return. The fact that the King went into exile to prevent a blood shed of a civil war speaks volumes. A Modern Constitutional Monarchy with a King who cares about the people and not how long he can remain in public office can only be positive. Following the success of Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia will be an insight for the Greeks on how no one looses when someones objectives are to promote the country and not them selves.

Sorry for LONG post there, it’s one of my passions.

hrhcp 11-09-2003 12:15 PM

Its too bad that power tripping is so divisive. In a modern monarchy, there is a recognition that the exercise of power for longterm stability should be a muted expression.

I would like to know what circumstances exactly brought about the downfall of the current ex-king.

It seems that the first king (of Danish origin) knew his leadership was of a tenuous nature, and went to great lengths to learn about his new country, and had an outstandingly successful result. His reign seems to have run into problems, because he was shot. Why ?

Quote: Part 5
Shaky Thrones

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

Having attended his elder sister Alexandra's wedding in England, 17 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 [of England] 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 ... Spain.

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.

Splodger 11-10-2003 08:30 PM

In Answer to "King Christians" Question...

To understand eventual abolishment of the Greek Monarchy and the factors that influenced its downfall, I have attempted to outline the main events on the lead up to the excile of King Constantine II and an analysis of the factors that lead to the result of the 1974 referendum that officially deposed the Monarchy.

King Constantine II acceded to the throne aged 24 upon the death of his farther King Paul (Pavlos) in March 1964. In the September he married with great popularity, Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark. King Constantine’s reign started off well, and was known as a man who mingled with the crowds and was a Peoples King, however true to history their happy reign was doomed to be short.

In mid 1965, King Constantine was forced to demand the resignation of the left wing and anti monarchist Prime Minister George Papandreou, after it became apparent that he and his son Andreas had connections in organising a secret left wing cell in the army. A series of weak governments came and went over the next year and new elections were scheduled for May 1967. Meanwhile tensions were rising as Greece was brought to the brink of war with Turkey due to further disputes over Cyprus, and a fear of Communism was spreading down from Greece’s neighbouring soviet satellite Balkan countries.

Before the elections could be held in the May of 1967, a Military coup d’etat was staged on the 21st April, claiming that a Communist takeover of Greece was imminent. All members of the civilian government and the King were placed under arrest by the military junta known as the Colonels Coup. The King refused to co-operate with the military regime and in December 1967 he attempted a counter coup with a small number of loyalist forces. However King Constantine realised it was a futile attempt and called off the coup before hurriedly fleeing Greece into exile declaring that “my throne is not worth the price of Greek blood.”

In exile Constantine refused several requests to return, declaring he would only return to perform his constitutional responsibilities and not play a puppet to an illegal government. However, sadly he was unable to effectively put across his resistance to the Government, across to the Greek people who now believed he had deserted them. When the Military regime finally ended and a referendum was held as to whether to restore the monarchy it was unsurprisingly pro republican in out come.

Unable to communicate with his people in the April of 1967, due to his arrest and the militaries control over the national broadcasting stations, the King had no way of publicly condemning the military takeover. The King asked to appear in a photograph with the leaders of the coup (the photo is posted on another section of this site) in which he adopted a stern expression which he hoped would be recognised by his people, in contrast to his usual jovial expressions, that he was not in support of the new government. Unfortunately his subtle message was lost and combined with the Militaries propaganda the people believed he had sold out on them and democracy.

The Kings mother, the dowager Queen Frederica has also been attributed as a handicap to the young King. She had the misfortune (as far as Greek relations were concerned) to be German by birth, and there was considerable resentment towards Germany after the War. She was a proud woman who genuinely loved her adopted country, however her good intentions were often ill advised and her miss placed influences were considered to be unwanted medalling. She was certainly a woman of presence and appearance; however claims she was there for the lifestyle are inaccurate. For a Dowager Queen she had a simple existence and refused the annual allowance allotted to her by the Government upon the death of her husband. However as some people are popular, she lacked the magnetism of her daughter Anne-Marie and simply was not a Queen of Hearts. Her unpopularity was used by republicanisms to remind the people, unnecessarily, of her presence in pre-coup Greece, by producing quite now famous posters of her with her arms open wide saying “I'm coming Back.” The post Coup Premier Karamanlis is to have said he had nothing against Constantine other than he was Frederica’s son.

The final hindrances to the King were that he was a young King with little preparation and little support from Governments who were not necessarily interested in supporting him for the good of Greece. The Military take over is an event that given the reason for the coup, would have been a problem to either a King or President at the time. However it is the use of propaganda that was used effectively by the Militarian Republic and the successive civilian governments to use situations to their advantage that ultimately did the greatest damage to the Monarchy. His final mistake was not to return to Greece upon the dissolvent of the military regime. He was advised by a former Prime Minister Karamanlis, whom shared no love for the monarchy, to wait to be summoned by the people. Karamanlis later accepted the appointment of President.

It is interesting to note that King Constantine has refrained from directly criticising the Greek Governments in most cases, but aloud those willing to read between the lines. In evidence of the current government’s manipulation of events, it is unsurprising to find that Greeks would be unfavourable towards their former King when they have just given him 13million Euros from their taxes. However the King had not sought this money, he wanted the Private Property of the palace at Tatoi returned to him which the European Court of Human Rights acknowledged was wrongfully confiscated by the Greek Government. The Greek Government chose to compensate Constantine financially as opposed to return the property to him. Not so publicly known in Greece is that the money Constantine was awarded as compensation, he has used to establish the Anna-Maria foundation for the benefit of Greek Nationals as an independent charitable organisation.

If anyone has any other views upon the subject, whether they are pro monarchy of pro republican, if they are objective and not subjective gossip, I would be interested to know them.

Alexandria 11-10-2003 09:19 PM

Thank you for this very helpful and concise summary, Splodger.

Some questions that you or others may be able to answer for me:


... called off the coup before hurriedly fleeing Greece into exile declaring that “my throne is not worth the price of Greek blood.”
This seems like a very noble comment and gesture: to declare that being the King was not as important the loss of (Greek) lives. Did this endear the Greeks to the King anymore? Especially in light of the fact that he was earlier referred to as the "People's King." And was this message lost when it was time for the Greeks to vote on whether or not they wanted their royal family back? Or had the regime in power at the time "brainwashed" (so to speak) the Greek people to believe that the King had deserted them and squashed any reports of his desire to come back, etc.?


The final hindrances to the King were that he was a young King with little preparation and little support from Governments who were not necessarily interested in supporting him for the good of Greece.
Why did no one want to or were not willing to help the King "learn the ropes" so to speak? I imagine that the King must have prepared in some minor way for his role as the future king. For example, look at the military training the present CPs have gone through (even if it is symbolic); did the King as a CP not receive any of this training? And I can't imagine that there wasn't even one individual who was willing to give the King the "heads up" on the current political or military situation at the time so that he could seek the aid of more trust-worthy individuals. He may not have been able to "conquer" the opposing side even with this assistance, but he could've stood a bit of a chance.


It is interesting to note that King Constantine has refrained from directly criticising the Greek Governments in most cases, but aloud those willing to read between the lines.
Do you think it would be better if the King went public with his opinions and criticisms of the government instead of hinting for others to read between the lines? For the King to take a stand because he doesn't have much to lose - he has already been in exhile for several decades now and it seems like the present Greek government (and by extension its people) don't want the King back? Do you think the Greek people might accept say Pavlos or Nikolaos as king, bypassing Constantine for one of his sons?

Lots of loaded questions, I know, but an interesting topic!

Sean.~ 11-11-2003 01:55 AM


In mid 1965, King Constantine was forced to demand the resignation of the left wing and anti monarchist Prime Minister George Papandreou, after it became apparent that he and his son Andreas had connections in organising a secret left wing cell in the army.
And why was he anti-monarchist, pray tell? Could it have anything to do with the incompetence of the King and the entire monarchial system <snort>? If one were to compare and contrast the economics and politics of Greece from the time of the monarchy (from Constantine I to Constantine II) to today, it will be obvious that that form of government was a failure.

You should also note that not all lefitst governments and parties are evil (which is what it seems you were insinuating) In fact, if it were not for them we wouldn&#39;t enjoy many of the social benefits that we enjoy today.


If anyone has any other views upon the subject, whether they are pro monarchy of pro republican, if they are objective and not subjective gossip, I would be interested to know them.
My views are not "subjective gossip", thank you very much. I have stated widely known facts by those who have backgrounds in economics and global politics (which I do), within the Greek community, and by those who have been close to members of the former royal family. Indeed, I could say that you and others view the Glucksburgs with rose coloured glasses. For anyone who is interested in a *truly* objective analysis, I would suggest visiting your local public library and going through the history and government sections (most central libraries will have newspaper clips from the period as well).

In any event, this is all I will say on the matter for now. I shall write a more detailed, *objective* reply based on facts (and not rose-coloured, devotee glasses) when I have more time over the next week. Oh, and also, I would like to point out that I am not not a republican. I&#39;m just not so blinded by the glamour of royalty that I can&#39;t see the failings of the monarchial system (any monarchy).

Finally, only a small portion of the tax money he took from the Greek people went to the so called charitable fund. Which, IMO, was more self-serving than anything.

cuervo 11-11-2003 04:44 AM

You all follow,wrong way of thinking&#33;&#33;King Christian only made a good question&#33;George I of Greece was perfect,but what happened after he was shot???

I &#39;ll answer now&#33; Country&#39;s (greece) history was always of three conditions&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;Pre-war,WAR,and post-war&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;Most of them victorious,and in parallel there was Nobel prices,Olympic Games,and a nation that was growing his standarts,his wealth&#33;Yes there was poverty but in little time (until the next war)poverty was vanishing&#33;

SO ,THERE WAS NO USELESS OR IMPOTENT KING IN GREECE&#33;&#33; NOT ONE OF THE SIX&#33;&#33;&#33; The "why"king Konstantine has left the country is another discussion&#39;s theme&#33;&#33;Don&#39;t forget that the famous "COLD WAR"was at his edge&#33;&#33;&#33;

PSS: CAN YOU PLEASE ALL DO ME A FAVOR???When you are refering to King of Greece {Please}don&#39;t use shortcuts like "connie"or "con" or &#39;Tino"&#33;It is quite annoying&#33;&#33; The best abreviation I thing is " Kons "PLEASE USE IT&#33;&#33;&#33;

ellinotati 11-11-2003 03:40 PM


Originally posted by Splodger@Nov 10th, 2003 - 8:30 pm
In Answer to "King Christians" Question...
splodger,just wanted to khow,why did constantine accepted to pose for a photograph with the military coup?he must have been aware of the impression it would create to the greeks.couldn't he say NO?Also,i don't khow much about his exile and the coup, because of my age, but i believe that a great king will show his abilities when the times are difficult.everyone can be a good king when the country runs smoothly but when the hard times come this is when you prove yourself.constantine in the eyes of greeks failed when the country was in trouble.maybe he is a decent man and so his family but that dosen't make him a good king, i am afraid.also,i have to accept that greek politicians haven't treated him fairly in the past and he should have been given a greek passport.lastly he did a good job bringing up his kids with awareness of the greek culture.

Splodger 11-11-2003 08:05 PM

Before I attempt to answer the several questions that have been put forward by Alexandra and Ellinotati, I would just like to clarify some points raised by Sean that are relevant to the questions raised, but are confusing if taken out of context.

Firstly, I made no judgement and no remark that left winged governments are evil. Communism was a significant political movement across Eastern Europe at the time that effected politics across the world. Greeks by nature appear by nature to have a left of centre ideology in their view of equality (Greeks please correct me if this is an unfair analysis) however Communism was not the Greeks way as it is not democratic. The fears however that lead to the military coup was that the Soviet Union might take the opportunity of Greece’s diverted attention towards Cyprus to psychically invade, or that politically the Government would move to far left wing, so as to align its self with the Soviet Block. Such an action would be detrimental not only to Greek democracy but to the independence they had fought for from Turkey for so long.

Secondly I have not criticised the Hellenic Republics general rule of the country for the last thirty years. What I have questioned is the motivation of their decisions regarding the now former King, his nationality and private property. In regards to Economic growth, Greece has benefited greatly from the increase in tourism by advances in aviation in particular, that opened up the entire of Europe to holiday makers in the 1960s and 1970s which has coincided with the Republic existence. As for stability, Greece has only been a republic for less than half of the countries independence, which has had considerable instability caused by two world wars and intense conflicts of interests with its neighbours over territory, which would have been issues to any form of government. However the Greeks appear to be content with their Republic and it is working for them; however my only reservations are that in their hostility towards Constantine they arouse the question, what is the Government afraid of?

Splodger 11-11-2003 08:08 PM

In answer to Alexandra’s first question:

1) Calling off the Coup to Save Lives:

Let me pose the question, what if King Constantine had support from a significantly larger militia group, would he have continued the counter coup and gone a head and fought for the Constitution and the Throne? In a military manoeuvre, the loss of life even to just military personnel who are there to fight for their country would have been a possibility. Therefore in instigating a counter coup in the first place, the Throne was worth the price of Greek blood if it meant re-securing democracy. However taking the question back into the context of the situation in December 1967, how bad was it to ‘surrender?’

King Constantine’s main goals during the months between April and December 1967 were to avoid another Civil War that would result in the deaths of Greeks by Greeks, whilst also trying to depose the Government which is obviously an obstacle when they are the military and an estimated eight thousand people had been arrested within the first few hours of the take over, including the civilian government and civil servants. Attempts to control the junta peacefully had achieved nothing, and by the December the King has resorted to mobilising loyalist military personnel, Known as the ‘Democratic Army’ in a counter-coup. However, although Greece was entering a ‘dark period’ as he refers to it, the King realised that the counter coup would fail in its mission and would more than likely launch the country into the Civil War that he had tried to avoid.

Constantine could have in theory kept his Throne if he had cooperated with the Junta. However he believed in his responsibilities as a Constitutional Monarch to protect the liberty as directed in the Constitution. His ‘sacrifice’ of the Throne was therefore a sacrifice of the Constitution and Liberty as opposed to his Throne which he believed was meaningless if the people were dead at the hands of each other. He fled in exile to find other ways, albeit unsuccessfully, to over though the regime. It has been suggested that the lack of support the ‘Democratic’ side received from America at the time was that in the hands of the Junta, Greece was one less country to worry about falling Communist at a time when their forces were occupied in Vietnam (I read this but can no longer find the information to validate it). It is also of note that during his early exile the Junta made two attempts to assonate him.

- Personal Opinion -
As for endearing himself to the people in his ‘gesture,’ the military were in control of the media so the people would not been given the opportunity to know at the time. Subsequently it would appear this and many other things, including the reason for the photograph with the Generals, and other actions during the Military Regime were obviously buried by the Junta and quietly forgotten and downplayed by the Republic. It can appear that the Greeks have been ‘aloud’ to continue their resentment.

2) Learning the Ropes:
King Constantine succeeded his farther only aged 24. Being the People King is easy if you’re a personable individual, however political wheeling and dealing is another matter. He would have had close royal advisors at his side; however for various reasons, political and personal, not all members of the civilian government were keen to see him succeed. Whilst he would have been ‘groomed’ in the behaviour of a King since birth, he had little time to prepare as an Adult for the Political duties of a King.

3) Constantine and the Republic
- Personal Opnions as Asked -

I don’t think that criticising the Government would get him very far. His main ambitions appear to be to take his children to where he was born, to claim his personal rights and property and to be there for those Greeks who want him. By directly criticising the Greek Government, whether he is in the right or wrong, will only anger them and close off all avenues to his return and secondly destabilise people’s confidence in the Government over a ‘small’ issue which would do Greece very little good. Constantine does not want a revolution, and he does not want to return to be an autocrat. I don’t doubt he wants to have a role in Greece and that he will find one. He respects the Republic, and respects that he is no longer the Head of State by popular decree of 1974 and he has no intentions to force himself on the Greece. However I am quite sure that he wants his role to be an ‘unofficial’ representative of Greece, and to promote as he does anyway, its progress in the world sphere, and I am positive that if he is called, he will stand.

[ELLINOTATI - Promiss to get to your question tomorow]

cuervo 11-12-2003 06:49 AM

Greece will not go back ,when Greeks vote for Constitutional monarchy,because ,since this monarchy quarantees stable standards of living during wars ,we can all imagine what standars of living they can quarantee the present times(times of peace and relative prosperity)!!For the same reason Greeks will never vote for another royal familyand for one more reason!They are simply Greeks and never stopped been Greeks!

Splodger 11-12-2003 08:55 AM

I would agree with Cuervo that if Greece ever decided to return to a Monarchy they would not choose another family over the existing claiment. If this were to happen, in my opionon, it would prove distastorous to Greece and totaly destabalise the country. The last thing that Greece needs is two claiments to a non existant throne, not to mention who would be invited to be the other King. Ultimatly the nations loyalties would be devided and produced the most unstable monarchy Greece has ever known. As seen in France, people can not decided who would be the rightfull claiment out of the three possibilites (Henri Orleans, Louis de Bourbon and Charles Bonapart) when the Monarchys restoration is hardley and issue. Its a case of all or nothing.

Splodger 11-12-2003 08:06 PM

In Answer to Ellinotati’s questions:

King Constantine did not actually accept to pose for the photograph with the Generals, in actual fact he specifically requested that the photograph be made. When the Military ceased power, they also took control of the Broadcasting Stations and Newspapers. An estimated 8,000 people were arrested within the first month of the regime, and within two hours on the night of the 21st April 1967, the King, his family and the Civilian Government had been placed under arrest. The King remained under House Arrest whilst the Military told the people the King was in not only in support of the regime but in charge ofit, in an attempt to legitimise their actions. Powerless to stop the Military and with no means to tell the Greek People directly he was against the regime, he request the photograph be taken in which, as opposed to his usually jovial and smiling appearance, he adopted a stern expression in the hope the people would be able to see he was not happy. Unfortunately the message was miss understood and instead the people believed he had betrayed them which prompted the deep resentment that still lasts today. Constantine now regrets the photograph but stands by his decision as the only course open to him at the time. Outside of Greece, Constantine has explained his rational behind the photograph many times, and it is unfortunate that has not been explained more fully in Greece, where it appears that the information is not prohibited but is not promoted either. There are many things that about the fromer King that have been played down or twisted to suit the purposes of others. I don’t know for example how widely it is known in Greece he visited New York to visit the Greek Community in the aftermath of September 11th 2001. As Zhontella pointed out, it is the winners who write the history books.

ellinotati 11-14-2003 05:35 AM

thanks a lot ,splodger,for taking the time to answer my question .do you know what else constantine might have done for greece that the media there did not report?

moody 11-14-2003 05:42 AM

;) He gave them the Olympics 2004&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;He also helped in many many questions of macropolitics that uneligible goverments of the last 3 decades refuse to recognise&#33;&#33;They had HM&#39;s property confiscated instead&#33;&#33; Pelieve it or no,this is the truth&#33;&#33;&#33;If smb is an historian here,he &#39;llconfirm that&#33;&#33;

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