King Constantine I (1868-1923) and Sophie of Prussia (1870-1932)

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Aug 13, 2004
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King Constantine I of the Hellenes (Athens, 2 August 1868 - Palermo, 11 January 1923); married in Athens on 27 October 1889 Princess Sophie Dorothea Ulrike Alice of Prussia (Potsdam, 14 June 1870 - Frankfurt, 13 January 1932)

Reign: 1913 - 1917 and 1920-1922

Dynasty: Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

Predecessor: King George I of the Hellenes

Successor: King Alexander I of the Hellenes (1917) and King George II of the Hellenes (1922)

Children: King George II of the Hellenes; King Alexander I of the Hellenes; Queen Helen of Romania; King Paul of the Hellenes; Princess Irene of Italy, Duchess of Aosta, titular Queen of Croatia; and Princess Katharina of Greece & Denmark, Mrs. Brandram

Parents Constantine: King George I of Greece and Grand Duchess Olga Constantinova of Russia

Parents Sophie: Emperor Friedrich III of Germany, King of Prussia and Princess Victoria Adelaide of Great Britain & Ireland, Princess Royal

Siblings Constantine: Prince George of Greece & Denmark; Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna of Russia; Prince Nicholas of Greece & Denmark; Grand Duchess Maria Georgievna of Russia; Princess Olga of Greece & Denmark; Prince Andrew of Greece & Denmark and Prince Christopher of Greece & Denmark

Siblings Sophie: Emperor Wilhelm II of the Germans, King of Prussia; Duchess Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen; Prince Heinrich of Prussia; Prince Sigismund of Prussia; Princess Viktoria of Schaumburg-Lippe; Prince Waldemar of Prussia and Landgravine Margarethe of Hesse-Kassel
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From wikipedia:

Constantine I (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος A', Βασιλεύς των Ελλήνων; 2 August [O.S. 21 July] 1868 - 11 January 1923) was King of Greece from 1913 to 1917 and from 1920 to 1922. He was Commander-in-Chief of the Hellenic Army during the unsuccessful Greco-Turkish War of 1897 and led the Greek forces during the successful Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, in which Greece captured Thessaloniki, and doubled in area and population. He succeeded to the throne of Greece on 18 March 1913, following his father's assassination.
His disagreement with Eleftherios Venizelos over whether Greece should enter World War I led to the National Schism. Constantine forced Venizelos to resign twice, but in 1917 he abdicated, after threats of the Entente forces to bombard Athens; he left the Crown to his second son, Alexander. After Alexander's death, Venizelos' defeat in the 1920 legislative elections, and a plebiscite in favor of his return, Constantine reassumed his duties as King. Constantine abdicated the throne for the second and last time in 1922, when Greece lost the Greco-Turkish War of 1920-1922. He was succeeded by his eldest son, George II.

Born on 2 August 1868 in Athens, and baptized on 12 August, Constantine was the eldest son of George I of Greece (born Prince Vilhelm of Denmark) and Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia. He had as teachers some of the most prominent university professors of the time: Ioannis Pandazidis taught him Greek literature; Vassilios Lakonas mathematics and physics; Constantine Paparrigopoulos history, infusing to the young Crown Prince the principles of Megali Idea. On 30 October 1882 he enrolled in the Hellenic Military Academy. After completing the Academy's program, he was sent to Berlin for further military education, and served in the Imperial Guard. Constantine also studied political science in Heidelberg and Leipzig. In 1890 he became Major General, and assumed the command of the headquarters of the Hellenic Army in Athens (3ο Αρχηγείο Στρατού).

In January 1895, Constantine caused a political turmoil, when he ordered the army and gendarmerie forces of Athens to dissolve a manifestation against the tax policy of the government; he had previously discussed with the crowd and advised it to submit its requests to the government. Prime minister Charilaos Trikoupis asked from the King to recommend to his son to avoid such interventions in the political life of the country without prior consultation with the government. King George responded that the Crown Prince just fulfilled his military duties, and his decision had no political importance. The incident caused a heated debate in the Parliament, and Trikoupis finally resigned. In the following elections Trikoupis was defeated, and the new prime minister, Theodoros Deligiannis, regarded the incident as closed; he did not want to preserve the atmosphere of hostility between the government and the royal family.
The organization of the first modern Olympics in Athens was another issue causing a Constantine-Trikoupis confrontation; after Deligiannis' electoral victory in 1895 the pro-Olympic movement prevailed. Constantine was instrumental in the organization of the 1896 Summer Olympics; according to Pierre de Coubertin, in 1894 "the Crown Prince learned with great pleasure that the Games will be inaugurated in Athens." Coubertin assured that "the King and the Crown Prince will confer their patronage on the holding of these games." Constantine later conferred more than that; he eagerly assumed the presidency of the 1896 organizing committee. At the Crown Prince's request, wealthy businessman George Averoff agreed to pay for the restoration of the Panathinaiko Stadium, donating c. one million drachmas.

Read more here.
From wikipedia:

Princess Sophie of Prussia (Sophie Dorothea Ulrike Alice; June 14, 1870 – January 13, 1932), was a Queen consort of Greece.

She was born in Potsdam, Prussia, in 1870 to then Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia and Victoria, Princess Royal of the United Kingdom, herself the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort. Sophie, known as "Sossy" during her childhood, (the name was thought to have been picked because it rhymed with "Mossy", the nickname of her younger sister Margarete) was Victoria and Frederick's seventh child and third daughter.
She was a sister to Wilhelm II, German Emperor, Princesses Charlotte, Margrete and Viktoria of Prussia, as well as Princes Heinrich, Waldemar and Sigismund of Prussia. Sigimund died before she was born, and Waldemar when he was 11 and she was 8.
She is the paternal grandmother of her namesake, Queen Sofia of Spain and ex-King Constantine II of the Hellenes. Queen Sofia also has a granddaughter, Infanta Sofia of Spain, who was named in her honor; Infanta Sofia's parents are the queen's son, Prince Felipe and his wife, Princess Letizia.

Read more here.
A search in Google images brings up many photos.
Is she wearing Frederika's tiara , the one she sold during their exile in Roma?
Lady Katherine Brandram looked a great deal like her brother, King Paul, IMO. I'm not sure if she resembled her other siblings.
Queen Sophie is definitely one of the most fascinating royals of her generation, being the mother of three kings, two queens, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and sister to Kaiser Wilhelm. She wasn't as eccentric as her first cousin Queen Marie of Romania and not as well remembered by history as another cousin, Tsarina Alexandra. I wish there was more written about her in "Born to Rule." She probably understood better than any one how the Greek throne was called "the crown of thorns," yet managed to live through her father-in-law's assassination, many exiles, her favorite son Alexander's early and sudden death, the divorce of two of her children, and being accused of spying on behalf of her brother. Glad her name lives on through her granddaughter Queen Sofia of Spain and great-great granddaughter Infanta Sofia.
I agree with you.
Her son Alexander, King of Greece, died from the bite of a monkey in the palace of Tatoi.His dog and his monkey, were fighting and he was to separate them , but the monkey bitten to him., died days after by the infection, his mother who was in exile could not travelled to Athens because the Government didn´t permited it.:ohmy: Queen sofia wedding. Picture of famile (Constantine, George, Alexander, Pavlo, Helen and Irene) (King constantine with Prince George)

Other pictures: (Kings of Greece, princes George, Alexander, helen, Irene) (King Pavlo and Princess Irene)

king Alexander and his dog:

thank you! by pictures of Princess Katherine, in the pictures she was pretty. She is buried in Tatoi Palace, she wanted very much this palace because when she was small, she obtained save her life when the Palace caught fire.
Sadly for her, Queen Sofia was not as much loved by the Greeks as her mother in law. She was extremely well organised and efficient but her reluctance to "warm up" to the aristocracy cost her in terms that there was no affection and the rumour mill worked overtime about her.
She was instrumental in the planting of trees all over the city of Athens, she worked by Queen Olga's side at the hospitals they established and she brought her "German" discipline in a lot of areas. There is a long avenue in Athens that still carries her name, running from the side of the Parliament at Syntagma Square all the way to the Athens Hilton.
Actually, it runs longer, all the way to Ampelokipi, 1 more mile north. Queen Sofia Ave (Leoforos Vassilissis Sofias) is the most elegant avenue in Athens and the part up to the Hilton hotel (you quoted) is also known as museum mile for, like the northern part of 5th Ave in Manhattan, it houses the Benaki, the Cycladic Art, the Byzantine and the War museums as well as the National Gallery and the Officers' Club along with the National Gardens, Parliament and many Embassies of which those of France, Italy, Egypt and the United Kingdom are housed in important and historical neoclassical buildings.

You are right! Queen Olga had the Orthodox Eastern temperament and was keen in endearing herself to the people. Queen Sophia, on the other hand, had a saxonic upbringing or, possibly, it was her nature to be reserved.
:previous: There was a paragraph in a book I read recently about the time Queen Sofia complained to her father in law King George about her husband, CP Constantine. She wanted to know how to handle his interest in a mistress he had. King George told her to go ask her mother in law who knew how to handle a similar situation.:whistling:
This is a glaring example of the difference in temperament between the two Queens.
Poor Queen Sofia was misunderstood by the people of her adopted country. She lived in an age where there were no spin agents or palace spokespeople who could have conveyed her affection for Greece and its peoples. What many people mistook for aloofness may have just been her natural reserve or even shyness.
:previous: She lived under Queen Olga's shadow for a long time and then during turbulent years in Greek history. You are correct, her disciplined ways and lack of warmth towards outsiders and society, cost her a lot in terms of acceptance by the people.
She once proposed to her husband to give to certain elite families nobility titles, so that a local aristocracy could be created ( and she could have someone to keep her company). This proposition met many protests from the Greeks and the idea was abandoned.
Strange that the Greeks wanted a monarchy but not nobility. It may have anchored the throne by creating nobles out of natives as a way to support the royal family during the periods of upheaval
Strange that the Greeks wanted a monarchy but not nobility. It may have anchored the throne by creating nobles out of natives as a way to support the royal family during the periods of upheaval

It is true . not ot mention that in this way a king or Queen might be able to marry a Greek. But what they had to gain from it? The only this that would happen would be dividing the Greek nation in an unjustied way to aristoctrats and commoners. In the rest of Europe it was different, the dukes, earls, etc held their titles due to their ancenstral right ( and when i mean ancestral, remember we re talking about medieval times in many cases), so it was an stablished thing . Not to mention it would be a little ridiculous for the rest of the Monarchies to see Greece create in the 20th century nobles out of nowhere.
Great point, Vassillisos Markos. It never occurred to me that Greece did not have a landed nobility. Forover 1000 years most monarchies have rested upon a the base (or been toppled over by) a strong nobility.
Great point, Vassillisos Markos. It never occurred to me that Greece did not have a landed nobility. Forover 1000 years most monarchies have rested upon a the base (or been toppled over by) a strong nobility.
Well in Greece there was never a nobility not at least in the form it was in the other countries.There were aristocrats in Ancient Greece but they were more of warriors of nobility. When Greece became part of the Byzantine Empire the same. There were some prominent and high regarded families but the held titles more of a" military nobility" (ptwtospatharios etc.) When the Ottoman Empire was established some Fanariots families were regarded as noble and they were made princes and rulers but not of Greeece, of Wallachia for example. There were also those in the Ionian island who held nobility titles but these titles were Venetian , neither greek nor turkish. Oh and there was the Ypsilantis family but I think that those were made princes by the Czar ( not sure about it). Here there was never the evolution that occured in the other countries ( from feudal landlords to nobility).
Considering the lengthy history of the Greece, that is totally amazing to me. Thank you, again, for all the information.
:previous: There was a paragraph in a book I read recently about the time Queen Sofia complained to her father in law King George about her husband, CP Constantine. She wanted to know how to handle his interest in a mistress he had. King George told her to go ask her mother in law who knew how to handle a similar situation.:whistling:
This is a glaring example of the difference in temperament between the two Queens.
Does this mean that K George had mistresses? It's the first time I ve heard it. It always seemed to me that he really loved his wife and that they were quite happy together ( after all they kept having children until later in life. I don't think this occurs to loveless marriages).
Sophie's and Constantine's wedding was celebrated with much regality and pomp. He was the first member of the Greek Royal Family to ever get married in Greece. However the morning of the wedding day, Sophie was very stressed and the reason? No one could find her veil! It was placed on the wrong box, not together with the rest of the bridal acessories and eveyrone thought it was forgotted in Germany! They realised it when the night before the wedding they prepared Sophie's attire. Vicky was very upset not only because it was such a pity ( it took four months and 200 workers to make it) but because Sophie couldn't possibly be married without a veil! Fortunately, a lady in waiting had brought with her several metres of tuille . When the Empress learned in she gave two orders. First, no one was to know that the veil was gone, nor the Greeks royals neither any other Greek, because she was afraid that the over superstitious Greeks would consider it a bad omen . Second, everyone was to stay up that night and make a new veil for the Princess in utmost secresy. It had to be finished in time and there was no room for mistakes in the cutting and sewing, because they didn't have enough tuille in something went wrong. So they did, the ladies finished the veil in time and Sophie said that she was pleased after all, because she never liked the idea of wearing a lace veil in the first place. I wonder if those poor Prussian ladies in waiting who stayed up all night shared her opinion:ROFLMAO:........ Finally, the veil was found during the wedding service.
She later was conviced by her mother to be at least photographed with the lace veil.


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:previous:Perhaps the fact that she stayed up half the night and was early awaked in order to be prepared in time, dressed and coiffed because the wedding was at 9 in the morning and then she had the official pictures taken and she knew that there was a banquet organised for the evening has to do something with it:D. But why did they sceduled the wedding so early? All the royal ladies should have to wake up at the dawn to get ready on time.....
By the way her wedding dress seems a little odd to me . No jewelery, and the skirt is quite short( you can see her shoes) and the train doens't seem to match the dress. .Plus there are almost no sleeves, while you can't see an inch form her neck. I thought that dresses of the time were the exact opposite, with decolletage and covering sleeves ( well , more covering than that).
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