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

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I agree, her dress isn't very regal..... I mean, for a daughter of a German Emperor and granddaughter of the Queen of England..... - and a future Queen of Greece...... her dress is very plain and very odd.
Is the plainness due to some tradition of the Orthodox Church (as I am Episcopalian and not familiar with Orthodox traditions)??

Why in Heaven's name, reckon, did they want to have the wedding so early in the morning?
:previous: No, the Orthodox Church doesn't demand plain weddinq dresses , it is not a tradition. Besides, weren't the Russian and Roumanian royals also Orthodox? and I don't think that anyone could ever accuse them of being plainly dressed:D......
I found out why the wedding was so early . It is because Sophie was Protestant at the time. Since there was no civil marriage in Greece back then, the only wedding to get their marriage valid was to perform two weddings, one Orthodox and one Lutheran. Because a wedding breakfast was organized about 11 in the morning, there was a suggestion to postpone the Lutheran ceremony until the next day and have the Orthodox wedding at 10 am. But then, the Kaiser became furious, telling that he demanded his sister to be properly married before sleeping in the same bed with Constantine ( it seems that an actual religious Orthodox wedding wasn't a proper enough blessing for him:ermm:).So, they the decided the night before to have the Orthodox marriage early in morning, then the immediate family would rush to Tatoi, where they wereto be married in a private ceremony by King George's Lutheran priest (he never became Orthodox). Then, they would rush back to Athens, for the wedding breakfast and the official photos.
However, when everyone from the family was ready the next day at 9 am, no one of the guests was ready, since they didn't have the time to inform themabout the change in plans. So here's what happened: the wedding took actually place around 11 am ,then they got married in the Palace by a Lutheran priest and then they held the reception. :flowers:So much of a fuss.... No wonder at the wedding photo Sophie looks far than happy.
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Ah, dear cousin Willy, always making drama's. I remember reading that Queen Emma did try her best to prevent him from attending the wedding of Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands in 1901, because according to Emma 'On every wedding, Wilhelm wants to be the bride' ;).

Now, when Sophie did convert Wilhelm II was quite upset, refusing to see his sister for years, not allowing her inside Germany even. And I believe he also accused her of endangering the health of the unborn baby of Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria, as the empress was quite upset about the prospect of his sister-in-law going to hell.
Well no wonder poor Sophie looked all out of sorts..... but of course, having a brother like the Kaiser would probably do that to most of us
Ah, dear cousin Willy, always making drama's. I remember reading that Queen Emma did try her best to prevent him from attending the wedding of Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands in 1901, because according to Emma 'On every wedding, Wilhelm wants to be the bride' ;).

Now, when Sophie did convert Wilhelm II was quite upset, refusing to see his sister for years, not allowing her inside Germany even. And I believe he also accused her of endangering the health of the unborn baby of Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria, as the empress was quite upset about the prospect of his sister-in-law going to hell.

Yes, Willy was a bully and cruel to everyone who crossed his path. He did kick up quite a fuss about his sister being married in the orthodox faith but curiously, when it came to "dynastic alliances" such as Alexandra of Hesse marrying Tsarevich Nicholas of Russia, he had no objections! I guess he did not think Sophie's marriage was much of a dynastic match but then, maybe he was afraid of Russia but not afraid of Greece. Therefore, he favored a German princess marrying the heir to the Russian Throne. Pity that he then helped initiate the war which brought them both down.
:previous: The Kaiser never really had an easy relationship with his Greek in laws. King George never hided with preference over Britain and Russia and although he did had an alliance with Germany in order to keep stability ,but he made sure it would never be a warm one. The official line was that he, as King of the Hellenes, was sovereign over a country who was traditionally attached to GBritain and that a turn to Germany would have risk his throne and his interests. The unofficial line was that, on top of the official one, he remained in his heart a Dane prince first and foremost and he had absolutely no love lost to Prussia. Of course as a reigning king , he didn't have the luxury to express his dislike the same way his sisters did, but he would always keep Willy on a considerable distance, although not too much because that might hurt his interests.One thing that always made the Kaiser furious was that when a reform on the Greek army was proposed, Constantine ( who greatly admired his brother in law) would propose to bring Prussian officers to teach. George would listen silently, pretending he agreed, but he would give no promise and after a month or so, the Kaiser would learn from the newspapers that French officers were sent to Greece in order to reform the Greek Army:ROFLMAO:....
When it comes to Sophie, she was not required neither by the Orthodox Church nor by the Hellenic Constitution to be Orthodox. She just had to raise her children Orthodox. But later on she decided to convert. The Kaiser might not have protested, but then the Kaiserin got envolved. She never liked Orthodoxy, she considered the ritual pompous and nearly paganistic ( she often commented how disgusted she was with Alexandra and Ella who became Russian Orthodox and left behind their reasonal Protestand faith). That's why she summoned Sophie to tell her that she was stupid and that since she was not required to convert she had better stay Lutheran. Besides she was , as a Lutheran from Prussia, to be held responsible for her faith and her soul in front of the Kaiser and she didn't have the right to betray him. Sophie's retort was that now she was not a Prussian Princess, she was first the Greek Crownprincess and she would do the best for her family and for her future in Greece and that the last person in the world who deserved the title of a spiritual leader was probably her brother. The Kaiserin got awfully upset and they had a huge fight . The rest is history I guess.
One has to give Sophie credit for standing up for herself... must be her mother and grandmother showing up!
Kaiserin Augusta was somewhat of a prude, from what I can gather. She needed to be put in her place.
Augusta Viktoria indeed had no right to get envolved on such matters. But the truth is that although Sophie was married, she and her husband continued to consider her as their subject. So ,according to the Kaiser ,if Sophie was told that she should not convert by Dona ( his wife) , then she had to comply. Unfortunately, Sophie was not supported by Constantine in most of her fights with her brother, because Constantine admired much Villy as a military man ( that I get it) and as a man in general (that i really don't get it). So , most of the time and( since he was of course not the one personally insulted), he would not stand up for Sophie(his wife) , because he didn't want to upset his dear brother in law:bang:
But Sophie wasn't the Kaiser's subject after her marriage, she was King George's - correct??
But of course... we are dealing with the Kaiser (who's mind and rationale no one will ever fully understand).
I agree... I don't understand Constantine's logic on viewing Wilhelm as the epitome' of manhood or (for me) of military brilliance... I don't think he was very good at either.
I remember Olga was not very pleased with Constantine's choice of bride initially because she was hoping he would marry an Orthodox like herself and his subjects. I bet Olga was delighted when Sophie chose to convert.
I'm sure Queen Olga and King George both were concerned over whether Sophie was a horse's behind like her brother, too.... amongst the religious and political!!

Who, reckon, did Queen Olga have in mind as an Orthodox bride for Constantine? She would have to look back to Russia for another Grand Duchess, correct??
It would be quite dificult to find him an Orthodox Bride, no matter what Olga wished. In Russia , there was not one Princess close to his age and there were only two Grand Duchesses close enough: Xenia Alexandrovna (who was his first cousin, so it was impossible to marry them) and Elena Vladimirovna (who, although "close"in age, was 14 years younger than him). In Serbia , there was no Princess of the same age from none of the two houses (Obrenovic and Karadordevic) neither in Rumania nor in Bulgaria. Only in Georgia I guess. Or Montenegro....
That was kinda what I was thinking... I guess it was Germany or England to find a wife!
How about one of the Edinburgh girls... at least she woulda been 1/2 Orthodox and Marie Edinburgh coulda have two daughters who became Queens!
I don't know if Marie or Olga would approve. I mean , Greece does seem " modest" for Marie's ambitions and her girls were sometimes sort of rebellious ( let's just remember Marie of Romania's theatrical gestures and the " me against the world " attitude that Ducky had sometimes) , so I don't think that Olga would have dreamed of such a bride for her son, or any of her sons. Besides, Marie was not always on the best terms with her Konstantinovitchi cousins, especially after Duchess Elsa of Wuerttemberg ( Vera Konstantinova's daughter) broke her engagement to Affie.
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).

I am surprised you never read it before.
The fact that the King was engaged in extra marital activities did not mean he did not love his wife. They were teenagers when they married and they have indeed a very happy life together and she was a very devoted partner to him.
If you find in a second hand bookstore the book " Vassilissa Sofia" by Andreas Skandamis you will enjoy it.
Both King George I and King Constantine had mistresses.:flowers:
a drawing of Constantine's enthronement (he gives his oath swearing in the Gospels) I am quite sure they both wished to have ascended to the throne on a different occasion, not inheriting it after a rather mysterious assasination. Not ot mention that Sophie was in an extremely difficult situation after Andrew, her own brother in law, said openly that it was most likely an assasination organised by the Kaiser and the Secret services of Germany.


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Was there any evidence to support an allegation that the Kaiser ordered the assassination?
I don't believe so. Perhaps it was easier for Prince Andrew to believe that his father was killed by a plot than by a Greek citizen.
hello! i'm very interested in my country's royal history. i think it's very fascinating. i'm reading a book now and i found there a very interesting detail. prince andrew visited with his brother, king constantine, smyrna around 1922 when it was occupied by the greeks. it was an official visit before we lost the war and the catastrophe of smyrna. if anyone has any more information about this visit please share it here. anything you know. thanks! greets

Its hard to recognize him because he is literally crossed out but he looks like Aristidis Stergiadis, the Greek governor of Smyrna had ( he denifinately has the same beard as Stergiadis - hardly a trustworthy clue , I know:D).
This is not specified in the picture, but it is obvious that the person who owns of the photo haven´t much sympathy for him
hello. thank you all who gave answers and informations here. :flowers: any clue is valuable for me. i still search this case, but i didn't move that much. the reason is that me and some friends believe that maybe king contantine and prince andrew gave different orders to the generals in smyrna, i mean bad commands and directions and maybe this is why we lost the war. of course this is only our thoughts. we are no historians and we have no proofs in our hands so don't misunderstand my post.

snowflower, how is this possible to be Stergiadis? when the goverment of venizelos fell and the king returned, did they keep stergiadis as the governor of smyrna? the more logic thing would be to replace him with someone of their party that they trusted more. i don't know for sure, that's why i'm asking. ;)

Stergiadis wasn't replaced when the goverment changed because he wasn't only the Governor of Smyrna but a representantive of the european unit the Great Powers had established in Smyrna . They originally thought about replacing him but then the British and the Levantines living in Smyrna protested and the Gounaris government didn't want to aggravate France and Britain given that they had already started to withdraw their support to the Greek army from the moment Constantine had returned. So the stayed there until the end .

IMO we didn't lost the war just becuase King Constantine and Prince Andrew intervend in the wrong way. By that time France and Britain had already withdraw their military support towards the Greek Army and they had befriended Kemal because they were viewing his power grew and grew and they were afraid he might sided with the Bolsheviks. The whole military offiacial were replaced and then the Army started marching towards Ankara, without securing their supplies and they were trapped in the desert. Nevertheless, Prince Andrew held a large responsibility about what happened in the battle field . During the last phase in the war, when the troops were heading towards Ankara he was promoted to major general of the Field Army's Second Corp . Then he disobeyed twice his Commander in Chief. The first time , Commander Papoulas aksed him to move his troops but he decided it was better if he stayed behind. So the 2nd Corp of the Army stayed still for 12 whole days. The second time Papoulas was expecting an attack from Kemal towards the 3rd Army Corp. So he ordered the generals of the two other Corps to attack simultaneously to the Turkish Army . Andrew disobeyed again and he moved his Corp behind the 3rd Corp. The result was a near destruction of the 1st Corp because they were left alone to deal with the Turkish Army. After that he was replaced But I guess the damage was already done .
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.

You may be right about her shyness and I have also read that she couldn't get easily used to the manners of Greek people. For example I ve read that, when the Royal Family used to go for a walk, people would stop and greet them sometimes in a slightly unceremonial way . Most of the family didn't mind(or didn't seem to mind which is just as umportant ) but Sophie had a hard time at the beggining to hide the fact that she felt uneasy. So people would assume that she was aloof , while she just was not used to the loose style of adressing the Greeks might use - she was accustomed to a stricter protocoll in Prussia and let's face it, when you learn to behave and speak in a certain way from when you are a toddler , it can be difficult to change it. However I can't stop thinking how the family would have been perceived during WWI if she was more like Elisabeth of the Belgians who made it very clear that she was devoted to Belgium and nowhere else.
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The Prussian Court was so formalized as to be stuffy. I am sure that Sophie was made uncomfortable due to her upbringing.
The Queen Sofia was not problems with her character and her shyness, her behavior was correct. She occupied with great dignity her position as Queen, but it is obvious that her german origins, who was sentenced, not her , her origins.
I think that Sophie was a gracious but sensitive person who was greatly affected from her young age by the treatment of others and the way people she loved were treated by others. First, her mother, Empress Victoria, was first ill-treated by Sophie's grandparents and then by Sophie's brother, Kaiser Wilhelm. Wilhelm also treated Sophie in a despicable manner, such as insisting that she not convert to the Orthodox faith.

Sophie was undoubtedly sensitive to the politics surrounding the precarious throne and crown which she shared with her husband. Not for nothing did she refer to it as the "Crown of Thorns."
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