Greek royal family

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The Greek royal family (Greek: Ελληνική Βασιλική Οικογένεια) is a branch of the House of Glücksburg that reigned in Greece from 1863 to 1924 and again from 1935 to 1973. Its first monarch was George I, the second son of King Christian IX of Denmark. He and his successors styled themselves "Kings of the Hellenes".[1] Most members of the dynasty (aside from the last king to reign, Constantine II and his queen consort, Anne-Marie of Denmark) hold the title Prince or Princess of Greece and Denmark with the style Royal Highness, except Marina, Consort of Prince Michael, and their daughters Princess Alexandra and Princess Olga.


The personal standard of the Kings of Greece.

The family came to the throne after the overthrow in 1862 of the first king of the independent Greek state, Otto of Bavaria. In a referendum, the Greeks elected Prince Alfred of the United Kingdom, the second son of Queen Victoria, as their new king, but the candidature was rejected by the Great Powers, who refused to permit any member of their respective royal families to ascend to the Greek throne. A search for other candidates ensued, and eventually, the Greeks offered the throne to Prince William of Denmark, the second son of the future King Christian IX, and younger brother of the new Princess of Wales and who was of the Danish Glücksburg Dynasty. The Greek National Assembly proclaimed him king as George I, and he arrived in Greece in October 1863. George I would marry Grand Duchess Olga Constaninovna of Russia, and would have seven surviving children. After a reign of fifty years, George I was succeeded by his eldest son, Constantine I, who had married Princess Sophia of Prussia, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and sister of Kaiser Wilhelm II, in 1913. In turn, all three of Constantine's sons, George II, Alexander and Paul, would occupy the throne.

The royal family saw Greece experience several upheavals including the Balkan Wars, World War I, World War II (during which Greece experienced Axis occupation), the Greek Civil War, and the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. Following the National Schism during World War I and subsequent Asia Minor Disaster, the monarchy was deposed in March 1924 and replaced by the Second Hellenic Republic, which lasted until overthrown by a royalist coup d'état in October 1935.


On April 21, 1967 the elected government was overthrown by a group of middle-ranking army officers led by Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos and a military dictatorship was established. The regime, known as The Regime of the Colonels, forced King Constantine II into accepting it as legitimate. On December 13, 1967, the King launched a counter-coup but it failed[2] and he, together with his family, fled to exile in Rome and soon after to London.

On 1 June 1973, Constantine II was declared deposed by the military junta and Papadopoulos appointed himself as President of the Republic. On 29 July 1973, a questionable referendum sought to confirm the abolition of the monarchy. The dictatorship fell in August 1974 and the new regime held a fresh referendum on 8 December 1974, which confirmed the abolition of the monarchy by a vote of 69% to 30%. The deposed King has never questioned the validity of this referendum, as referenda establishing monarchy in Greece (1863, 1935) were also accepted by his predecessors.

Present status[edit]

In 2013 Constantine II and his wife Anne-Marie announced that they were once again living in Greece.[3] As male-line descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark, members of the dynasty bear the title of Prince or Princess of Denmark and thus are traditionally referred to as Princes or Princesses of Greece and Denmark.[4]


The extended members of the Greek royal family are:

Furthermore King Michael I of Romania, Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia and Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta (b. 1943) whose's mothers were Greek princesses.

Family tree of members[edit]

King George I
Queen Olga
King Constantine I
Queen Sophia
Prince Christopher
Princess Françoise
Queen Frederica
King Pavlos
Marina, consort of Prince Michael*
Prince Michael*
Queen Sofía of Spain*
The King
The Queen
Princess Irene*
Princess Alexandra, Mrs Mirzayantz*
The Duchess of Apulia*
Princess Alexia
The Crown Prince
The Crown Princess
Prince Nikolaos
Princess Tatiana
Princess Theodora
Prince Philippos
Princess Maria-Olympia
Prince Constantine-Alexios
Prince Achileas-Andreas
Prince Odysseas-Kimon
Prince Aristidis-Stavros

* Member of the extended royal family

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Greece". MSN Encarta Online Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on November 1, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Greece". MSN Encarta Online Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on November 1, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2006. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XV, C.A. Starke Verlag, 1997, p.20.

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