Princess Irene, Duchess of Aosta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Irene of Greece and Denmark
Duchess of Aosta; Duchess of Spoleto
Irene of Greece, duchess of Aosta.jpg
Queen consort of Croatia (disputed)
Tenure 18 May 1941 – 31 July 1943
Born (1904-02-13)13 February 1904
Athens, Greece
Died 15 April 1974(1974-04-15) (aged 70)
Fiesole, Italy
Burial Il Borro, then Basilica of Superga
Spouse Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta
Issue Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta
House Glücksburg
Father Constantine I of Greece
Mother Sophia of Prussia
Religion Roman Catholicism
prev. Greek Orthodoxy[citation needed]

Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark (Πριγκίπισσα Ειρήνη της Ελλάδας και Δανίας) (13 February 1904 – 15 April 1974) was the fifth child and second daughter of Constantine I of Greece and his wife, the former Princess Sophie of Prussia.

Family and early life[edit]

Her paternal grandparents were George I of Greece and Olga Konstantinovna of Russia. Her maternal grandparents were Friedrich III, German Emperor, and his Empress consort Victoria. Victoria was a daughter of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Queen regnant Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Irene was born in Athens, preceded in birth by three brothers, George (1890), Alexander (1893) and Paul (1901), and one sister, Helen (1896). Another sister, Katherine was born in 1913. In 1927, her brother, George, announced her engagement to Prince Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe, a nephew of Christian X of Denmark.[1] but later instead married his cousin, Princess Feodora of Denmark.[citation needed]


On 1 July 1939, Princess Irene married Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta, Duke of Spoleto (b. 9 March 1900 in Florence, Italy) They had one child:

By her marriage she converted herself from Greek Orthodoxy (religion of her parents) to Roman Catholicism.

From 1941-42, she served with the International Red Cross in the Soviet Union.[2] Prince Aimone became the 4th Duke of Aosta on 3 March 1942, following the death of his elder brother, Amadeo, the 3rd Duke. On 18 May 1941, taking the name Tomislav II, he was proclaimed King of the Independent State of Croatia. He never set foot on the territory of the state, and subsequently abandoned the crown on 12 October 1943, after the Italian withdrawal from the war.[citation needed]

Princess Irene was not in favour of her husband taking the Crown of Zvonimir, but supported his plans to avoid becoming the King of Croatia. After the Allied armistice' with the Kingdom of Italy, the princess was captured by the Germans and taken to a labour camp in Austria and later in Poland. She and her family were interned in a Nazi concentration camp in 1944.[2] Amedeo, her son and heir, was at that time a small infant and often ill. Irene was liberated by the French. Prince Aimone died on 29 January 1948 in Buenos Aires. Upon his death, his son Amedeo succeeded him as the 5th Duke of Aosta.

Princess Irene died on 15 April 1974 in Fiesole, Italy after fighting a long illness.[2]

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 13 February 1904 – 30 June 1939: Her Royal Highness Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark
  • 1 July 1939 – 17 May 1941: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Spoleto
  • 18 May 1941 – 2 March 1942: Her Majesty The Queen of Croatia, Duchess of Spoleto
  • 3 March 1942 – 31 July 1943: Her Majesty The Queen of Croatia, Duchess of Aosta
  • 1 August 1943 – 28 January 1948: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Aosta
  • 29 January 1948 – 15 April 1974: Her Royal Highness Princess Irene, Duchess of Aosta




  1. ^ "Princess Irene Tells Engagement To Prince Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe", The New York Times, Vienna, 13 October 1927 
  2. ^ a b c "Duchess of Aosta dies", The New York Times, Berlin, West Germany, 15 April 1974