President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis have expressed their condolences over the death of Britain’s Prince Philip who was born a Prince of Greece adn Denmark.
On Twitter, Sakellaropoulou wrote in English and in Greek: “The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, who was born in Corfu, served his country with devotion for many decades. I extend my warm condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the members of the Royal Family and the British people.”
Her post was accompanied by a photograph of Prince Philip as a child wearing the traditional Evzones attire.
The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, who was born in Corfu, served his country with devotion for many decades. I extend my warm condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the members of the @RoyalFamily and the British people. pic.twitter.com/qmB4PZjLDM
— President GR (@PresidencyGR) April 9, 2021
The rare picture from 1930 was given in a nice frame to the Greek president by Prince Charles during his visit on March 25. The unique document of Philip’s Greek past was first published by Norwegian historian Oskar Aanmoen a year earlier.
HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Dressed in the Greece Royal Guard Uniform. pic.twitter.com/GwRDSmk7QA
— Oskar Aanmoen 🇳🇴 (@OAanmoen) June 11, 2019
President Sakellaropoulou was the first Greek official to express condolences on the death of Prince Philip. Hours later, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis posted on Twitter his condolences statement.
Statement on the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. pic.twitter.com/sZBmqWnlXk
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) April 9, 2021
Prince Philip and his painful Greek past
Prince Philip was born Prince of Greece and Denmark on 10 June 1921.
He was the only son and final child of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg.
A member of the House of Glücksburg, the ruling house of Denmark, he was a prince of both Greece and Denmark by virtue of his patrilineal descent from George I of Greece and Christian IX of Denmark, and he was from birth in the line of succession to both thrones.
Following the Greek defeat at the Greek-Turkish war 1920-1922, his uncle King George I was forced to abdicate on 27 September 1922 and Philip’s family went to exile.
Because Philip left Greece as a baby, he did not speak Greek. In 1992, he said that he “could understand a certain amount”. Philip stated that he thought of himself as Danish, and his family spoke English, French, and German.
Philip never looked back to Greece and this had little to do with the fact that Greece abolished th emonarchy in a referendum in 19745.
It is significant that Queen Elizabeth never visited the country in her 68 years of reign.
However, the heir to the British Throne, Prince Charles, loves the country and has been frequently visiting it for vacations and visits to Monks’ Republic on Mount Athos. He was in Greece on an official visit in summer 2018.