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Greeks in uproar over “Crown Prince of Greece” by BBC

British state broadcaster BBC was met with sharp criticism on Sunday when it interviewed a former Greek royalty presenting him with the title “HRH Crown Prince of Greece.” This triggered an uproar not only on social media but many websites of news outlets in Greece complained about the “historical mistake” as the monarchy in Greece was abolished though a referendum in December in 1974 and was formally abolished in summer 1975.

Pavlos Gluecksburg is the first born of former king Constantine, and third cousin of late Queen Elizabeth II. However, according to Greek Constitution he lost his royal title officially in 1974 after not only one but two referendums, one of them held under the junta regime.

Greek media speak of a Gaffe by BBC noting “the BBC […] resurrected the monarchy in Greece.”

Some mainstream such as Skai wonder “if it was the channel’s contributors who made the mistake or if it it was Pavlos who presented himself with the specific title.”

Social media got fire with angry Greeks and foreigners reminding the BBC that Greece has been a republic for almost half a century.

Some wondered why the Greek government does not react to “crown prince Pavlos.”

Point is that other British media used the BBC video or had for an interview with “crown prince Pavlos” – so Channel4News, falsely informing the British public that Greece has a monarchy.

It is the second time in a week, that the sons of the ex royal family present themselves officially with their former titles. So did Pavlos’ younger brother Nikolaos at his photography exhibition at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago, USA. Note that the Museum presented him as “Prince Nikolaos.”

Fact is that Greece is a republic, a unitary parliamentary republic and has no kings and queens, princes and crown princes,  HRH titles or the similar.

Even though the former royal family of Greece insists on using such titles citing the …Treaty of Vienna (1815) as it stands on their official website.

The Treaty of Vienna permitted some monarchs in Europe, who saw their little kingdoms dissolved through the Treaty, to keep their titles.

In this sense, the local ex royals believe that they have the right to keep their royal status for life.

What is highly interesting is the the Treaty of Vienna was signed long before Greece was forced to become a monarchy in 1832. It was the London Conference of 1832 of the three Great Powers that abolished  the First Hellenic Republic following the Independence Revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman occupation.

The former Greek royalty possibly believes in the principle of the Vienna Treaty due to their German aristocracy ancestors.

However, this is an insult to Greek people and the Constitution.

PS the Correct title on BBC should have been: “His ex Royal Highness, former Crown Prince Pavlos” or simply “HRH, the Crown Prince of Nowhere.”

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8 comments

  1. It is a fact of life everywhere that when royalty is deposed to create a republic the deposed royalty still thinks it is entitled to the ranks it previously enjoyed. Generally they live in exile to avoid conflict in the country they were monarch of but that country can do little or nothing to prevent them using their former titles outside its borders. When King Edward VIII abdicated and lived outside the UK he still used many titles that he was no longer entitled to use.

    If Greek media were to interview Prince Harry and he styled himself as HRH Prince Harry would Greek media do anything to check that he was entitled to use that title? If he arrived to do the interview wearing his military uniform would they question if he was entitled to wear it? If they did check and found that he was not entitled to do either would they refuse to interview him or would they just go ahead and get the story?

    Recently Sky News interviewed a Russian spokesman about the war in Ukraine and constantly referred to it as “the special military operation” not “the war” because if they had insisted on using the latter term the interview would have been rapidly terminated.

    • King Edward VIII was created the Duke of Windsor by King George VI and this was the only title he used after his abdication. He was a ‘Royal Highness’ but Wallis never was, again at the King’s wish.

      As to Crown Prince Pavlos it is a fact that King Constantine was overthrown by a Military coup and has never abdicated. The monarchy might have been abolished, but he remains the King of Greece and will be so until he abdicates or dies. Pavlos will not be, because he cannot be Proclaimed as such when his father dies. The principle is ‘once and King always a King’ unless you renounce the style and title.

  2. Similar titles are also used by sons of former kings in both Bulgaria and Romania . In the past it got you a table in a fully booked restaurant . Now you get a mention in society columns !!!!

  3. Speaking of royalty, did anybody notice the oscar winning “tears” of Markle at the funeral? Cringeworthy.

  4. I’m pretty sure that it was not done to deliberately slight Greece or the Greeks. As the UK royals have a direct connection with the ex Greek royals it was perhaps more to give deference to themselves. And who would have known that the Greeks are so touchy on the subject, not me and I’ve lived here for years. By the way, many French still give deference to their ‘ crown prince’ and they haven’t had a monachy for centuries.

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