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Funeral of deposed king Constantine, a challenge for Greece

The funeral of former and deposed king of Greece, Constantine II, turned into a challenge, politically, mentally and physically. Members from royal families in eleven countries flew to Athens to pay their respects to the “private citizen” who was buried with no honors of a state leader officially but with half-honors unofficially. A crown-royaltness frenzy in the Greek media presented as “apolitical life-style”, while open royalists and crypto-monarchists added the icing on the funeral cake.

As early as 5 o’ clock in the morning, people started to queue at the chapel next to the Athens Cathedral for the “unofficial” lie to state of the body of the last king of Greece.

Buses from Peloponnese and other parts of the country brought monarchists dressed in traditional costumes and carrying banners, apparently ready to claim monarchy back, an institution that was abolished with two referendums in 1973 and 1974. .

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The original schedule 6 – 10 a.m. was extended for one hour as the people stayed in queue in anticipation to come near to the coffin. Many missed the opportunity, however, as there was a strict schedule for the funeral service and the burial in the former summer palace of Tatoi.

A crowd of people, 187 in total, among them royals, shipowners, business-people, six ruling New Democracy MPs, , three ministers (two of them officially, one privately), ex Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, friends and the multi-membered family of Constantine, could not wait, after all.

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They were all there: his widow, ex queen Anna-Maria, a Danish princess, his five children and nine grandchildren, his two sisters, his close relatives from royal houses in Europe, princes and kings with or without throne and even a disputed “representative of the Russian House of Romanov” that ended up in 1917!

The House of Windsor which is related to the Glucksburg family and has very close ties was represented by Princess Royal Anne, a cousin of the former king of Greece.

Constantine II: Royals attend funeral for Greece's last king – DW –  01/16/2023

Some funeral guests like Constantine’s sister Irene and Anna-Maria’s sister, Queen Margarete, cheerfully greeted the public.

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Even Constantine’s brother-in-law, Juan Carlos, former king of Spain in Abu Dhabi exile since 2020 due to financial scandals, traveled to Athens. He stood next to his estranged wife, queen mother Sophia, and did not exchange a glance with his son, King Felipe.

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After the funeral service, a convoy of 80 vehicles moved to Tatoi where the former king was buried close to the graves of his parents.

Funeral service for former King Constantine held in Athens (upd)

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The last ex royal to be buried in Tatoi will be Constantine’s wife for 59 years as former queen.
Η «απόβαση» των Γλίξμπουργκ στην Αθήνα για τον γάμο του Φίλιππου -Δείτε όλα  τα μέλη της οικογένειας - iefimerida.gr
His children have no right to a burial there as they had and will never have royal titles. Monarchy abolished in Greece in 1974.

Media coverage

In the land of whatever, hundreds of Greek reporters were live streaming non-stop from early in the morning until …. well… until the dinner after the funeral that “lasted two hours” as media …finally report.

Not having done their journalist homework regarding the royals, former and current, they mixed up families, relatives-grades and countries, proving the shortage of seriousness in reporting.

Some royalist-journalists were moving from TV station to TV station praising the “dignity” with which the family of former king Constantine proceeded and arranged the whole issue without provoking, as they said.

A throne in a non-existing kingdom?

Now everybody is wondering whether Constantine’s first born son, Pavlos, will move to Greece, get involved in politics or even claim a throne in a non-existing kingdom. Prior to his father’s death, he has been introducing himself abroad as “Pavlos, crown prince of Greece“, anyway.

Monarchy is over in Greece. Period.

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8 comments

  1. Christopher Brammer

    Hardly an impartial or dispassionate report. It is a shame it masquerades as news. It is a biased opinion.

  2. Following the independence of the USA, John Adams was America’s first ambassador to Britain. His inaugural call as ambassador on the British sovereign, King George III (who had been responsible for losing the American colonies) became the source of a multitude of historical anecdotes. After all, the democrat John Adams represented a new republic and called on his former sovereign, His Royal Highness George III. Adams dutifully performed all the extensive protocol functions for a royal visit and the conversation was amiable. After the end of it and as Adams walked out, George III called after him and said:

    “I hope the Americans will not suffer unduly from no longer having a monarchy!”

  3. “Monarchy is over in Greece. Period.”

    While I am not challenging this view it is a fact of life that you can abolish anything you wish by passing a law but you cannot abolish the people who support that thing and want it to return. Those people will reappear whenever some event occurs that is related to the thing that has been abolished. The best thing to do is simply ignore them and they will fade away again.

  4. Whatever your view, it’s a question of respect. He was the last king that Greece will ever have. That will be written in history books forever so merits something at least. The rest of the world thinks so anyway.

  5. Sorry, but the way this was handled by the Greek State was shameful and disgraceful. Whether you like it or not King Constantine had once been the King of Greece and as such he should have been treated in death with far more respect than was afforded. It was a disgrace that neither the President of Greece or the Prime Minister could be bothered to attended the funeral service at the Cathedral. Personally I think he ought to have had a State Funeral, but in England such things are accorded only to the Sovereign (as was seen last year) and very occassionally to other, the last being Sir Winston Churchill in 1965. Other funerals, such as Lady Thatcher’s was a Ceremonial Funeral, and I am sure such an arrangement could have been made for the King. By not honouring your former Sovereign it showed Greece to be petty, small minded and just plain bloody rude. It was not a good look and brough shame upon Greece.

  6. The very fact that dictators get a state funeral in Greece but former kings don’t because of politics has shown the world the pettiness of the Greeks. I mean if you are so sure of the Republic, why not have a State Funeral and officially close the chapter? Even other Republics are far better. Portugal handled the exhumation related to Dom Pedro II in a much more decent manner. Even Egypt organised a state ceremony for transporting its 3000 year old mummies just cause they were Heads of State at one point.
    Remember how the monarchy was gotten rid of. And remember that people change their opinions all the time.

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