Constantine II (Greece)

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Constantine II with his wife Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, 1987

Constantine II of Greece (born June 2, 1940 in Psychiko near Athens ) was the last king of the Hellenes from March 6, 1964 to June 1, 1973 . His sister Sophia is the former Queen of Spain , his sister-in-law Margrethe II is the reigning Queen of Denmark . Constantine II comes from the house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg .

As a king

He succeeded his father, King Paul I , to the throne after his early death. The young king's lack of experience would soon prove fatal. All the more so since the Greek monarchy has always been extremely unstable and several kings have already had to abdicate.

Greek royal family
Royal Coat of Arms of Greece.svg

SM Constantine II.
IM Queen Anne-Marie

IM Queen Sophia of Spain
HRH Princess Irene

King Constantine soon got into a serious conflict with Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou . This increased in severity with Papandreou's dismissal on July 15, 1965 and resulted in a constitutional crisis . There were frequent changes of government and ongoing unrest. Many supporters of Papandreou solidified the view that the king was acting unconstitutionally: For a long time he refused to dissolve parliament prematurely because he feared an election victory for Papandreou's party.

Shortly before the elections , which were still scheduled , the military staged a coup on April 21, 1967. Constantine II initially accepted the establishment of the Greek military dictatorship (“The Colonel Regime”) without protest. During the year, however, he indicated that he did not consider the colonels to be his government. On December 13th of that year he tried to come back to power with an amateurishly planned counter-coup. After its failure he went into exile without resigning , first to Rome and in 1973 to London .

In exile

Georgios Zoitakis served as regent from December 13, 1967 to March 21, 1972 in place of the king who was in exile. He was then followed by dictator Georgios Papadopoulos . On June 1, 1973, the military junta under Papadopoulos abolished the monarchy , which was confirmed by a manipulated referendum on July 29. After the overthrow of the military dictatorship, the new democratic government under Konstantin Karamanlis held a referendum on this issue. However, Constantine II was not allowed to return to Greece and actively intervene in the referendum campaign. There was also no significant political group that stood up for the monarchy. The vote on December 8, 1974 resulted in a clear majority against the monarchy with almost 70% no votes.

As a result, Konstantin was only allowed to return to Greece for a short time in 1981 for the funeral of his mother Friederike and again in 1993. Due to differences in his definitive surname, his passport was withdrawn in 1994. Around the same time, the royal real estate was transferred to the state in a resolution. After several trials, the expropriation was declared legal by the Constitutional Court. Constantine turned to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg . In November 2000, with a 15-2 vote, he lifted the expropriations as illegal and resolved to compensate Constantine. This was only a fraction of the value he estimated. Meanwhile, the Greek state returned the family's mobile assets to Constantine.

Constantine received a Danish passport in the name of Constantino de Grecia .

Status today

Constantine with wife Anne-Marie (1987)

Constantine II describes himself as King Constantine (βασιλιάς Κωνσταντίνος), similar to the old title Constantine, King of the Hellenes (Κωνσταντίνος, Βασιλεύς των Ελλήνων). Left parties in particular blamed him for this, while the conservative Nea Dimokratia kept itself neutral, as both opponents of the monarchy and staunch monarchists were among the party's supporters.

When he moved to Greece, his attitude changed, calling a return to power unrealistic and pointing to his advanced age. Since then, its popularity has increased again, including in the political left.


As an athlete, Konstantin and his team won the gold medal at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome in the kite sailing class . Today he is connected to the sport of sailing through the honorary presidency of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and the honorary chairmanship of the ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame .

The family

Constantine II married Anne-Marie of Denmark on September 18, 1964 , with whom he has five children:

  • Alexia (born July 10, 1965)
  • Paul (born May 20, 1967)
  • Nikolaos (born October 1, 1969)
  • Theodora (born June 9, 1983)
  • Philippos (born April 26, 1986)

His older sister Sophia of Greece married Juan Carlos , Infante of Spain , in 1962 and was Queen of Spain at her husband's side until his abdication on June 18, 2014. The younger sister, Irene of Greece , remained unmarried. She spent a few years in India with her mother . Since the death of Queen Friederike in 1981, Princess Irene has lived in Madrid with her sister Sophia.

Ancestors and descendants

Pedigree of Constantine II, ex-King of Greece

Royal Crown of Denmark.svg
King Christian IX of Denmark (1818–1906)
⚭ 1842
Princess Louise of Hesse (1817–1898)

Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolajewitsch of Russia (1827–1892)
⚭ 1848
Princess Alexandra of Saxony-Altenburg

German Empire - Imperial Crown (1889) .svg
Wilhelm I of Prussia, German Emperor (1797–1888)
⚭ 1829
Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
⚭ 1840 Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland (1819–1901)
Tudor Crown (Heraldry) .svg

George V of Hanover
⚭ 1843
Princess Marie of Saxony-Altenburg (1818–1907)

Royal Crown of Denmark.svg
King Christian IX of Denmark (1818–1906)
⚭ 1842
Princess Louise of Hesse (1817–1898)

German Empire - Imperial Crown (1889) .svg
Friedrich III. of Prussia, German Emperor (1831–1888)
⚭ 1858
Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland (1840–1901)

Friedrich VIII of Schleswig-Holstein
⚭ 1856
Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1835–1900)

Great grandparents

Crown of the Kingdom of Greece, svg
George I of Greece (1845–1913)
⚭ 1867
Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna Romanowa (1851–1926)

German Empire - Imperial Crown (1889) .svg
Friedrich III. of Prussia, German Emperor (1831–1888)
⚭ 1858
Princess Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland (1840–1901)

Crown Prince Ernst August of Hanover ,
Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg
⚭ 1878
Princess Thyra of Denmark

German Empire - Imperial Crown (1889) .svg
Wilhelm II of Prussia, German Emperor
⚭ 1881
Princess Auguste Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (1858–1921)


Crown of the Kingdom of Greece, svg
King Constantine I of Greece (1868–1923)
⚭ 1889
Princess Sophie of Prussia (1870–1932)

Duke Ernst August von Braunschweig (1887–1953)
⚭ 1913
Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia (1892–1980)


Crown of the Kingdom of Greece, svg
King Paul I of Greece (1901–1964)
⚭ 1938
Princess Friederike von Hannover (1917–1981)

Crown of the Kingdom of Greece, svg
King Constantine II of Greece (* 1940)
⚭ 1964
Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark (* 1946)


Princess Alexia of Greece (* 1965)
⚭ 1999
Carlos Morales Quintana (* 1970)

Prince Paul of Greece (* 1967)
⚭ 1995
Marie-Chantal Miller (* 1968)

Prince Nikolaos of Greece (* 1969)
⚭ 2010
Tatiana Blatnik (* 1980)

Theodora of Greece (* 1983)

Philippos of Greece (* 1986)

  • Arrietta Morales y de Grecia (* 2002)
  • Anna-Maria Morales y de Grecia (* 2003)
  • Carlos Morales y de Grecia (* 2005)
  • Amelia Morales y de Grecia (* 2007)
  • Maria-Olympia (* 1996)
  • Konstantinos-Alexios (* 1998)
  • Achileas-Andreas (* 2000)
  • Odysseas Kimon (* 2004)
  • Aristidis Stavros (* 2008)


  • HRH Prince Constantine of Greece and Denmark (1940-1947)
  • HRH the Crown Prince of Greece, Duke of Sparta (1947–1964)
  • His Majesty the King of the Hellenes (1964–1973, since then as pretender to the throne )
  • His Majesty King Constantine II of Greece, Prince of Denmark (since 1973, used outside Greece)

Individual evidence

  1. Konstantin II in an interview with ZDF-History (broadcast on January 31, 2016): King without a crown
  2. ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame - Background ( Memento from July 7, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (English) Retrieved on March 23, 2009
  3. Greek prince marries Swiss woman in Tages-Anzeiger from August 25, 2010

Web links

Commons : Constantine II.  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Paul I. King of Greece
( Greek Republic )