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Why Princess Olga of Greece Not Part of the Royal House of Glucksburg


Princess Olga of Greece and Prince Aimone on their wedding day

Princess Olga is the youngest daughter of Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark and his wife, Marina Karella, daughter of Greek business magnate, Theodore Karella. 

Her father is the first cousin of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. The only two remaining living grandchildren of King George I of Greece.

Through her father, she descended from King Christian IX of Denmark, King Louis XIV of France, and Emperor Nicholas I of Russia.

Her current courtesy title is Princess Olga, Duchess of Apulia, as the wife of Prince Aimone, Duke of Apulia, an heir to the royal house of Savoy in Italy.

She was born on November 17, 1971 in Athens, Greece. And has one sibling, Princess Alexandra of Greece. 

Many have wondered why the sisters never used the style of HRH (Her Royal Highness) nor have titular suffix "and Denmark" like most Greek royals.

Non-dynastic marriage

This is because her parents' marriage was considered non-dynastic by royal standard. This is due to her mother being a non-aristocratic commoner. 

Prince Michael

When Prince Michael wed Marina Karella in 1965, Greece was still a monarchy. And just like most royals of his days, he was expected to marry into royalty to remain in the line of succession.

Princess Olga and her father, Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark

To obtain a marriage approval from his nephew, King Constantine II of Greece, Prince Michael was forced to renounce his place in the line of succession and that of his descendants.

Marrying a non-aristocratic commoner before 1980s were strictly prohibited by most reigning royal houses in Europe, anyone who will defy such rule will be automatically stripped of their royal titles and place in the line of succession.

Prince Michael was not stripped of his royal title and inheritance following the marriage but his wife was not granted the title HRH and princess. 

With these circumstances, his daughters are not considered part of the royal house of Glucksburg, thus, could not claim the suffix of "and Denmark". Though they are given the title princess, they are not HRH.

Princess Olga's Marriage

Princess Olga married her third cousin, Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Apulia in September 2008 in Greece. 

Princess Olga on her wedding day

He is the son and heir of Prince Amedeo, Duke of Savoy-Aosta, the claimant of the headship of the royal house of Savoy, the ruling family of Italy before World War II ended.

The Duke of Savoy-Aosta is the son of Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark, daughter of King Constantine I of Greece and Queen Sophia, granddaughter of Queen Victoria of Britain.

Prince Aimone and Princess Olga on their wedding day

Princess Irene was the first cousin of Princess Olga's father, Prince Michael, and Prince Philip. She was the sister of Princess Helen (mother of King Michael I of Romania), and three Greek kings - Alexander I, George II and Paul I.

Princess Olga and Prince Aimone have three children: Umberto, Prince of Piedmont (who turns 12 today), Prince Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi and Princess Isabella of Savoy-Aosta.

Princess Isabella, Prince Amedeo and Prince Umberto

Prince Aimone currently worked as CEO of Pirelli Tires Nordic division, an Italian multinational company. He has also a diplomatic job as representative of the Order of Malta in Russia.

They have homes in Paris and Moscow.

An artist Princess

Princess Olga grew up in Paris and New York but would spend many summers in the beautiful island of Patmos in Greece where her parents owned a vacation home.

Prince Aimone and Princess Olga

Unlike other exiled Greek royals who were almost penniless, Princess Olga lived in affluence. Her mother is a well-known painter and sculptor and a daughter of a Greek multimillionaire. 

While her father, a thriving book author, has a fortune inherited from his French princess mother, a descendant of King Louis XIV of France, who died when he was only 14 years old.

Her parents' wealth afforded her a life of privilege and extravagance. And has homes in France and Greece.

She attended boarding school in England and obtained a degree from Princeton University in the United States. She has a master's degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from Columbia University in New York City.

After her graduate school, she went to Egypt and worked with an architect then moved to Panama and worked with Smithsonian Research as a photographer and lepidopterist specializing in moths.

Princess Olga of Greece

Princess Olga also tried interior decoration before transitioning to other fields. An artist by heart, she then worked as a Creative Director for the luxury brand, Christian Louboutin.

Louboutin's new collection Ad campaign that was launched like a short film, "What happened to Bellofficier" was directed by Princess Olga.

The Savoy-Aosta Italian throne claim

Before the ratification of the Constitutional Referendum of 1946, Italy was a monarchy and ruled by the royal House of Savoy. The last Italian monarch was King Umberto II.

During World War II, Italy aligned itself with Germany and the country fell into fascism under Mussolini. Italian king, Victor Emmanuel III, supported him.

However, at the conclusion of the war, Germany and Italy were defeated by the Allies and as the king fell into disgrace he transferred his power to his son who would became Umberto II.

But King Umberto II supported the will of Italian people to transition the country into republic, thus, on June 12, 1946, Italy formally became a republic.

King Umberto went to live in exile in Portugal for the rest of his life and died there in 1983. 

Just like most fallen monarchies in the world, the House of Savoy still considered itself as royalty and its head is known as pretender to the Italian throne.

The House of Savoy left to two claimants, Umberto's son, Vittorio Emanuele, and his third cousin, Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta.

In 1970, Vittorio Emanuele, lost his place in the line of succession when he married a commoner and without consent of his father, a requirement to validate the marriage.

The headship of the House of Savoy then went to his distant cousin, Prince Amedeo, the Duke of Aosta. Vittorio Emanuele took the title Prince of Naples and Prince Amedeo became Duke of Savoy-Aosta.

Royal connection

Princess Olga is well-connected to Royals of Europe through her father, Prince Michael. She is a great granddaughter of King George I of Greece and Queen Olga, whom she was named.

Through her father, she is a second cousin to Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and King Felipe VI of Spain. And also a third cousin of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

Princess Olga and Prince Aimone

Her husband is a great-great-great grandson of Queen Victoria of Britain through her eldest child, Princess Vicky. 

However, due to their catholic faith, Prince Aimone, his children, his father and siblings were removed from the line of succession to the British throne.

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