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Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark: The Last Living Grandchild of King George I of Greece

His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark turns 83 on January 7, 2022. He was born in Rome, Italy to Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark, the youngest child of King George I of Greece and Queen Olga, and Princess Francoise d'Orleans of France, daughter of the claimant of the now defunct French throne.

Prince Michael's father died when he was just a year old, and his mother died in 1953 leaving him an orphan at 14 years old. He was raised by his maternal uncle in France, Prince Henri, Count of Paris.

His Royal Highness, Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark

He is the last living grandchild of King George I of Greece after the death of his first cousin, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on April 9, 2021. He was not able to attend the funeral service of Prince Philip due to coronavirus restrictions of traveling for senior citizens. Prince Michael is currently living in Greece.

Prince Michael obtained a degree in History in France and served for a time in the Hellenic army in Greece before becoming a full time author, historian and biographer. He also contributes articles to Architectural magazines.

Prince Michael and his wife, Marina

He wrote several historical books, royal novels and biographical books about his royal relatives. One of his best-selling books is "The White Knight of St. Petersburg", a novelized biography of his great uncle, Grandduke Nicholas Constantinovich of Russia, the younger brother of his grandmother, Queen Olga.

In 1965, Prince Michael married Marina Karella, a popular Greek artist, and daughter of Greek billionaire, Theodor Karella, in the Royal Palace in Athens. 

Prince Michael with wife, Marina, and nephew, Constantine II, former King of Greece

As required then by the Greek monarchy to obtain a monarch's permission for any members of the Greek royal family to marry, Prince Michael sought permission from his nephew, the reigning King of Greece in 1965, Constantine II.

King Constantine II granted his approval providing Prince Michael, whose bride is a commoner, will give up his place, and that of his future descendants, in the line of succession to the Greek throne.

Prince Michael walked his daughter, Princess Olga, on her wedding day

Prince Michael relented. His wife, unlike other wives of Greek and Danish princes, Marina was not granted a title of a princess, instead she is only known as Marina, Consort to Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark.

The marriage produced two children: Princess Alexandra and Princess Olga. But only known as Princesses of Greece and never of Denmark as customary title for all Greek royal children since the reign of King George I. 

Princess Olga and her husband, Prince Aimone, Duke of Savoy-Aosta

The reason is because they were not considered belonging to the royal house of Glucksburg, a Danish royal house due to the non-dynastic marriage of their father.

The youngest daughter, Princess Olga of Greece, married Prince Aimone, Duke of Savoy-Aosta, claimant to the now defunct Italian throne.

When King Constantine II was forced to live in exile in 1969 during the military takeover in Greece, the Greek government spared Prince Michael and allowed to live in the country.

He has properties in France and lived for a time in New York City, but Prince Michael always loved Greece and maintain a residence in the beautiful island of Patmos facing the Aegean sea.

Patmos island in Greece

Here's a strip of Prince Michael's known interview in July 2015 where he spoke about his royal ancestry, Greece and being himself.

To be a royal person like you, Greek and French, with Danish, Russian, and Spanish blood, which means to be the cousin of all the Kings and Queens of Europe, puts you inside history. How is it?

It is true that it puts me in direct touch, but when I write I try to be impartial and the other thing is that these Queens and Kings are family for me. Some I like, some I like less, some I don’t like. With some I am closer than others.

Do you see these Kings and Queens?

See yes, and some I know. My favourite ancestor Louis Philippe “the bourgeois king” used to say, “One chooses friends but not family.” But I like to consider some of the kings as my friends. It is true that I am interested in the future of monarchy, I follow what is going on.

Are you concerned that King Constantine II is no longer in power?

I am sad for him and in some sense the monarchy can offer services. I am a monarchist, but it depends on the people who represent monarchy. It is true that in our time monarchy can still offer some services.

Do you admire the Queen of England?

Yes, she is more than a human being she is a historical monument. When I had dinner with her I had the feeling of being with a historical woman. Philip is my first cousin. He is more a human being. She knows to perfection what the English public request and what monarchy should be. She is very much the example, like her ancestor Queen Victoria.

How do you live?

Between Monte Carlo, Paris, Athens and Patmos. I have two axes in my life, my family and my work. I write every day and cannot not be doing work. My books sell comfortably.

What kind of people are the Greeks?

When I came to live here I was trying to find out what remains of the Greek antiquity. It took me a long time to discover that what remains untouched from antiquity is the Greek people. 

The Greeks invented politics. It is still the passion of modern Greeks. The plots of ancient Greek tragedy are in the Greek press every day. 

Ancient Greeks invented sport and they still like it. They are very proud, they have a kind of “Honour” which remains. They are hard workers and still now Greek ship-owners rule the sea.

Read this full interview of Prince Michael HERE

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