King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie. A Beautiful Royal Love Story

royal love story of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece

The marriage of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece has been one of our favorite royal love stories. in addition to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Although both were born of royal blood and moved in the same circle of royalty in Europe, their marriage was not arranged, in fact, it was a perfect royal love match. They truly fell in love. 

royal love story of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece

Their union endured the difficult test of time. In 1967, just three years into their marriage, King Constantine II, who was only 27 years old at that time, was forced to flee Greece by a military junta. 

He brought his wife, two young children, mother (Queen Frederica), and younger sister (Princess Irene) to Italy. Later, they moved to England where they raised their five children. 

Despite the difficult times and the challenges they went through, the King and Queen had a long and successful marriage. A loving and happy one. 

royal love story of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
The young King and Queen of Greece

The former King and Queen of Greece were married for 58 years before His Majesty passed away on January 10, 2023, at the age of 82.

Just like the Queen and Prince Philip; King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofia, King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie directly descended from Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. They were also third cousins through King Christian IX of Denmark.

In memory of King Constantine II, let's take a look back at their beautiful love story:

Constantine was born on June 2, 1940, as the second child and only son of Crown Prince Paul of Greece, and Princess Frederica of Hanover. In 1947, he would become Crown Prince when his father ascended to the Greek throne as King Paul I.

Anne-Marie was born on August 30, 1946, as the youngest child and third daughter of then-Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Princess Ingrid of Sweden. A year later, her father ascended to the Danish throne as King Frederik IX.

royal love story of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
The young King and Queen of Greece

According to most accounts, Crown Prince Constantine and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark first met when he was 19 and she was 13. 

They did not see each other again until three years later in 1962 when Princess Anne-Marie acted as one of the bride's maids of Constantine's older sister, Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark's wedding to Prince Juan Carlos of Spain.

It was a grand royal affair in Athens with most European royals gathered to attend the wedding. Crown Prince Constantine was introduced to many royal ladies during the big event, however, his eyes were fixed only on the blossoming beauty of the 15-year-old Princess Anne-Marie.

It was then that Crown Prince Constantine realized he wanted Anne-Marie to be his future wife. In the summer of 1962, the princess went for a summer break to Norway accompanied by her governess, while Crown Prince Constantine was also there attending a sailing event (he was a gold medalist in the sailing event during the 1960 Rome Olympics).

Crown Prince Constantine reportedly proposed to Princess Anne-Marie, which she accepted but did not tell her parents. She later recalled the moment: "For goodness sake, do not tell my parents because they will have a fit! He couldn't understand, but I persuaded him, and I think he realized that they probably would have had a fit. So it wasn't until, in fact, six months after we had got engaged unofficially that we did tell my parents”

King Constantine II also recalled the moment he asked King Frederik IX's permission to marry the princess: “The biggest shock was for my father-in-law. I asked him if I could marry his daughter. And the poor man got such a shock that he got up, he never said a word to me, he just got up, took me by the hand, and put me in a room and locked me in there with no lights. So I had to sort of grope around to find a light, and then I found the light and opened it, and I found out I was in his toilet! And I couldn't understand what I was doing in there. And he had gone off to find his wife (Queen Ingrid) and tell her 'this fellow wants to marry our daughter, what do we do with him?

As Princess Anne-Marie was only 16 years old, King Frederik IX initially objected but Crown Prince Constantine II was persistent. Eventually, the Danish king relented on the condition that Princess Anne-Marie must finish high school first, and the wedding should be held after her 18th birthday.

The official engagement was announced by the Danish royal court on January 23, 1963, and their wedding was set in January 1965. Sadly, King Paul of Greece died on March 6, 1964, due to cancer, so the wedding was set on September 18, 1964. 

wedding of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie

On September 7, 1964, King Constantine II traveled to Denmark to attend a series of events in connection to their wedding. A private dinner at Fredensborg Palace, a gala performance at the Royal Danish Theater followed by a banquet at Christianborg Palace, and a reception at the Copenhagen City Hall.

On September 18, 1964, The royal wedding was held in Greece at the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens attended by most members of the royal family in Europe.

royal love story of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
Royal wedding in Greece. September 18, 1964

The bride's maids were all princesses: Princess Anne (later Princess Royal), Princess Clarissa of Hesse, Princess Margarita of Romania, Princess Christina of Sweden, Princess Tatiana Radziwill, and Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark.

The King's attendants or the groom's men (Crown Bearers) were cousins: Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales (now King Charles III), Crown Prince Harald (now King of Norway), Crown Prince Carl (now King of Sweden), Prince Michael of Kent, Prince Ingolf of Denmark (now Count of Rosenborg), and Count Michael Bernadotte of Wizborg (son of Prince Sigvard of Sweden).

It was the last royal wedding in Greece held at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens, until 57 years later, on October 23, 2021, when the King and Queen's youngest child, Prince Philippos, wed Nina Flohr in the same church.

Their first child, Princess Alexia, was born in 1965, and their second child, Crown Prince Pavlos, was born in 1967.

Seven months after the birth of Crown Prince Pavlos, in December 1967, the King was forced to flee Greece by a military junta. Aboard a royal plane, the king brought his family to Italy for safety.

With no hope of taking back his lost throne, King Constantine II moved his family to England and set up a residence in Hampstead near London. He also founded a consultancy business and a school, the Hellenic College of London (closed in 2005).

royal love story of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
Former King and Queen of Greece

The Greek government abolished the monarchy in 1973. In 1974, a plebiscite was held in Greece to vote for the republic or the monarchy. King Constantine II was not allowed to go to Greece to campaign for the monarchy. Ultimately, the people voted for the country to become a republic.

The King and Queen had three more children born outside Greece. Prince Nikolaos in Rome in 1969, Princess Theodora in London in 1983, and Prince Philippos in London in 1986.

In 2013, King Constantine II and Queen Anne Marie sold their properties in England and moved back to Greece for good. Their child who currently lived in Greece is Prince Nikolaos with his wife, Princess Tatiana. 

royal love story of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece

On September 18, 2014, the former King and Queen celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a gala dinner, attended by foreign royals.

Constantine II gave his message for the special occasion: “Fifty years ago, I had fallen in love with, -in my opinion-, the most beautiful girl in the world. Fifty years later, I still have the same feeling”, 

Queen Anne-Marie on her part, said: “It is astonishing to think that 50 years have gone by since that beautiful day in Athens. I remember so well walking into the Metropolis on the arm of my father. I was so proud to become your wife”.

King Constantine II dies at 82
Constantine II of Greece 1940-2023

Farewell now Your Majesty, may you rest in eternal peace. Thank you for showing us how married life should be despite all the challenges and difficulties you have gone through. Thank you for the happy marital life inspiration. 

With the death of Constantine II, all three Danish royal sisters: Queen Margrethe II, Princess Benedikte, and Queen Anne-Marie, are now widows. 

Post a Comment