Funeral Held for Greece’s Former King Constantine
European royalty from Britain to Spain have gathered in Athens for the funeral of Greece’s last monarch, Constantine the Second.
Among the royals in attendance are Britain’s Princess Anne, the daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth the Second and a cousin of Constantine through her father, the late Prince Philip. King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, as well as members of the royal houses of Denmark, Luxembourg, Monaco and Sweden were among the 200 guests at the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Constantine died last week at the age of 82 in a local hospital. He was only 27 years old when the military took power in a coup in 1967. After initially cooperating with the junta, he and his family fled into exile in Europe eight months later after he led an unsuccessful counter-coup.
The junta abolished the monarchy in 1973, a year before democracy was restored in Greece. But the country rejected restoring the royal family in a referendum that same year, ending the monarchy’s rule that began in 1863.
Constantine, who won a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics for sailing, was stripped of his Greek citizenship in 1994 after a contentious battle with the government over the royal family’s former property. Despite the lingering acrimony, Constantine and his family returned to Greece permanently in 2013.
After the funeral, his body will be taken to the town of Tatoi, just outside Athens, where other members of the former royal family are buried. The government has refused to hold a state funeral for Constantine.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse.