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Greece

THE BEGUM

During one of my trips to India, I met a rather unique maharani. Her husband owned India’s most beautiful library, which was filled with ancient manuscripts about medicine and botany. She was short and round. She wore real Christmas decorations wrapped around her neck as a sort of necklace. And yet on each of her…

PHOTOS OF THE SPANISH ROYAL FAMILY

Infant Alfonso of Orleans and his wife princess Beatrice of Great Britain, uncle Ali, aunt Bee. He belongs to the Spanish branch of the Orleans family; he was an exceptionally gifted pilot, original, always unexpected, adored by his nephews and nieces, including me. She was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, a famous beauty like her…

THE MAHARAJAH OF GWALIOR AND THE BANDITS

Many decades ago, we had been the guests of the sumptuous Maharajah of Gwalior, government minister and huge personality. He had told us of his dacoits. They were the local bandits that occupied the savannah. They were organized in gangs, the most famous of the time lead by a woman, Phoolan Devi, which had been…

The wedding of William Leeds with Princess Xenia of Russia

Greece family portraits

My grandmother Queen Olga of Greece in exile in Italy. Immediately behind her is my father, Christopher, and next to him, his sister Maria. Behind her is her brother Andrew, father of the Duke of Edinburgh.   King Georges II of Greece and his brother, the heir to the throne Paul of Greece, visiting the…

LE MENTOR

Today a sleepy, coastal village, at the beginning of the 19th century Avlemonas was the scene of dramatic events. The Russians landed there to kick the French off the island. On September 15th 1802, the few inhabitants witnessed a fateful shipwreck. A small sailing ship by the name of “Mentor” arrived from the East and…

THE PIRATES, MELIDONI

We cross a hill near Aghia Elessa then begin our descent into the unknown. There is a dirt track, rocks and stones and the sea. Nothing else. There are no houses, no roads, no telegraph poles. The hills rise up in the distance, the sea is an intense blue and there are no signs of…

ROSA HERN

In 1850, an Irish doctor by the name of Charles Hern was appointed by the British authorities as resident physician on the island of Kythera. He was young and was blessed with the typical charm of the Irish. One evening, at a ball at the British governor’s palace, he met a young Kytheran girl, Rosa…

THE HANGED MEN

That morning, October 9th 1821, an inhabitant of Karava saw everything. He went straight to Hora and denounced the killers. The English governor ordered a police inspector to go immediately to Karava. The inspector’s name was Jean Kasimatis, and he was a member of one of the dynasties which had ruled over Kythera for a…

FAMILY PHOTOS

The wedding of William Leeds with Princess Xenia of Russia. He was the son of my father’s first wife, Princess Anastasia of Greece. She was the daughter of my father’s sister. In the photo we can see my father, Christopher, his wife Anastasia, and the married couple. Next to the bride is her mother, Maria…

THE BIGGEST SAPPHIRE IN THE WORLD

It is one of the biggest cut sapphires in the world, weighing over 300 carats. It was bought at the end of the19th century by the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, a passionate jewelry collector. It was passed on to her daughter-in-law, the Grand Duchess Cyril. After the 1917 Revolution, needing money, she sold…