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Family Portrait, XIV

Prince William of Denmark was chosen to become King of Greece in 1863, taking the name George I. Upon assuming the throne, he began his search for a wife. Needing support for his small and nascent kingdom, he met with the most powerful rulers in the world, finally finding his pearl in Russia, in the young Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna. They married when she was only 16 years old.

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The Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia was still only a child when she became Queen of Greece. She even brought her dolls with her to Athens. One evening, during a grand ball, the young queen was found beneath the staircase of the palace with her dolls, crying. She did not want to have to be an adult.

 

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Queen Olga developed a passion for photography, like many royals of the time who were fascinated by these extraordinary machines. During the return trip from Western Europe, Queen Olga took this picture of the canal of Corinth from the deck of the royal yacht Amphitrites.

 

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When King George I and Queen Olga took the throne, Athens was a small capital, but nonetheless attracted many distinguished foreigners and members of all the royal families. Here Queen Olga passes through Constitution Square in her carriage, the square has remained to this day the center of what is a much more animated Athens.

 

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Queen Olga was entirely devoted to her new country, but never forgot, not for one instant, her beloved homeland of Russia. She returned as often as possible, reuniting with her Russian family, joyfully wearing her Russian court dress during the most impressive ceremonies at the Winter Palace.


by  Prince Michael of Greece