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Family Portrait XVII

Andre of Greece, the beloved brother of my father, married princess Alice of Battenberg. She was somewhat deaf, and out of fear that she would make a mistake, they had her memorize the responses she was to give to the priest’s questions during the marriage ceremony. Unfortunately for Alice, the priest reversed the order of the questions.

“Have you already been married?


“Have you renounced having any other man in your life?”


What clearly provoked confusion among the clergy, was a source of great laughter for the family.

In this photograph, relaxing between the ceremonies of the wedding on the balcony are Queen Alexandra of England and her daughter Victoria, Tsar Nicholas II and my Father Christopher; below them, King Georges V of England, King Constantine and Prince George of Greece


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My grandfather George I hated William II, whose father William I had eaten up a third of Denmark, the birthplace of George I. William II bought the villa of Empress Elizabeth of Austria on the island of Corfu following the empress’s death. He would visit his villa every year, and every year my grandfather would go and receive him. Once, my grandmother, Olga of Greece, asked him why he goes to greet William if he detests him so much.

“Because if I am not there he will start to think it is his island.”


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The arrival of the emperor aboard his immense white yacht was quite an affair. A sort of triumphal arc was erected, topped with the imperial crown of Germany. Surrounded by decorations and wearing celebratory dress they cordially saluted the emperor, hiding their loathing.


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Every year, my grandmother Olga brought my father, then a child, for long trips in Russia, her homeland. They went from palace to palace, from chateau to chateau, visiting their many relatives. The longest stay, of course, was reserved for her parents at Pavlovsk Palace. Here is my father, perched atop a magnificent Louis XVI armchair. The furniture of Pavlovsk was celebrated for its splendor.


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It was during the reign of my grandfather George I, and with his support and aid, that the Stadium of Athens was built. The inauguration was grand event. It was constructed on the grounds of the ancient stadium, in the exact location. Each ruler that visited Athens was entitled to a tour of the stadium, which was the site of the first Olympic games of the modern era. Entering the Stadium are George I of Greece and his sister queen Alexandra of England, behind then Queen Olga of Greece with King Edward VII of England

by  Prince Michael of Greece

7 comments on “Family Portrait XVII

  1. Michelle Langlois

    Thanks for the blog. I find it exquisite to read about the Royal Families history and their magnificent lives. Eventhough I am from America, I love Europe’s history. After all, our ancestors came from the Old World.
    Merry Christmas!

    • marie-caroline blomme

      J’ ai beaucoup apprécié votre site ainsi que bien évidement vos romans. Votre ouvrage concernant les joyaux des tsars est une pure merveille.Etant particulièrement intéressée par l’histoire russe et
      l’abdication du Tsar Nicolas 2 pour laquelle je me pose beaucoup d questions.Pensez vous que vous pourriez m’éclairer? Dans tout ce que j’ai lu à ce sujet,je ne m’explique pas la rapidité de cet acte ni pourquoi il y a eu un deuxième télégramme non envoyé qui déclarait SAI le Tsarévitch Alexis empereur.D’autre part sachant la très malheureuse situation du Tsarévich pourquoi n’y a t’ il pas eu d’abrogation de la loi salique avant ces douloureux évènements? Veuillez agréer,monseigneur mes sincères salutations

  2. marie beltrami

    je suis toujours fan de toi et de tes histoires…j’ai eu un long moment sans regarder tes chroniques en fait , ça me manquait
    j’ai rencontre un jeune homme qui m’a dit avoir lu un livre dans sa vie : c’était un livre de toi… il a adoré

  3. IANKAL21

    The site of the Pan-Athenaic (all-Athens) Stadium (2nd century B.C.), was excavated indeed at the initiative of King George I to reveal only its matrix, as the marble have been calcified.
    The Stadium was re-marbled in Pendelic marble, by the sole donation of George Averoff a Greek billionaire of Alexandria.
    The first modern games were hosted in 1896 attended by the then Prince & Princess of Wales.
    In 1906 games of a Meso (between-two) Olympiad took place in the same venue, also attended by Edward VII and Alexandra, this time as a King and Queen.

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