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Family Portrait, Greece

My grandfather, George I, shared a profound bond with his sister Alexandra, who became Queen of England upon marrying Edward VII. They wrote to each other at least once a week, and Queen Alexandra made frequent visits to Athens. Pictured are the brother and sister during an intimate walk in the gardens of the Royal Palace.

 

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King Edward VII of England didn’t always accompany his wife when she visited her brother George I of Greece. One time, however, he wanted to travel with her. I believe it was for the inauguration of the new stadium of Athens. Edward VII was a big eater, and would stay at the table for hours, as illustrated by this photograph, taken in the dining room of the Royal Palace, which is today the Parliament building.

 

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George I received his sister, the Queen of England, and other British royals in the enormous Royal Palace of Athens. The whole family disliked it there, preferring instead the home they had created in Tatoï, where we lived together until 1967. It was more welcoming, if less comfortable. Pictured above is tea time on the terrace of this grand villa.

 

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Queen Olga of Greece decided to Hellenize the dress of the Court. She created for herself, her daughters and granddaughters, as well as other ladies of honor, an extremely elegant style of dress, vaguely inspired by the Hellenic tradition. From left to right, Princess Marie of Greece, Grand Duchess George, Queen Olga of Greece, Princess Alice of Battenberg, Princess André of Greece, on the Balcony of the old Royal Palace.

 

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Prince George was the second son of King George I and Queen Olga, who was a sort of governor in Crete when the island passed from the Ottoman Empire to Greece. He unexpectedly married Princess Marie Bonaparte, the great-granddaughter of Lucien, the brother of Napoleon. A renowned psychiatrist, she was one of the founders of this science and a close friend of Freud. Pictured are the married couple on the balcony of the Royal Palace waving to the crowd.

 

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A crowd of Athenians gathered in Constitution Square to welcome the newlyweds, Uncle George and Aunt Marie Bonaparte. Today, the square is the site of daily protests and antigovernment demonstrations, against whichever government happens to be in power.


by  Prince Michael of Greece

5 comments on “Family Portrait, Greece



  1. Mr Eunan O'Donnell

    Your Royal Highness,

    Thank you for bringing to the world the wonderful chronicle in sepia photographs of your family’s history.

    Your website is magnificent.

    In gratitude,
    Eunan O’Donnell


  2. Nikolaos Logothetis

    Your Royal Highness,
    thank you sharing these very interesting stories and pictures with us. I have read your biography of your early life leading to your arrival in Greece .As a fellow student of history I would like to ask you when are you going to share with us your experiences in the 1960,growing up with Greek Royal Family and experiencing all those turbulent events that shaped our lives and that of Greece.
    Thank for your time
    Nikolaos Logothetis


    • Suzanna Kalerandes

      Your Royal Highness
      My two most favourite members of the Greek Royal House are Queen Olga and the magnificent Prince George. In light of the turbulent and mostly unfair and unforgiving events that shaped the history of the Royal family, did their love for their country ever diminish?
      Recently , I came across a book that Prince George wrote, “The Cretan Drama”, based on his experience as the High Commissioner of Crete, but I have not been able to get my hands on a copy in print. Sir, are you familiar with the book?
      With respect
      Suzanna Kalerandes


  3. Suzanna Kalerandes

    Your Royal Highness,
    My two most favourite members of the Greek Royal family are Queen Olga and the magnificent Prince George. What I would like to know is if their love for Greece ever diminished, in light of the turbulent and in many ways unforgiving events that shaped their country’s destiny over the years.
    Recently, I discovered that Prince George was author of a book called “The Cretan Drama”, in which he described and commented on the events that took place while he was High Commissioner of Crete, but I have been unable to find a copy in print. Are you familiar with this book Sir?
    With great respect
    Suzanna Kalerandes

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