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Greece is my country. I moved there once I finished my studies in Paris. I arrived to find a monarchy in office to which I belonged. I was flattered. With power comes a comfort unimaginable to those without it. Everything is brought to you on a silver platter. Simply make a wish and it will be realized. I was showered with special favors and privileges, and enjoyed constant pampering. I sat in the first row with my family at official ceremonies, much to the pleasure of my vanity.


Then, after a few months, I became accustomed to it all, or rather, bored of it all. Public occasions became chores. The demands and constraints of official life became more and more unbearable. I wanted my freedom at any cost. And ever since this now distant time, I have guarded my freedom against anything and everything, sparing no expense in the process, for freedom does not come cheaply.


In the interim, I also observed the thankless nature of the royal office, not towards myself of course, as I was only the fifth wheel of the carriage, but for those who wore the crown, or those who were much closer to it. They worked themselves tirelessly, devoted themselves, and in turn received only criticism. Of course it is great to be popular, but it is very difficult to remain so. Monarchs operate in an emptiness, where it is impossible to measure one’s progress. One must always be on guard, thinking of everything in advance, suspicious of everyone. If one is not anchored by a profound sense of duty, it is impossible to exercise the responsibilities of the office.


The other aspect of my new life in Greece was my military service. I had hardly been out of university when I entered the Greek barracks. What was for most boys a tolerable chore was for me an intoxicating, exhilarating apprenticeship.


In reality, this country, my country, that I first arrived in at twenty years old, without knowing anything of it beforehand, I discovered thanks to the Greek army.


The army took boys, men from each and every province and social class and threw them all together. I saw and experienced more than I would have on any expedition or excursion. The military maneuvers that brought me to central Greece and Macedonia showed me provincial life, the rural character of my country. To be frank, I wasn’t very interested in the army, but what the army showed me lit a passion inside me.


I developed an unbreakable attachment, a bond between myself and Greece and the Greeks. Of course I continued to followed closely the developments of History in motion, but from a different vantage point and by different means than during my time at university.


In effect, power brought with it information of the highest order and provoked meetings and encounters that put me in direct contact with the events that were developing before my very eyes.

by  Prince Michael of Greece

9 comments on “Greece

  1. marie-caroline blomme

    bonjour Monseigneur,
    Vous donnez une très belle explication du métier de roi,j’aime beaucoup les mots de “thankless nature job”cela me parait tellement exact.Encore une fois, merci pour le très instructif article sur le fabuleux destin do kho i nor n’est pas passé
    Sinecures salutations
    Marie Caroline Blomme

  2. Παπαβασιλείου Μιχάλης

    if you are Michael, Prince of Greece you must have you site, also in greek language.
    If you feel pround to be Greek.
    Μιχάλης Παπαβασιλείου από τη Ρόδο.

  3. robert minassian

    good read Your Highness. in all walks of life, men at the very top are always lonely and reserved… part of the job; forced/have to be. sincere regards, r.m..

  4. Erisadesu

    the true name of our country is Hellenic Republic…so you can’t be a prince of Greece since we are a republic, your family was given a fake throne and you were imported from Denmark or wherever….the only true ancetor of the byzantium empire was Otto and even him wouldnt’ hav

    • Michel De Grèce

      Thank you for your encouraging and polite comment, and above all so deeply historically accurate.

  5. Pedro Miguel de Barros Viegas


    Thank you for this website – it’s a wonderful source of information and historical photos.

    Can you tell us what occasions are the one in which you a pictured with King Pavlos, King Mihai of Romania and then Crown Prince Konstantinos as well as in the one you are receiving what looks to be a baton from King Pavlos?

    Thank you again.

    Best regards,

    • Michel De Grèce

      This photograph was taken during the Orthodox Holy Saturday Liturgy, sometime between 1960-65. We were on a platform outside the Cathedral of Athens. The second photograph pictured the presentation of my Officer’s Sword, at the Athenian Royal Palace, in 1962. Thank you very much for your interest.

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