Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wedding of King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie

This is a clip of a Greek television broadcast of the 1964 wedding of King Constantine II to Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark:



Sadly we are unable to translate what the broadcaster is saying. However, we did catch at the 0:18 mark that he makes mention of "Don Juan Carlos" and "Prinkipessa Sophia". This is in reference to Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia, Constantine II's elder sister, who were married in Athens just two years before and are now the present king and queen of Spain.

At 0:28, the groom, King Constantine II and his mother, Queen Frederica, emerge in their carriage from the royal palace.

At 0:58, the bride, Princess Anne-Marie, with her father, King Frederick IX of Denmark, leave the royal palace.

At 0:19 the King and Queen Frederica arrive at the Mitropolis in Athens, where the wedding will be held.

At 1:32, Princess Anne-Marie and the King of Denmark arrive at the Mitropolis. Anne-Marie, who had just turned eighteen years old, famously turns and waves her bouquet at the cheering crowds.

As is customary in Eastern Orthodox weddings, the guests remain standing throughout the duration of the ceremony. The groom has groomsmen, called
Koumbari
; the bride had bridesmaids but they do not perform any official function in the wedding ceremony and do not walk with the bride down the aisle. Their primary function is to assist her with her gown and train. The Koumbari at the wedding of Constantine II were Crown Prince Harald of Norway (now King Harald V), Prince Charles of Great Britain (now the Prince of Wales) and

At 3:20, the tradition of crossing the crowns over the heads of the bridal couple. This is done by the groom's mother, Queen Frederica.

At 3:35 the bridal couple perform the ceremonial walk, symbolizing their first steps together as husband and wife.

At 3:53, the bridal couple kiss the Bible.

At 4:00, King Constantine receives kisses and blessings from his mother, who is now the Queen Dowager Frederica. She also kisses her new daughter-in-law; in a moment of awkward royal protocol, both queens bow to each other.

At 4:06, the bride receives kisses and blessings from her mother, Queen Ingrid of Denmark. King Constantine then kisses his new mother-in-law and kisses her hand as well, as is customary among royal men when they greet a queen.

At 4:13, the bride receives a kiss from her father, who kisses her hand as well.

The video ends with the King and the new Queen of the Hellenes parading through the streets of Athens receiving cheers and adulation from the public.

Notice at 5:13, the horses drawing the carriage are leaning in to one another. Queen Anne-Marie later recalled that they were startled by the noise from the crowds and by the rice being thrown into the streets. She admitted to being nervous at their leaning and feared that the carriage would be tipped over if they continued walking in such a manner.

This video is available on YouTube and on the Greek royal family's official website, www.greekroyalfamily.org.


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