Friday, September 19, 2014

Golden Wedding Anniversary of King Constantine & Queen Anne-Marie

On September 18, Their Majesties King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece celebrate their fiftieth year of marriage. It has been a long and successful marriage for the couple, who endured the turmoil of Greek politics in the 1960s and spent over four decades in exile. Despite the challenges they faced, they have a large and happy family, and for the last decade or so have enjoyed a peaceful life with the company of their children and grandchildren.

King Constantine II of Greece was 24 and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark had just turned 18 when they wed fifty years ago, at a time when it was still relatively common for royals to intermarry with other royals. Constantine II had ascended the Greek throne only six months before when his father unexpectedly died, and Anne-Marie, the youngest daughter of King Frederick IX of Denmark, had just completed her schooling. Their wedding saw the largest gathering of royalty Athens had ever witnessed, and the photogenic couple's pictures were splashed across newspapers around the globe.

King Constantine was supported by the Prince of Wales, the Crown Prince of Norway, the Crown Prince of Sweden, Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark, and Prince Michael of Kent. Princess Anne-Marie's bridal attendants were Princess Anne of the United Kingdom, Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark, Princess Margareta of Romania, Princess Christina of Sweden, Princess Clarissa of Hesse, and Princess Tatiana Radziwill.

King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie have five children - Princess Alexia, Crown Prince Pavlos, Prince Nikolaos, Princess Theodora, and Prince Philippos - and nine grandchildren.

They went into exile following the Colonel's coup of 1967, and following the official abolition of the Greek monarchy in 1974 they set up residence in England. After years of squabbling with successive Greek governments and a successful suit brought to the European Court of Human Rights, the King and Queen have visited Greece often since the early 2000s, including attending the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. As of 2014, the former King and Queen of the Hellenes have returned to live permanently in Greece.