Constantine II of Greece

From Academic Kids

Template:House of Oldenburg (Glucksburg-Greece)

Constantine II (born June 2, 1940), was the last King of Greece from March 6, 1964 to December 8, 1974. His official title was King of the Hellenes.

He was a son of Paul of Greece and Frederika of Hanover. At the age of 20 he competed in the 1960 Olympics in Rome representing Greece and won Gold medal in sailing (Gold Dragon Class).

As king, Constantine had a turbulent relationship with his prime minister, George Papandreou, a centrist. Papandreou's resignation in 1965, after a clash with Constantine over control of the military, led to turmoil in the country, and culminated in a military coup on April 21, 1967. In December of that year, Constantine and his family fled to Rome, Italy, after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the ruling junta. The monarchy continued in his absence under regents. In 1973, the military regime 'abolished' the monarchy and declared a republic. In 1974, the new democratic regime under Constantine Karamanlis held a second democratic referendum, which confirmed the monarchy's abolition, with the monarchy receiving only one third of all votes cast. Many Greek people and most Greek politicians blamed Constantine II for the chaos that had led to the coup. Greek Prime Minister (under both King Paul and the Republic, as well as future President of the Hellenic Republic) Constantine Karamanlis dismissively described Constantine as '(King) Paul's naughty little boy.' Other Greek politicians were even harsher, describing him as a "half-wit" and "moron". Karamanlis was equally scathing in his radio address in the evening of December 8, 1974, as the polling returns became known. "A carcinoma was resected today from the body of the nation" he declared, succintly epitomising the public mood. For many years he remained under the status of "persona non grata", while he claimed the rights to former royal property that had since been appropriated by the Greek state. As a result of taking the Greek state to an international court of law, he was obliged to assume a civilian last name. He chose the name "Degrecia" (italian for "of Greece").

In 1964 King Constantine married Queen Anne-Marie, born Princess of Denmark, and sister of the current Danish Queen, Margrethe II. His heir, should the throne ever be restored, is Crown Prince Pavlos. Constantine II's sister, Sofia, is married to King Juan Carlos of Spain.

Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie live in exile in London, England , where the exiled monarch is a close friend of The Prince of Wales and a godfather to Prince William of Wales.


Preceded by:
King of the Hellenes Succeeded by:
(Greek monarchy ended and was replaced by President of the Hellenic Republic George Papadopoulos)
bg:Константинос II

de:Konstantin II. (Griechenland) nl:Konstantijn II van Griekenland pl:Konstantyn II (król Grecji) sv:Konstantin II av Grekland


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