The Turbulent Life and Exile of Constantine II, Greece’s Last King Who Finally Returned Home After 46 Years

   On January 10, 2023, Constantine II, the “last king” of Greece, died of multiple organ failure at the age of 82. Constantine passed away as a civilian and could not start a state funeral, but almost all members of the royal family in Europe went to mourn. After all, behind his title of “The Last King”, there are a lot of royal in-laws. However, compared with these members of the royal family, Constantine II’s life can be described as upheaval: only three years after he took the throne, he suffered a coup and was driven out of Greece. After that, he and his wife lived in exile for half their lives, and they were not allowed to return to Greece until they were 73 years old. Homeland…
  A fairy tale of princes and princesses On
   June 2, 1940, Constantine was born in the Greek royal family, and his uncle George II was the king. Because the uncle had no children, Constantine became the second heir at birth. With such an identity, he should have had a smooth life. However, in 1941, the Nazis invaded Greece and all members of the royal family were forced into exile.
   During the five years in exile, Constantine traveled with his parents to Egypt, South Africa and other countries, and finally chose to settle in Alexandria, a city in northern Egypt, because this city is far away from Greece across the Mediterranean Sea. His father, Paul, often hugged the young Constantine, facing the direction of his hometown, and muttering to himself: “I still have to go back…” Although the young Constantine was not familiar with the world, he could see from his father’s sad face, I have experienced the pain of wandering wandering too early.
   The days of the fallen royal family were not easy. In Alexandria, they were often interrogated and made things difficult because of their special status, and had to change their residence 22 times. It was not until 1946, when World War II ended, that 6-year-old Constantine returned to Greece with his parents. After returning to China, Constantine began the most comfortable days of his life, but also the last glorious years of his life.
   In 1947, with the death of his uncle George II, his father Paul I ascended the throne, and Constantine became the crown prince. During that time, Constantine had a very fulfilling life. Not only did he have excellent academic performance, but he was also very talented in sports. He was good at swimming, squash, track and field, horse racing, especially karate, and once got a black belt. At the age of 15, Konstantin entered the military academy and later also studied at the NATO Air Force Special Weapons School. It can be said that Constantine received the top education in Greece and prepared himself for becoming a king in the future.
   At the age of 18, at Constantine’s coming-of-age ceremony, the king’s father, Paul I, gave him a sailboat as a gift. Since then, Konstantin has been exposed to sailing and organized his own sailing team. Two years later, the Olympic Games were held in Rome. As the helmsman of the Greek team, the 20-year-old Constantine led the Greek team to win the Olympic gold medal, breaking the “gold medal shortage” of Greece in this event for more than half a century. Ding himself was also elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee in the same year.
   The prince became the Olympic champion. This good news made the whole of Greece boil, and the tall and handsome Constantine has been loved by the Greek people since then. In 1959, Constantine visited Denmark with his father. The old Danish king had three daughters, among them, the 15-year-old second princess Nedict became Constantine’s “blind date” object. The parents of both sides tried their best to match the two young people. However, to everyone’s surprise, Constantine fell in love with the 13-year-old third princess Anne-Marie at first sight.
   Anne-Marie also has a good impression of the tall and handsome Constantine. The two chatted very speculatively at the banquet, from horse riding and archery to swimming and dancing, and even the books they like to read are very similar. The two seem to have endless topics to talk about. However, their parents were not very satisfied. After all, 13-year-old Anne-Marie is too young for 19-year-old Constantine. Seeing that the two were very enthusiastic, the old king of Denmark pulled Anne-Marie over for an excuse and said, “The dance will start soon, you should go and change your clothes.” eyes. At that moment, Constantine ran to Anne-Marie in disregard of royal etiquette and said, “I will marry you after you grow up!” Anne-Marie smiled and said softly, “I know what you mean. ”
   Paul I watched his son’s recklessness calmly, and the old Danish king didn’t take it seriously. In their view, the children are still young, as long as they don’t contact each other, their relationship will gradually fade. However, it turns out that Constantine’s infatuation is beyond everyone’s imagination. After returning to Greece, under the arrangement of the royal family, he met many rich and noble women, but Constantine declared to his father: “I already have my own heart, and I must wait for her to grow up.” In a blink of an eye, it was 1961 In March, Constantine’s sister, Princess Sophia, is going to get married, and the bridesmaid for Sophia Adam is 15-year-old Anne-Marie. At that time, she became more and more charming, and was even hailed as “the most beautiful princess in Europe”.
   Seeing Anne-Marie again, Constantine could no longer restrain his emotions. He danced one dance after another with Anne-Marie, and the relationship between the two became more and more intimate, and even developed to a private life. Things have come to this point, the royal families of the two countries had no choice but to fulfill them. However, the King of Denmark said: “You must wait until my daughter is 18 years old before you can get married.” This promise made Constantine feel relieved.
   March 1964, Paul I died, and Constantine II became the king of Greece and became one of the youngest kings in Europe. On August 30 of the same year, it was Anne Marie’s 18th birthday. Constantine went to Denmark in person and held a grand birthday party for Anne-Marie. During the five years of waiting for his sweetheart to grow up, Constantine was hopeless, and he didn’t want to wait any longer. On September 18, 1964, the lovers finally entered the palace of marriage.
   Constantine spent a troubled childhood, grew into a tall and handsome prince, won world-renowned Olympic champion, became the youngest king in Europe at the age of 24, and married the princess whom he fell in love with at first sight. It can be said that Constantine has truly reached the pinnacle of his life at this time, perfectly interpreting what is called a high-gloss life.
   At the beginning of their wedding, the young couple made an oath to the people: they must be the best king and queen. The couple are diligent in government affairs and are very popular with the people. Constantine has never had any scandals. Every time he participated in an event, he always held his wife’s hand. He established a good image in the hearts of the Greek people and became a model for the European royal family.
   However, Greece at that time had not yet recovered from the world war, and the contradictions between royalists and liberals were also intensifying. In this regard, Constantine II has made many public speeches, declaring: “In a monarchy, only the king has the military power and the highest power, which can protect the royal family and civilians to the greatest extent.” These remarks aroused strong opposition from liberals. Opposed, they confronted Constantine, pointing out: “The military is the protection of the people, and the king is just a symbol of a country.” There were constant disputes between the two factions, and several times they almost triggered armed riots. Such a situation has made the Greek people panic and hastened the departure of people’s hearts.
   In the end, the vortex of the times turned into a violent storm. On April 21, 1967, Colonel Papadopoulos of the Greek Army led a group of middle-level officers to launch a coup, established a military government, and appointed a regent to control state affairs. Constantine was very angry and said to his wife Anne-Marie: “Is it possible that I am just a country’s mascot from now on? I have been in the army, and no one is more suitable for military power than me!” Of course Anne-Marie understands her husband She comforted her in a soft voice: “Don’t worry, I don’t understand state affairs, but I know that everything needs a long-term plan!” Under the comfort of his wife, Constantine slowly calmed down.
   It took only three years from becoming king to the coup d’état. Facing the army rushing into the royal family, Constantine originally wanted to summon the “royalists” to fight to the death, but he was kind-hearted because he was afraid of blood flowing into rivers and harming innocent people, so he finally chose to compromise, and held a press conference to announce Recognize the legitimacy of the military government. From then on, the whole of Greece fell into the brutal darkness under the rule of the military government, and the Greek people suffered unspeakably, while Constantine, who gave up fighting, became the focus of resentment. In the eyes of the people, he has changed from a diligent and promising king to a deserter who can’t bear the heavy responsibility. Constantine was hovering on the verge of self-blame and collapse. When he couldn’t resolve it, he could only tear his hair in pain…
   In order to wash away his “stain”, on October 27, 1967, Constantine tried to organize the “royalists” “Rebellion against the military government. However, the military government dismissed Constantine’s actions and publicly ridiculed him: “It’s impossible to overestimate your own strength!” The military government, which held military power, suppressed Constantine’s resistance with little effort.
   On December 14, 1967, under the high pressure of the military government, Constantine had to take his family into exile overseas. Years later, even Konstantin himself couldn’t bear to look back at the embarrassment when he fled: the whole family had almost nothing except the clothes they were wearing, and even the private jet that Konstantin was going to drive himself had no money to refuel. In desperation, he could only escape by borrowing money from his servant to refuel.
   The 21-year-old Anne-Marie did not choose to return to her own country, Denmark, but followed Constantine on the road of escape without hesitation. The most beautiful and dazzling princess in Europe and the beloved queen has been in exile since then, and has to wander among the various royal families in Europe.
   Anne-Marie, who fell from the clouds to the mud, never had any complaints in front of her husband Constantine. In their lives in exile, the two supported and comforted each other: “The suffering will always pass, and the dawn is just around the corner.” During the days of wandering, Anne-Marie and her children became the biggest motivation for Constantine to persevere.
   In 1973, six years had passed since he was deported. Constantine slowly accepted the fact that his country was taken away by the military government, and finally understood that his identity was as light as a feather in front of the safety of the people. Therefore, when the military government announced on April 19, 1973 that it would completely abolish the royal family and confiscate the palaces of the Greek royal family, Constantine was very calm. He said to the children: “Regardless of any time, please remember you Your parents were once the monarch and queen of Greece, and you are all real princes and princesses, but the situation has changed, and we have to accept the reality.” Returning in old age,
  hope finally comes true
   With the deposed royal family, Constantine changed from king to Become a commoner. But the suffering was not over yet, and the storm that followed soon after made him lose his Greek identity. In 1974, dissatisfied with the brutal rule of the military government, the Greek people overthrew the rule of the military government. Hearing this news, Constantine rekindled hope in his heart. With burning eyes, he told his wife Anne-Marie: “It’s not far before we return to Greece!” The couple even started to pack their bags and prepare to return to Greece. However, things were unpredictable, and Constantine was once again drawn into the vortex of the political situation.
   On June 19, 1974, in the face of the downfall of the military government, the Greek people held a referendum on whether to continue to maintain a monarchy or enter a republic. As a result, 69% of Greeks agreed to abolish the monarchy and rejected the return of the king. However, the new Greek government is still friendly to Constantine, and decided to return all the royal property confiscated by the military government to Constantine in cash equivalent to 16 million U.S. dollars. The news reached Constantine in London. After a short silence, he chose to accept it and issued a statement: “The Greek people have the right to decide that they want a republic. I accept and am willing to enjoy this result in peace. From then on, the first chapter of Constantine’s life officially ended. He became the last king of Greece and began the second half of his life in exile.
   After completely losing the possibility of returning to Greece, Constantine and Anne-Marie moved to the outskirts of London and decided to live there permanently. Although he was refused to return to China by the Greek people, Constantine never stopped thinking about his motherland. He tried to go back to China through various channels, but he was rejected many times because his identity was too sensitive. Stripped of his passport, Constantine completely lost his Greek citizenship.
   In 1981, Constantine’s mother died. The Greek government finally agreed to Constantine’s request and allowed him to take his family back to Greece to attend the funeral. At this time, 14 years have passed since Constantine fled overseas, and this first return was only allowed by the government to stay for five hours. After attending the funeral, he was ordered to leave Greece.
   Although not welcomed by the motherland, Constantine has always cared about the motherland. On September 7, 1999, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Athens. When he heard that 143 people died, more than 70,000 buildings were damaged, and the direct economic loss was 3.5 billion US dollars, Constantine’s love for the people was awakened again. He immediately took out most of his property and donated it to the motherland to help the Greek people rebuild their homes. It is precisely because of Constantine’s move that the relationship between the Greek government and him began to gradually warm up.
   It was not until 2004 that Constantine’s road to exile finally turned around. In 2004, the Olympic Games was held in Greece. The Greek Olympic Committee thought of Constantine, the former Olympic champion and member of the Olympic Committee, and immediately threw an olive branch to Constantine and his wife, and kindly invited them to return to China as VIPs. Olympic opening ceremony. Constantine trembled with excitement when he received the invitation letter, and he replied to the Greek government in a flattered tone: “My heart belongs to Greece, it is now, and it will be in the future!”
   Constantine’s performance satisfied the Greek government. After all, the last king of Greece was exiled, did not cause trouble, and even gave generously when his motherland died. So far, the last monarch who once left a stain in the hearts of the Greek people has finally begun to stand in front of the Greek people again with a positive image.
   In 2013, a full-scale debt crisis broke out in Greece, and almost all powerful people were fleeing Greece, but Constantine made the opposite move-he took all the compensation he received for being deposed, without paying Donated to the Greek government. Taking this opportunity, Constantine finally reached a complete reconciliation with his motherland. The Greek government said: “You are welcome back anytime.” The 73-year-old Constantine cried with joy: “It’s great to be able to go home!” Not wanting to wait any longer, I immediately packed my bags and returned to my hometown. At this time, 46 years have passed since he was expelled from Greece.
   After returning to Greece and settling down, Constantine felt an unprecedented stability in his heart. As the twilight years come, it is comfort and luck for him to be able to blow the sea breeze of Greece again, see the mountains of Greece, and be with the Greek people. As he said: “I don’t care whether I am a leader or not. It doesn’t matter to me whether I am the king of Greece or an ordinary Greek. I just want to stay with the Greeks and my country.” The words, uttered from the mouth of an octogenarian who has been deported for 46 years, made all the listeners sigh.
   In the last ten years of his life, Constantine never left Greece. October 23, 2022, will be the last time the public will see him. It was the wedding of Constantine’s youngest son, Prince Philipos, to Nina Ferrol. With Anne-Marie’s support, Constantine staggered, but his face was full of joy. However, just over two months later, Constantine closed his eyes forever on January 10, 2023, accompanied by his beloved wife, due to multiple organ failure throughout the body. At his funeral, Anne-Marie wore the diamond cross jewelry she wore at her wedding. The bouquet she sent to her husband was the same as the flowers used at the wedding, and she was named: the love of my life, Anne-Marie.
   Constantine’s death marked the end of an era. The last king once aspired to lead Greece to the light, but under the torrent of the times, all he could do was hold his wife’s hand tightly and accept the fate. arrange. Constantine’s life of ups and downs and ups and downs is over, but for him, returning to the roots of fallen leaves may be the best ending.

error: Content is protected !!