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Greece

The prince born to rule who has spent most of his life in exile

Back on May 20 1967, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, also a prince of Denmark, was born. The Greek Crown Prince is the eldest son and second child of Constantine II, the last King of Greece from 1964 to 1973 and his wife, Anne-Marie of Denmark. Both Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Queen Sofia of Spain are his aunts.

When he was born, Crown Prince Pavlos, displaced his older sister, Alexia, as heir to the throne following the rules of Greece’s order of succession. The Prince grew up at the Tatoi Palace in Athens. Pavlos was born into a turbulent era in Greek politics. Greece was at this time characterized by military coups and instability.

Crown Prince Pavlos’ father, King Constantine II, had taken over power in Greece following the death of his father, King Pavlos, in 1964. In 1967, the same year that Pavlos was born, the Greek Royal Family was overthrown in a military coup. In December 1967 King Constantine attempted a counter-coup, but could not rally sufficient military support.

Therefore, in 1967 the Royal Family had to leave Greece. They first went to Rome. From Rome they went to Copenhagen, and lived with Queen Anne-Marie’s mother, Queen Ingrid, for some time.

Crown Prince Pavlos was educated in London at the Hellenic College of London, founded by his parents as well as the Armand Hammer United World College in USA. The Crown Prince has also completed  training at the British Army’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

As an adult, he has lived in New York City and London, working as an investment consultant. Pavlos married the British-born heiress Marie-Chantal Miller, on 1 July 1995. The couple have five children Princess Maria-Olympia, Prince Constantine-Alexios, Prince Achileas-Andreas, Prince Odysseas-Kimon and Prince Aristidis-Stavros.

The Greek Crown Prince and his family are often seen at official royal celebrations in Europe. After all many of the Crown Prince’s close relatives are important European royals. The Crown Prince is otherwise little involved in Greek politics.

On January 10th 2023, King Constantine died. Thousands turned out to pay their last respects to him at his funeral in Athens.

Forty days after his death, Crown Prince Pavlos gave his first interview about his loss and whether he would continue his father’s claim to the throne of Greece. He told Point de Vue magazine that ”“I inherited this role from my father, not associated with any responsibility at the state level, just at a family level. My role will be … to be a good example to the family. We will continue to be united and keep strong ties with our country.”

The Crown Prince stressed that he would not interfere in Greek state affairs. He said neither he nor his son, Prince Constantine Alexios, would take on any official roles. However, he did share that he hopes that his son follows in the late monarch’s footsteps in being a good person.

And he had warm words of thanks for those who paid tribute to King Constantine, saying “I would thank the Greek people for the respect they have shown to my father and to us. Whether people are royalists or not does not matter. They paid tribute to a historical figure, a part of Greek history. On behalf of my family, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

Crown Prince Pavlos also told the magazine that he plans to spend more time in Greece but would not comment on whether he would live there permanently.

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About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.