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European Royals

Denmark’s royals lead birthday wishes for Constantine of Greece


PHOTO: HOLGER MOTZKAU VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The Queen of Denmark has welcomed her brother in law to an exclusive club as she led royal birthday celebrations for Constantine of Greece. The former king has turned eighty just weeks after Margrethe marked her own eight decades.

The Danish royals took to their official social media to send birthday wishes to Constantine, who is married to Margrethe’s younger sister, Anne-Marie. They shared a photo of the couple and said that the birthday would be marked by them along with their second son, Prince Nikolaos, and his wife, Tatiana, at their home in Greece.

From Romania, Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Crown also sent birthday wishes in a letter and posted a tribute to Constantine on the official royal website. Margareta’s paternal grandmother, Helen, Queen Mother of Romania, was a sister of Constantine’s father, King Paul of Greece.

Constantine was born on June 2nd 1940 at Psychiko Palace in Athens, the second child and only son of Paul and his wife, Frederica. His older sister, Sofia, would go on to be Queen of Spain. Constantine spent his early years in exile after the Nazi occupation of Greece and returned home with his parents in 1946. He became heir to the throne of Greece in 1947 on the accession of his father and succeeded in 1964 on King Paul’s death. His reign was politically turbulent from the start and he went into exile in 1967 after a failed counter coup against a military junta. In 1974, still living away from Greece, a public vote chose to abolish the monarchy in favour of a republic.

Soon after his accession, he married Anne-Marie of Denmark and they went on to have five children together. The family are often seen at major royal events in Europe.

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Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.