Saturday 21 January 2023

European Aristocracy

 The line up of Royality at the funeral of the late ex-king Konstantine of Greece was fascinating. The families of the Greek, Spanish, British and Danish thrones are all closely related and there are a few other connections too.

Greek news told us there were representatives from five reigning monarchies, but my count was nine. 

Great Britain. Princess Anne, second cousin of Konstantine, with her husband. Lady Gabrielle Windsor who had the late king as one of her Godfathers.

Denmark. Queen Margrethe, sister of the widow, ex greek Queen Anna-Maria. 

Spain. Every royal that ever there was attended. Konstantine was sister to Queen Sofia.

The old king Juan Carlos went into  voluntary exile in Abu Dhabi in 2020 after various scandals, economic and otherwise. Living it up in luxury with one of his mistresses I'm sure. They all put on a united face for the funeral. He was accompanied by his wife during the ceremonies and was photoed hugging his eldest son, now King Felipe. Family sticks together at these times, especially in public. 

Sweden. King Gustav and Queen Silvia .

Norway. Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marie. He is a 3rd cousin once removed of Konstantine and second cousin of Queen Anne-Marie.

Netherlands. Princess Beatrix, 4th cousin and King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima

Monaco. Prince Albert 

Belgium. King Phillipe and Queen Mathilde

Luxembourg. Grande Duke Henri. 3rd cousin once removed

Liechtenstein. Princess Margaretha, 3rd cousin once removed

And other royalty......

Queen Noor of Jordan 

From Abolished Monarchies.....

Prince Alexander and Princess Katherine of Serbia 

Roumania. Prince Radu

Bulgaria . Tsar Simeon 11 

Russia. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimiriovna, 3rd cousin from the house of Romanov. 

Hanover . Various Princesses and Princes

Baden-Baden. The Margrave Bernard, second cousin and Margravine Stephanie (don't ask, just Google) 

Ex Empress Farah Phalavi of Iran 

They all came with family and entourage naturally. 

What a line-up. Some of those names are from dynasty's long gone. It was a whole different world back then. The Shah of Iran threw a lavish party in 1971, the most extravagant the world has ever seen to celebrate 2, 500 years of the Persian empire.

He flew in 18 tons of food. All the food except for Russian caviar came from France. He flew in 50,000 songbirds. 250 red Mercedes chauffeured guests from the airport. 125 women spent 6 months embroidering the tablecloth, over 70 metres long, for the  guests of honour. 

You get the idea. So did the Iranian people. He was forced to flee during a revolution in 1979.

Back to Greece. 

The ex king finally got a lying-in-state for a few hours before the service at the Orthodox cathedral in Athens. Thousands gathered to file by the coffin, arriving from all over the country. He was particularly popular in the southern Peloponnese, the long peninsular west of us. Bus loads arrived to say a last goodbye. They gave the Greek family in mourning a very warm welcome. 

I had my cataract operation the day of the funeral so missed most of the live coverage. I caught some of it on the car radio. K would have liked Greek music. He prefers modern day politics. 

The funeral service was conducted by Archbishop Hieronimos. Son Pavlos, so called Crown Prince,  gave a long eulogy, first in Greek and then in English. He was wearing a 5,000 euro suit made by a Greek tailor, so gossip TV said. 

The coffin was then taken to Tatoi, the summer Palace and the family cemetary, followed by a 6 km line of limousines. 

The evening before the funeral aristocratic visitors were welcomed at a banquet at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, where most of them were staying. After the funeral remaining guests attended a memorial dinner, dining on on fine China, crystal glassware with 19carot gold silverware. So said the gossips. 

The Grande Bretagne is in Syntagma Square, central Athens opposite Parliament. Being so close to Parliament its also the best place to watch riots, marches, the throwing of molotov cocktails and clouds of teargas. It was the headquarters of the Nazi High command during WW2 occupation and later the British forces. 

Thursday was the first memorial at the grave site. A private blessing attended by close family. There will be many more memorial services.

I would have been glued to the TV if I could have. It was so interesting seeing all these blue bloods and  glimpses into their lives. The King's life and death was big news until he was buried. Now I'd say the Greek monarchy has also been buried. The ex-Queens death is going to be a quiet occasion. It is rumoured the ex-Crown Prince may move to Athens. If he does he'll be in the social columns but I doubt we will hear much else about the family. 

Elections are coming up in a few months and everyone is focusing on economics, whether they will survive the winter and the latest wife killing. 


  1. Golly. I hadn't realised there were still so many Royals left in Europe!

    1. Most of them you rarely hear of unless you live in their country. But all those ex's are still hanging on. That Russian princess, the Empress of Iran, the Tsar of Bulgaria? Wonder if they're all still living on the proceeds of the crown jewels.....or what?

  2. Elections are interesting things. I hadn't realized all the royalty in Europe either, but then the Queen was even related to so many people around the world too.

    1. Your elections are going to be interesting with Jacinda gone. Pity. She was often on our news

  3. I hear people talking about nepo babies in Hollywood, but the royal family has to be the last word on nepotism. A new country to rule. There you are cousin, one for you. In this day we tend to forget that the families got their exalted positions by deception, corruption, and murder.
    Glad you have had your eyes operated on. Now to rest and recovery

    1. That's exactly how it happened. 'they' had the bright idea a king might bring stability and looked around for a 'spare' lol

  4. I believe he would have been pleased of all those royals attending his funeral, and at the same time honoring Greece with their presence.

    1. I'm hope he would have been pleased at the funeral. Some thought he should have had a 'head of state' funeral but that would have had too much political backwash. The monarchy is long gone

  5. I imagine Prince Phillip would have been his cousin. The Prince was always known here as 'Phil the Greek'.

  6. Greeks were very proud to have a Greek blue blood beside the queen

  7. That is some line-up of Royals! What a shame fate didn't organise your operation for the following day! (but I am glad you got to have it, and hope you are recovering well).

  8. Wow that is a lot of royals, some I have not heard of. Not at all related but we used to have a cat called Boofin Heimer from Baden Baden, poor cat!! (Husband humour!) Hope your eye is healing nicely.

  9. I am astounded at your knowledge of the royals! It really does seem to be a thing of the past with so many ex-royals. Certainly a different world (royally speaking) a few centuries ago.