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Former King Constantine: The moments that stood out at his funeral

On the shoulders of his three sons and his grandsons, the late King Constantine was led to his final abode near the graves of his parents and other ancestors, in Tatoi.

During the long ceremony leading up to his burial, there were moments that stood out, such as when his wife, Anna Maria, entered the Metropolis and stood in front of the coffin, or the funeral (with political messages) of their son, Pavlos. Also noteworthy was the participation of a large number of people in the pilgrimage to the body of the former king, while the wreath made of "lilies of the valley" with which Anna Maria said goodbye to Constantine was also special.

The former king was buried

The burial of the former king was preceded by a service at the Church of the Resurrection, in the complex of royal tombs in which Archbishop Hieronymos officiated, as well as at the funereal procession in the Metropolis. The members of Constantine's immediate family, Anna Maria, children, grandchildren, his sisters Irene and Sofia, together with her husband Juan Carlos, and her three children - the King of Spain, Felipe and her daughters.

Despite the family's initial decision not to allow the public to enter the site of Tatoi, the assembled were finally allowed to enter on foot after the burial.

The funereal liturgy

The body of the former king had been placed in a popular pilgrimage since dawn Monday at the chapel of the Metropolis of Athens. The coffin was covered with the Greek Flag, while the citizens who wanted to say goodbye to the former King Constantine were more than the police had estimated, as a result of which a small extension was given to the time of lying in state in Agios Eleftherios.

constantinos feretro1

The procession started after 12 noon. The three sons of Constantine: Pavlos, Nikolaos and Philippos, alone followed their father's body from the chapel to the Metropolis.

After 11.30, the rest of Constantine's family, royals and "blue bloods" from all over Europe, began to arrive. His eldest son, Pavlos, at the entrance of the Metropolis, welcomed the "high" guests. The King of Spain Felipe with his wife Letitia, the Queen Mother of Spain and sister of the former King Constantine, Sofia, with her husband the former King Juan Carlos, as well as the sister of the deceased, Irene.

Anna Maria

Anna Maria

Last to arrive, according to the protocol, was the wife of the former king, Anna Maria, who was hailed and cheered by the people outside the Metropolis. The pain and sadness of Anna Maria was evident in her every move, in every look, throughout the funeral.

The wreath with which Anna Maria said goodbye to the former king Constantine was also special: it was made of muguet, or "lilies of the valley", the same white flowers from which her bridal bouquet was made.

The government was represented in the exodus procession by the deputy prime minister, Panagiotis Pikrammenos and the minister of culture, Lina Mendoni, who were received by the crowd with applause.

The exodus service was presided over by archbishop Hieronymos and 12 synodal hierarchs participated.

187 official guests and eleven representatives of royal houses from eleven European countries attended.

Pavlos was moved by the funeral


Evidently moved, Pavlos delivered the eulogy for his father, former King Constantine, at his funeral in the Metropolis of Athens at noon on Monday. "Constantine, your majesty, king my father, grandfather, Olympian, it is a difficult day for us children and grandchildren for all those who came to say goodbye to you for the last time but also for all those who honor your memory and for whom it was impossible to be together you", said the eldest son of the former King Constantine.

You lost your father King Paul and my grandfather when you were very young. You always followed his bequest when you assumed responsibility for the throne. He told you "dedicate your life to the happiness of your country, there is no more worthy mission, always remember that it is better for the king to suffer than for the people.

You glorified the country with the Olympic gold medal.

The race was a hard fought battle of mind and body to the final victory with the late crew. It was a hard time when you ascended the Throne. And the result was something no one wanted. Your attempt failed, but you didn't want to be the reason for a new bloodshed by staying in Greece, respecting the decision of the Greek people.

Family was everything to you and our mother. You created a family united by love and duty to the Motherland. God brought you to breathe your last breath in the homeland. As you taught us father, we your children and grandchildren offer and will offer forever to the homeland and Greece.

My power, the love of the people was and will forever be the rule of our family. For every Greek and every family, the strength is the love of every Greek for it.

"Have a good trip" Pavlos concluded with obvious emotion for his father, former King Constantine.

The exit  of the remains from the Metropolis with chants and the National Anthem

constantinos funeral

When the funereal procession ended and the coffin with the former King Constantine came out of the Metropolis, the gathered crowd began to shout "Constantinos, Constantinos, long live the king" while also singing the national anthem.

His family stood on the steps of the Cathedral and watched the crowd.

Which royal families came to Greece for the funeral

The funeral of the former King Constantine was attended by members of the royal houses of Europe, from kings and queens to crown princes and princesses. Seven monarchs, kings-heads of state were present (five with the title of king, one prince-head of state (Albert of Monaco who has the title of prince and not king), and one with the title of Grand Duke (as the head of Luxembourg formally bears this title).

King Felipe of Spain, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, King Carl Gustav of Sweden, Grand Duke Henry of Luxembourg, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, King Philippe of Belgium and Prince Albert of Monaco.

The royal families from Spain, Britain and Belgium

Spain was represented by King Felipe and Queen Letitia of Spain, Queen Margrethe of Denmark (sister of the deceased's widow, Anna Maria), her son and heir, Prince Frederik, her other son, Prince Joaquim, as well as Princess Benedict, (sister of the Queen of Denmark and Anna Maria).

The British royal family was represented by Princess Anne, sister of King Charles. According to protocol, the King of England can only attend the funerals of sitting kings. Princess Anne was accompanied by her husband Timothy Lawrence while Prince William, who was christened by the former king, was represented by Lady Gabriella Kingston (daughter of Prince and Princess of Kent Michael).

Belgium was represented by King Philip and his wife Mathilde, while Norway was represented by Prince Haakon and his wife Princess Mette Marin. Monaco was represented by Prince Albert, while Luxembourg was represented by Grand Duke Henri with his sister, Princess Margaret of Luxembourg.

Which MPs attended the funeral?

At the ceremony of the former King Constantine, the Government was represented by the vice-president, Panagiotis Pikrammenos, and the Minister of Culture, Lina Mendonis. Some, however, also attended the popular pilgrimage to the chapel of Agios Eleftherios, with the presence of Antonis Samaras standing out.

Under the cheers of hundreds of citizens, the former prime minister - accompanied by his wife - paid their respects to the remains of the former king, a move he had announced on Sunday through his entourage.

Together with the former prime minister were New Democracy MPs from Messinia , Miltos Chrysomallis and Periklis Mantas, as well as New Democracy MP for the 2nd district of Thessaloniki , Dimitris Vartzopoulos.

New Democracy MP Giorgos Koumoutsakos and the MEP Anna Michelle Asimakopoulou also went to the chapel of Agios Eleftherios, while Failos Kranidiotis and Konstantinos Bogdanos were also present.

The dress rehearsal before the funeral

 With the final rehearsal of the funeral on Sunday afternoon, the preparations by the family for the funeral of the late King Constantine were essentially completed. From the morning the wives of Pavlos and Nikolaos took care of the last details for the dinner of the first guests.

At the same time, the sons of the deceased, Nikolaos and Philippos, walked from the hotel to the Metropolis and visited Father Thomas Synodinos with whom they had a brief discussion about the ceremony.

The funereal service was scheduled for 12 noon with Archbishop Hieronymos and twelve Metropolitans from all over Greece officiating.

On Sunday afternoon, Pavlos and Nikolaos together with the grandchildren from the first-born son of the former king were at the First Cemetery and did the final rehearsal for tomorrow's funeral of the last monarch of Greece.

As planned, they are the ones who lifted the coffin of the former King Constantine from the chapel of Agios Eleftherios to the temple of the Holy Metropolis of Athens.


  • Published in Greece
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