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Constantine II, the last king of Greece, dies at 82


Although Constantine professed to accept the results of the referendum as an expression of the will of the people, he continued to refer to himself as king and reportedly insisted on being addressed as “Your Majesty” by visitors during his exile.

A descendant of the Danish monarchy of Glücksburg, Constantin was born in Athens on June 2, 1940, the only son of Crown Prince Paul of Greece and his German-born wife, Princess Frederica.

He also spent his early years in exile, first in Egypt and then in South Africa, after the Italian invasion and Nazi occupation of Greece during World War II. His family returned to Greece after the war, in 1946.

A skilled sportsman during his school days, Constantine excelled in swimming, karate and horseback riding, although it was for his sailing skills that he gained international recognition.

He served in all three branches of the armed forces and studied law at the University of Athens.

In 1964, he married Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, who became queen.

She survives him, as well as their five children: Alexia, Pavlos, Nikolaos, Theodora and Philippos; nine grandchildren; and two sisters, Sofia, the former Queen of Spain, and former Princess Irene.

While in exile, he lived primarily in London, where he is said to have developed a close relationship with his first cousin, Charles, now King Charles III. He was chosen to be one of the godfathers of Prince William, heir to the British throne.

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