Prince Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece, Prince of Denmark is the eldest son of Constantine II, King of the Hellenes from 1964 to 1973. If Constantine is ever restored to the throne Pavlos would be his heir apparent. If no restoration occurs, following Constantine's death Pavlos with become the pretender to the defunct Greek throne.
By royal descent, he is a member of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg line of the House of Oldenburg. His family has adopted on occasion de Grecia (of Greece) as a surname. His titles, Crown Prince of Greece and Duke of Sparta, although used as courtesy titles among European royalty and in the media generally, are not recognized in the Hellenic Republic, which abolished the monarchy in 1974. Since reaching adulthood, he has lived in New York City and in London, and has worked as an investment consultant.
Prince Pavlos was born on May 20, 1967 in Athens, to King Constantine II of Greece and Queen Anne Marie, by birth a Princess of Denmark, daughter of King Frederick IX of Denmark and sister to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. By Greek tradition, he was named for his father’s father, King Paul (Pavlos) of the Hellenes. His older sister, Princess Alexia, had been born two years earlier, in 1965. Prince Pavlos was baptized into the Greek Orthodox Church, with Charles, Prince of Wales (King Constantine’s second cousin), as one of his godparents.
Military coup of 1967
Prince Pavlos was born into a turbulent era in Greek politics. His father, King Constantine II, had acceded to the throne on March 6, 1964, at the age of 23, following the death of his father, King Paul. In July 1965, following a conflict with Prime Minister George Papandreou over control of the armed forces, King Constantine dismissed Papandreou. The effect was to destabilize the political balance which had been achieved within the country. There followed within the next 22 months, a succession of unstable coalition governments, strikes, and loss of confidence by foreign investors. The term July Apostates refers to the group of George Papandreou's dissidents, led by the politician Konstantinos Mitsotakis, then also member of the Center Union, who crossed the floor to bring about the fall of the Greek government and its replacement by a government favourable to the King.
On April 21, 1967, just a month prior to Prince Pavlos’s birth, a military coup occurred, in which a group of colonels seized control of the government. The King decided to co-operate with the dictators and was persuaded to swear the new regime in only when the junta agreed to include a number of civilian politicians, with a royalist nominee, Constantine Kollias, as Prime Minister. Constantine's brief co-operation with the coup was later seen by many as a fatal error, since the military dictatory soon became very unpopular. In the months following the coup, the junta continued to acknowledge King Constantine as head of state, although the king had very little actual power.
As 1967 drew to a close, the "Regime of the Colonels", led by Colonel George Papadopoulos, was increasingly characterized by suppression of civil liberties, along with imprisonment or exile of opponents. In December of that year, King Constantine attempted a counter-coup, but could not rally sufficient military support. The King fled with his wife and children to Rome. Prince Pavlos’s younger brother Prince Nikolaos, was born in Rome in 1969.
Abolition of the monarchy
During the years 1964-1972, Greece remained officially a monarchy, with a regency appointed in the absence of the king. Beginning in 1964, when Prince Pavlos was six years old, a series of rapid changes occurred in the government of Greece. In November, following the government’s harsh suppression of the Athens Polytechnic uprising, Papadopoulos was ousted from office by Brigadier General Dimitrios Ioannides.
The following summer, Ioannides attempted a coup in Cyprus, which triggered the invasion and occupation of northern Cyprus by Turkish troops. Amidst fears of war with Turkey, the junta agreed to resign, and invited former Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis to establish a civilian government. General elections were held in Nov 1974, resulting in a victory for Karamanlis and his New Democratic (ND) party. A referendum was called in December, in which the Greek people voted for a republican constitution (69%), over against the restoration of the monarchy (31%). Greek Prime Minister (under both King Paul and the Republic, as well as future President of the Hellenic Republic) Constantine Karamanlis in his radio address in the evening of December 8, 1974, as the polling returns became knownby declared that "A carcinoma was resected today from the body of the nation".
King Constantine accepted that his reign was at an end. He and Queen Anne Marie settled with their family in London. Prince Pavlos’s youngest siblings were born in London, Princess Theodora in 1983, and Prince Philippos in 1986.
Pavlos was educated in London at the Greek school, the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West in New Mexico, USA and at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. After completing these he studied at Georgetown, where he was roommates with his cousin, Crown Prince Felipe of Spain.
Marriage and issue
Crown Prince Pavlos married American heiress Marie-Chantal Miller now styled as Her Royal Highness Marie-Chantal, The Crown Princess Pavlos of Greece, Princess of Denmark on July 1st, 1995. After their marriage, the couple resided in New York City, where he worked as an investment consultant. Their children are:
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