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Former King Constantine II of Greece is buried privately in Athens

The funeral of Constantine II, the last monarch of Greece, took place in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens. (16 January 2023)
The funeral of Constantine II, the last monarch of Greece, took place in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens. (16 January 2023)

WASHINGTON — From England to Spain, European royals gathered in Athens for the funeral of Constantine II, the last monarch of Greece.

Members of the royal family expected to attend the funeral include Britain’s Princess Anne, daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth II and Constantine’s cousin. Her father, the late Prince Philip, was from Greece. Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia, as well as members of the royal families of Denmark, Luxembourg, Monaco and Sweden, will also be among the more than 200 guests visiting the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Constantine died last week at a local hospital at the age of 82. He was only 27 years old when the military came to power in a coup d’état in 1967. He initially worked with the junta, and eight months later, he and his family fled to Europe after leading an unsuccessful counter-coup.

The junta abolished the monarchy in 1973, and democracy was restored in Greece a year later. But the country refused to restore the royal family in a referendum that same year, ending the monarchy that began in 1863.

Constantine, who won gold in sailing at the 1960 Olympics, was stripped of his Greek citizenship in 1994 after a bitter battle with the government over the royal family’s old property. Despite lingering resentment, Constantine and his family returned to Greece permanently in 2013.

After the funeral, his body will be laid to rest in the town of Tatoi, just outside Athens, where other members of the former royal family are buried. The government refused to host a state funeral for Konstantin.

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(Part of this article is from The Associated Press, Reuters and AFP)

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