MADRID – Representatives of almost all royal families in Europe travelled to Athens on Monday to say goodbye to the former king of the Greeks, brother of Queen Emeritus Sofia, the mother of Spain’s King Felipe VI.
Surrounded by her children and grandchildren, including the royal couple Felipe and Letizia, and with the pronounced absence of the Spanish princesses Leonor and Sofía, Sofía says goodbye to her younger brother, the last king of Greece, Constantine II. He passed away last Tuesday at the age of 82.
The Greek government had decided to mark the funeral as a private event, as the monarchy was abolished in Greece in 1974. Therefore, no burial chapel was provided. In the end, the family’s wish was fulfilled to give the population the opportunity to come close to the coffin for a few hours to say goodbye.
Only the Deputy Prime Minister of the Greek government, Panayotis Pikramenos, and the Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, officially attended the funeral. Despite this, several politicians from the conservative party also attended, such as former Prime Minister Andonis Samaras.
The first to arrive were the deceased’s five children: Alexia (57), Pablo (55), Nicolás (53), Teodora (39) and Felipe (36). They accompanied the coffin until it entered the cathedral.
Spanish King Emeritus Juan Carlos and Sofía were among the first to arrive at the Athens Cathedral. With them were their two daughters, the infantas Elena and Cristina, and their children: Felipe and Victoria de Marichalar; Juan, Pablo, Miguel and Irene Urdangarin and on the arm of Cristina de Borbón, Princess Irene of Greece, also the sister of the deceased.
On arrival, the Spanish kings were in turn received by Constantine’s sons. Very grateful for their presence, Pablo de Grecia, husband of Marie-Chantal Miller and the new head of the Greek royal family, warmly greeted Felipe VI, his cousin, and Letizia.