Princess Irene
Princess of Greece and Denmark

Born 11 May 1942 (age 78)
Cape Town, South Africa
House Glücksburg
Father Paul of Greece
Mother Frederica of Hanover
Greek Royal Family
Royal Coat of Arms of Greece.svg

HM The King
HM The Queen

HM The Queen of Spain
HRH Princess Irene

HRH Prince Michael
Marina, consort of Prince Michael

v · d · e

Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark (born 11 May 1942) is the youngest child and second daughter of King Paul of Greece and his wife, Frederica of Hanover. She is the younger sister of Queen Sofía of Spain and of the deposed King Constantine II of Greece and maternal aunt of Felipe VI of Spain.

Early life Edit

She was born on 11 May 1942 in Cape Town, South Africa during the exile of the Greek royal family from their country during World War II.[1]

Princess Irene was named for her father's sister, Princess Irene, Duchess of Aosta, and her godfather was the South African prime minister Jan Smuts.[2]

She was a pupil of concert pianist Gina Bachauer and, for a while, she was a professional concert pianist herself.

She was a bridesmaid at the 1962 wedding of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain to her sister Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark.

Life in exile Edit

In the wake of the flight of the Greek royals in 1967, Irene followed her brother Constantine and sister-in-law Anne-Marie into exile in Rome. They were accompanied by their mother, Frederica, who had become a polarising figure in Greece owing to her German birth. The royal family resided in a villa near Rome.[1]

After her brother was dethroned, she moved to India with her mother. Since her mother's death, Princess Irene has lived in Spain in an apartment at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, the royal residence of her sister and brother-in-law, the King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía of Spain.

She is the founder and president of the World in Harmony organisation (Mundo en Armonía). On 16 March 2018, Princess Irene obtained the Spanish nationality and renounced her Greek nationality.[3]

Personal life Edit

Somewhere in the late 60s, she was dating Prince Michel of Orléans, comte d'Évreux, a younger son of the Orléanist pretender Henri, Count of Paris, when he met Béatrice Marie Pasquier de Franclieu, whom he married on 18 November 1967 in Casablanca, Morocco, without his father's consent.

There was also some hope that Princess Irene would win the heart of Crown Prince Harald of Norway; yet, Harald was already firmly set on marrying his future bride Sonja. In later years, Irene found as a companion an equerry of her brother, King Constantine; the couple never married nor had issue. [1]

Her niece, Infanta Cristina named her daughter Irene (born in 2005) after her. On 23 April 2008, she and Mohammed VI of Morocco became the godparents of Simeon Hassan Muñoz, the son of Princess Kalina of Bulgaria and Antonio José "Kitín" Muñoz Valcárcel.[4]

Titles, styles and honours Edit

Titles and styles Edit

  • 11 May 1942 – presentHer Royal Highness Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark.
  • 6 March 1964 – 10 July 1965Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Irene of Greece, Duchess of Sparta, Princess of Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

(Between accession of King Constantine II and birth of Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark)

Honours Edit

National honours Edit

  • Greece: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Olga and Sophia.

Foreign honours Edit

  • Denmark : Knight of the Order of the Elephant.
  • House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies: Dame Grand Cross of Justice of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George.
  • Thailand: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Chula Chom Klao.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The 77th Birthday of Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark. Eurohistory
  2. Birthday of Greece's Princess Irene. About Royalty
  3. Real Decreto 164/2018.
  4. Princess Kalina returns to Bulgarian homeland for son's baptism. Hello Magazine
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