Queen Consort of Greece Princess of Denmark
Reign 6 March 1964 – 1 June 1973
(9 years, 87 days)
Born 30 August 1946 (age 74)
Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen
Spouse Constantine II of Greece (m. 1964)
Princess Alexia
Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece
Prince Nikolaos
Princess Theodora
Prince Philippos
House Glücksburg
Father Frederick IX of Denmark
Mother Ingrid of Sweden
Religion Greek Orthodox
prev Lutheranism
Greek Royal Family
Coat of Arms of the Royal Family of Greece

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

Queen Anne-Marie of Greece (Greek: Άννα-Μαρία Βασίλισσα των Ελλήνων; born Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark 30 August 1946) is the wife of King Constantine II, who reigned from 1964 until 1973.

Anne-Marie is the youngest daughter of King Frederick IX of Denmark and his wife Ingrid of Sweden. She is the youngest sister of the reigning Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and cousin of the reigning King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Birth and family[edit | edit source]

Anne-Marie was born a Princess of Denmark on 30 August 1946 at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. She is the youngest daughter of King Frederick IX of Denmark and his wife Ingrid of Sweden. er father was the eldest son of the King and Queen of Denmark, and her mother was the only daughter of the Crown Prince of Sweden and his British-born first wife, daughter of the Duke of Connaught, Princess Margaret of Connaught.

The princess was baptised on 9 October 1946 in the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen. Her godparents are the King of Denmark and Queen of Denmark (paternal grandparents); Crown Prince of Sweden (maternal grandfather, Prince Bertil of Sweden (maternal uncle), the King of Norway (paternal grand-uncle), Prince George of Greece and Denmark, the Crown Princess of Norway (father's first cousin), Queen Mary of the United Kingdom, Princess Dagmar of Denmark (paternal grand-aunt) and the Crown Princess of the Netherlands.[1]

Princess Anne-Marie has two elder sisters: Margrethe, the present Queen of Denmark, and Benedikte, who later married Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and lives in Germany.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Princess Anne-Marie and her sisters grew up in apartments at Frederick IX's Palace at Amalienborg in Copenhagen and in Fredensborg Palace in North Zealand. She spent summer holidays with the royal family in her parent's summer residence at Gråsten Palace in Southern Jutland. On 20 April 1947, King Christian X died and Anne-Marie's father ascended the throne as King Frederick IX.

At the time of her father's accession to the throne, only males could ascend the throne of Denmark. As Anne-Marie's parents had no sons, it was assumed that her uncle Prince Knud would one day assume the throne. The popularity of Frederick IX and his daughters and the more prominent role of women in Danish life paved the way for a new Act of Succession in 1953 which permitted female succession to the throne following the principle of male-preference primogeniture, where a female can ascend to the throne if she has no brothers. Anne-Marie's eldest sister Margrethe therefore became heir presumptive, and Princess Benedikte and Princess Anne-Marie became second and third in the line of succession.

Anne-Marie was educated at N. Zahle's School, a private school in Copenhagen, from 1952 to 1961. In 1961 she attended the Chatelard School for Girls, an English boarding school outside Montreux in Switzerland. In 1963 and 1964 she attended the Institut Le Mesnil, a Swiss finishing school also in Montreux.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Engagement and marriage[edit | edit source]

Main article: Wedding of Constantine II of Greece and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark

In 1959, at the age of thirteen, Anne-Marie first met her future husband, her third cousin Constantine, Constantine, Crown Prince of Greece, who accompanied his parents, King Paul and Queen Frederica, on a state visit to Denmark.[2] They met a second time in Denmark in 1961, when Constantine declared to his parents his intention to marry Anne-Marie. They met again in Athens in May 1962 at the marriage of Constantine's sister Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark to Prince Juan Carlos of Spain at which Anne-Marie was a bridesmaid: and again in 1963 at the centenary celebrations of the Greek monarchy.

On 6 March 1964, King Paul died, and Constantine succeeded him as King of the Hellenes. In July 1964, the announcement of the engagement of Constantine and Anne-Marie raised the polite protests of the Left in Denmark.[3] Anne-Marie and Constantine were married on 18 September 1964 (two weeks after Anne-Marie's 18th birthday) in the Metropolis, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Athens. The bride wore a Jørgen Bender design.[4] Prior to the wedding, Anne-Marie converted from Lutheranism to the Greek Orthodox Church. Also, in view of the fact that she was marrying a foreign ruler, consent to the marriage was given on the condition that Anne-Marie renounced her succession rights to the Danish throne for herself and her descendants.[5]

Anne-Marie and her husband Constantine are third cousins: they share King Christian IX of Denmark as patrilineal great-great-grandfather. They also share Queen Victoria as a great-great-grandmother. As Queen of Greece, Anne-Marie spent much of her time working for a charitable foundation known as "Her Majesty's Fund" which provided assistance to people in rural areas of Greece.

Issue[edit | edit source]

Constantine and Anne-Marie have five children and nine grandchildren.

Exile[edit | edit source]

In April 1967, Anne-Marie’s husband King Constantine had been compelled, after a military coup, to swear into office a military junta. In December 1967, the King attempted to shake off the unelected authoritarian regime and tried to stage a counter-coup with the help of certain like-minded people. The counter-coup failed and Anne-Marie and her family had to flee to Italy. In the aftermath, Anne-Marie miscarried a child.[7] The family lived for two months in the Greek embassy in Rome and then for the next five years in a house in a suburb of Rome.

In 1973, Anne-Marie moved with her family to England. They lived first in Chobham in Surrey. Later they moved to the London suburb of Hampstead. The Greek government seized their former private home of Tatoi. It was only after a successful appeal to the European Court of Human Rights that the Greek government were forced to pay compensation for the property. King Constantine used the money obtained to establish the Anna-Maria Foundation.

Current activities[edit | edit source]

In 1980 Anne-Marie and Constantine founded Hellenic College of London, a bilingual school where her own children were educated. The school closed in 2005.

The government of Greece did not permit Anne-Marie to return to Greece until 1981 when she was allowed to enter Greek territory for several hours to attend the funeral of her mother-in-law, Queen Frederika. She and her family paid a private visit to Greece in 1993. Since 2003 – when the property dispute between her husband Constantine and the government of Greece concluded – Anne-Marie has visited Greece numerous times.

In 2003 Anne-Marie and her husband established the Anna-Maria Foundation with the money reimbursed to them by the government of Greece for the appropriation of their private property. The foundation provides aid to victims of natural disasters, including earthquakes and floods, in Greece. As of 2019 Anne-Marie serves as president of the foundation.[8]

On 21 May 2004 Anne-Marie was peripherally involved in a dispute in Madrid between former Crown Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Italy and his cousin and dynastic rival Prince Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta. At a soirée held at the Zarzuela Palace during the wedding celebrations of Felipe, Prince of Asturias, Amedeo approached Vittorio who reportedly punched him twice in the face, causing him to stumble backward down the steps. The quick intervention of Anne-Marie, who propped him up, prevented Amedeo from falling to the ground. She discreetly assisted him indoors while stanching his bleeding facial wounds until first aid was administered. Upon learning of the incident Spain's King Juan Carlos, a cousin of both men, reportedly declared that "never again" would an opportunity to abuse his hospitality be afforded the competing pretenders.

On 14 August 2004 Anne-Marie and her husband Constantine visited their former home in Athens, the former Royal Palace that is now the Presidential Palace, for the first time since 1967. They were received by then-President of Greece Costis Stephanopoulos along with other members of the International Olympic Committee (of which Constantine is an honorary member). In December 2004 Constantine, Anne-Marie and their children were again invited to pay a personal private visit by President Stephanopoulos.

Titles, styles, honors and arms[edit | edit source]

  • 1946–1964 Her Royal Highness Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark
  • 1964–1973 Her Majesty The Queen of the Hellenes
  • pretended 1973–present Her Majesty The Queen of the Hellenes
    • 1973–present Her Majesty Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Princess of Denmark (used outside of Greece)
    • 2003–present Anna-Maria de Grecia (used in Greece)

Her title "Queen of Greece" (or Queen of the Hellenes) is not recognized under the terms of the republican Constitution of Greece. However, international precedent is that former holders of certain posts continue to hold their former title as a courtesy title during their lifetimes.

Honours[edit | edit source]

National honours[edit | edit source]

  • Denmark: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Elephant (R.E.)
  • Denmark: Dame of the Royal Family Order of King Frederik IX
  • Denmark: Dame of the Royal Family Order of Queen Margrethe II
  • Denmark: Recipient of the Silver Anniversary Medal of Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik
  • Denmark: Recipient of the 75th Birthday Medal of Queen Margrethe II
  • Denmark: Recipient of the Ruby Jubilee Medal of Queen Margrethe II
  • Denmark: Recipient of the 70th Birthday Medal of Queen Margrethe II
  • Denmark: Recipient of the Silver Jubilee Medal of Queen Margrethe II
  • Denmark: Recipient of the Golden Anniversary Medal of Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik
  • Denmark: Recipient of the Prince Henrik's Commemorative Medal
  • Greek Royal Family: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
  • Greek Royal Family: Grand Mistress Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Olga and Sophia
  • Greek Royal Family: Recipient of the Commemorative Badge of the Centenary of the Kingdom of Greece

Foreign honours[edit | edit source]

  • Empire of Iran: Recipient of the Commemorative Medal of the 2,500 year celebration of the Persian Empire
  • Netherlands: Recipient of the Wedding Medal of Princess Beatrix, Princess of Orange and Claus Van Amsberg
  • Sweden: Recipient of the 85th Birthday Badge Medal of King Gustaf VI Adolf
  • Sweden: Recipient of the Commemorative Badge of the 50th Birthday Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Prinsesse Anne-Maries fødsel og dåb. Website of the Danish National Archives.
  2. Kongen uden rige. Vejle Amts Folkeblad]]
  3. Situationist International, issue No 9, The Longest Months, August 1964
  4. Top 10 Best Royal Wedding Dresses: #1. HM Queen Anne-Marie. Order of Splendor
  5. Conditional Consent, Dynastic Rights and the Danish Law of Succession. Hoelseth's Royal Corner
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Genealogy of the Royal Family of Greece (House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg) [retrieved 18 July 2016].
  7. Larry King Live Interview With King Constantine of Greece . CNN Transcript
  8. Anna Maria Foundation.Royal Greek Family

External links[edit | edit source]

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