Wedding of Prince Nikolaos #5 Thursday, Aug 26 2010 

More pictures!

Crown Prince Pavlos and family

Pavlos and family
I wonder if these two are done with kids? Not that 5 wouldn’t be enough, but if they wanted more, there’s now the right distance to Prince Astride… Maria Olympia is cute, isn’t she? But damn that’s a short little dress.

Here with Marie and Joachim you can see why the wedding was set at this time of day because wow, that is nice lightning of the scene.
Marie and Joachim

My Theodora… Half a cup size more would have been good, you know? Mh, but in armour, shield and sword? Scary girl, scary. Get yourself in a film or a crime procedural.
Theodora

We did get a few Brits after all. Lady Gabriella Windsor (who we’ve already seen), Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Prince Michael is the son of Princess Marina, herself a Greek Princess. His sister is Princess Alexandra, Honorary Lady Ogivly.
Gabriella, P+P Michael

You know Iran still has an empress? Well, here she is. Exiled, of course, but there’s hope yet.
Farah Pahlavi

The former King and Queen of the Hellenes
Konstantin and AM
I still am of the opinion the Greeks should take their King back. Not because that would give us another royal family showing up, but rather because I’d trust him (or rather, Pavlos) to get that state out of its misery again within a generation.

Rainbow dress for Máxima, but I quite like it
Maxi and WA

Princess Alexia and her family. Another 4 little kids.
Alexia and Carlos

I admit, these days I always look at Vikkan’s belly first. I’m practically waiting for a pregnancy announcement… Although I’d still prefer a summer baby *g*
Vikkan+DanDan

Pre Greek Wedding Tuesday, Aug 24 2010 

Haakon as well as Willem-Alexander and Máxima also showed, yay.

Funnily enough, still no Brits. This is not going to reflect well on that relationship there.


Who allowed him to go out dressed like that? And Vikkan looks more pregnant than Mary Oo


Haakon got to accompany cousin Mary. Where’s the bump?


Swinging *g* I like those two.


Look at the shoes. Mind you, the man is the groom. Tatiana meanwhile, nice. Really nice, looks like an ancient Greek here. Very pretty.


Looking there, the King and Queen of Greece (for their sake let’s call them that) and their two youngest children. Hello there, Theodora. Normally I’d say there’s not enough fabric to that dress but whoy. As for Philippos, man he’s going to be so hunky. Although he definitely will look like Nikolaos in a few years.

Princess Victoria’s wedding – the Greeks Monday, Jun 21 2010 

Unfortunately, Princess Theodora wasn’t there for the wedding of cousin Victoria :-(. I would have loved to see her, she has oopmh.

Crown Prince Pavlos couldn’t make it either, but the rest of the family as in attendance:

From left to right:
Princess Alexia, Mrs. Morales with her husband Carlos Morales; Prince Philippos, the baby of the family; Prince Nikolaos with his fiancée Tatiana Blatnik (bound to marry in September); Queen Anne Marie and King Konstantine II.

I’ve told you about the Greeks and their history before, so I’ll save that. This family is quite interesting despite of that. There’s an astonishing age gap between the first three and last two children of roundabout twenty years; Theodora was born in 1984, Philippos in 1984 and Nikolaos, the youngest of the first batch, in 1969. If they decided to have another batch of children after the first three or if Theodora was an accident and they decided not to let her grow up alone I have no idea. But it’s rather amusing, you have to admit ;-).

Poor Philippos was one of the victims of the Félix-confusion, they labelled him as Prince Félix of Luxembourg at Getty that was…confusing, at first.

This will actually be a bit more complicated.

Queen Anne Marie is wearing the Order of the Redeemer, Grand Cross. If you look closely you can see that the sash has a white border, rather than the true seraphim blue that the Order of the Seraphim is sporting. The Grand Star is pinned to her left chest; the order was established in the 19th century during the Greek War for Independence. I’m not 100% sure of the other pin she has oon the left side of her chest is another (very small) order of simple ornamentation. Anyone?

King Konstantin II is wearing the sash of the Seraphim (although not characteristically from his shoulder) and the Grand Star on his chest. Around his neck, he is wearing the Danish Order of the Dannebrog (sash and badge). I can’t see the Grand Star pinned to his chest, but I imagine it’s the one we can’t see facing the camera. Further, he is wearing the Grand Star of the Order of the Redeemer (Grand Cross). I can’t identify the last Grand Star pinned to his chest. It could, theoretically, be the Order of St. Olav, but why he should be wearing a Norwegian order to a Swedish wedding is beyond me, the other grand stars of the Greek Orders won’t fit. It might be the Order of the Elephant, but I can’t be certain and lack high quality pictures. Anyone know more?

The Greeks, as close relatives, stayed with the Danes on their (huge!) yacht; the Danes have come to Sweden for thousands of years via boat, it’s a time honoured tradition ♥ And highly convenient, too.

I still would have loved to see Theodora :-(.

Princess Victoria’s Wedding -1d Friday, Jun 18 2010 

The pre-wedding celebrations have been going on since yesterday, but yesterday there only was a private dinner with friends of Victoria’s, Daniel’s and Madeleine’s and heirs to the thrones of Europe. (Mette-Marit was wearing a stunning dress while I wasn’t so fond of Mary of Denmark…)

Today was a full program already, there was a semi-private lunch, a dinner and this evening there is a theatre gala performance (watching that one right now, highly entertaining just for the red carpet).

After Carl Philip almost made his sister fall (and almost got her naked in front of all the world to see as well) at Queen Margrethe’s 70th birthday, there was another round of long dresses today. He didn’t get another chance though, as Daniel was escorting his fiancée today.


Daniel bringing the train of the dress back in order so she can walk up the steps properly. I’m not that fond of the dress (looks like a flokati rug…), but it’s the gesture that counts, right?


I’ve got to say, she’s trained him really well. Actually, if he pulled through yesterday and today, I don’t think she’d ever have to worry about the fact that he’ll get cold feet.

And Carl Philip, who I may remind you has been born a prince and has been his sisters’ escort for the past 30 years…


Look at where his feet are. (Not that fond of Madde’s dress either, but she can wear it.)

(In his defence, he’s a good younger brother, too, look here:
)

So as I said, I’m watching the gala performance right now (a concert more than theatre), and I’ve seen some of the red carpet of the previous functions today and some of the dinner.

Prince Félix of Luxembourg is wearing his hair longer again, about as long as two or three years ago, which I think suits him better than the buzz cut he had last time anyone got to see him. He almost nodded off in the middle of King Carl XVI Gustaf’s speech, which was somehwta amusing. He sat at one table with Alexia of Greece and Denmark and Charlene Wittstock (Prince Albert’s girlfriend). He also kept slurping his coffee during the speech *slap*. I guess they seated him together with all the people they didn’t know what to do about.

I didn’t see HGD Guillaume until they seated everyone at the theatre (or I might have seen him on a picture from this noon but I’m not exactly sure) and we already thought he was missing. But never fear, he’s there! Sitting next to Princess Mathilde of Belgium, actually, joking around with her. Which is quite reassuring and lovely, as those two better get along (Philippe too, of course).

That said, I have no idea why the Grand Ducal couple brought Felix as well. Not that I mind! I love seeing Félix but… Well it’s weird. Unless Guillaume decides he’s either not taking the throne or there’s too much work going around for three people, he doesn’t really have a reason to attend official events. Now, of course, Luxembourg is a small country but Henri, MT and Guillaume are pulling quite a lot of work by themselves so that’s entirely possible. Guillaume not succeeding? Unlikely.

The seating at the theatre is quite interesting too, especially if you can watch the icy looks Mary of Denmark (who looks naked, almost) and Letitzia of Spain (who is way hot in red) are shooting back and forth (they’re sitting next to one another), while there’s a merry round with the Crown Princely couple of the Netherlands and Norway as well as Prince Albert (of Monaco) and Charlene Wittstock.

Princess Madeleine has her seat behind her parents, next to King Konstantin II of Greece, who just might be trying to sell Philippos to her (even though he really is too young for her), judging by her amused expression. Prince Carl Philip is next to her, behind Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik.

I don’t know where Grand Duke Henri, María Teresa and Félix ended up but they have to be somewhere.

It seems the King and Queens are all grouped together (well, I haven’t seen Henri but I suppose he has to be around somewhere as well), which is quite nice, considering they all get along pretty well.

Edward and Sophie of Wessex *sigh* I guess they both know they shouldn’t be there (I’ve seen Harry and William at the England game btw, as I’m currently splitting my attention between football, the gala performance and this post *g*), and they’re looking not too happy to be stuck where they are. I wish there would have been some other arrangement, as pretty much everyone else is there. The only ones truly missing are some of the Islamic countries, I’d have loved to see Mohammed and Lalla Salma here but well, gotta take Abdullah and Ranie, they’re there.

As is Naruhito of Japan, who is looking somewhat lost at times but gets adopted in turn by the other royal couples, which is quite adorable (especially as Naruhito is about a head smaller than even most of the ladies in attendance…maybe they could put him next to Carl Philip sometime, he’s bound to feel tall at least XD).

Oh they just tried to sell Frederik of Denmark to Vikkan last minute *g*. And Mary is Not Amused. Even lass so as she was called a didgeridoo in front of the whole audience.

Life is good, my dears.

Tomorrow we’ll be looking at the wedding on Swedish and German tv and well as watching footie. I already have my media centre set up for that ^^ Look forward to it.

Hellenic Kings and future pretenders Friday, Apr 30 2010 

Let’s talk about the Greeks, shall we?

For some it may be surprising, what with the Greek being the inventors of democracy and all, but until 1967 (nominally until 1973) the Greeks were a monarchy and saw themselves as the successors to the Byzantine Empire.

Unlike most modern European monarchies, the last few Greek kings were heavily involved in their country’s politics, which was a good thing before and during WWII, but proved to be somewhat problematic later during the Greek Civil War, as factions started to form (see the section about the evacuation of the children especially). All this was under King Pavlos (Paul, King of the Hellenes; father of the current King of the Hellenes and of Queen Sophia of Spain). The political climate calmed down considerably after the Civil War but got stormier again when King Konstantin II (I’m using the K-spelling intentionally) ascended the throne with 23.

Contrary to the United Kingdom, where Konstantin’s cousin Philip was Prince Consort to the young Queen Elizabeth II, Greece was a country caught between extreme political views – communist, centrist and conservative – and not quite as stable as the UK. One could argue now why that is so but…let’s not go there.

At 23, Konstantin was an inexperienced young man and politician and had inherited a lot of his father’s views and baggage. That’s probably why he managed to cause a constitutional crisis at the tender age of 25, known as the Apostasia of 1965, when he dismissed the newly elected prime minister. Elections were scheduled for May 1967 and Konstantin appointed an interim government.

Only a few weeks before the elections, several right wing generals seized power in a coup d’etat, arresting and killing political rivals. Konstantin, as the head of state – and even though he was inexperienced he should have known better – sanctioned the putchist government and swore them in and had basically lost by then already. He claims he attempted a counter-coup but that did not bear any fruits. Konstantin and his family, Anne Marie of Denmark and their two babies Alexia and Pavlos, had to flee into exile to Rome. They later came to live in London and Konstantin is close to his British and Danish relatives.

Konstantin has made a lot of claims that run contrary to what other people directly involved in the coup have stated and I, personally, am not too sure he’s not simply covering his ass. I wouldn’t blame him, he made a few dire mistakes (some of which could have been avoided), but he also was a victim of the circumstances, at least in part.

The junta government lasted for seven years and the aftermath is what we see today. If you’re interested, the wikipedia article is quite interesting, I spent a good hour yesterday following Greek history from the 1940s until the 70s.

What is further interesting is that despite the monarchy being abolished in 1973, Konstantin never abdicated his throne. He still is Konstantine of Greece and Denmark, King of the Hellenes. Even though he is not allowed to return to the country as king – at present – he is free to enter and leave Greece as he pleases and he and his wife even have a vacation home somewhere on the coast. This leaves several rather interesting openings for future developments.

Restoring him to the throne is one possibility, although with the mistakes that have been made, with his statements and claims, and also considering his age (the man turned 70 this year), that is an unlikely development.

Konstantin and Anna Maria of Greece have five children who are in their forties and in their twenties today, Crown Prince of Greece is Pavlos of Greece and Denmark; should his father die before being restored to the throne he would become the pretender to the (defunct) Greek throne. He is the second option the Greeks would have and for more reasons than just him being the Crown Prince.

Pavlos attended college in London, underwent military training in Sandhurst and later studied at Georgetown University (sharing a flat with Felipe, Prince of Asturias and I don’t think we want to know what went on there), graduating in International Relations Law and Organization then later achieved a Master of Science in Foreign service, specializing in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Besides being more than on par with the political situation back home and in the surrounding countries, Pavlos seems to have a keen head for business, as he co-founded several investment groups and funds, among other dabbling in hedge funds and alternative investment.

Basically, Pavlos has more qualifications to lead the country of Greece than most, if not all, of the Greek politicians.

As for his personal life, he is married to Marie-Chantal Miller and they have five children, born and raised in the US (and London, where his parents reside today).

Sound advice, dear Greeks, get your Crown Prince on the throne and let him run the show for a few years. You can make a contract, give him more influence for a couple of years and cut back on it then.

For those who care to know: The royal line of Greece belongs to the House Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (yep, we Germans dabble in all the royal lines ;)), Konstantin is descendant from Christian IX of Denmark both matri- and patrilineal and he retains his rank as a Danish prince even though he is not in line to the Danish throne any longer (a referendum having abolished his claim). Anne-Marie (Anna Maria) was a princess of Denmark before marrying Konstantin. Hence the members of the Greek royal family are always “of Greece and Denmark”.

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