Otho - deposed
George I - assassinated
Constantine I (first reign) - deposed
Alexander - died tragically young
Constantine I (second reign) - abdicated
George II (first reign) - deposed
Republic - monarchy restored with rigged plebiscite
George II (second reign) - fled German invasion
German Occupation; George led government in exile
George II (third reign) - died on throne
Paul - died on throne
Constantine II - deposed
Junta - overthrown, democracy restored
The Greek monarchy does not hang by a thread. It is inconceivable that it will ever be restored. Most Greeks consider it to have been an alien imposition, and (accurately) view the late former King Constantine as having acted unconstitutionally and destabilized the country, helping pave the way for the Colonel's Coup which he then legitimated. However good a man he may have been (and I believe he was one), he is rightly associated by Greeks with a dark time in their history to which no one wants to return.
It is a sad fact that while most of us who are royalty watchers admired King Constantine as a good, kindly family man who considered himself a patriot, and whose family are "fan favorites" among royalty enthusiasts, his record as a monarch was an unfortunate one. None of the kings of the Hellenes ever behaved as true constitutional monarchs, so it is unfortunate but understandable that the monarchy never established the firm roots that most of the surviving European monarchies have.
An article posted below stated that in the history of the monarchy in Greece since the 19th century, three kings were deposed, two abdicated, one was assassinated, and one died as a result of a monkey bite. So I tried to identify them ...
George I was assassinated (by a mentally deranged anarchist), and Alexander was the one who died as a result of a freak accident (an infection resulting from the bite of a monkey who attacked him while he was trying to rescue a dog).
Otto (house of Wittelsbach) and Constantine II were deposed, and I believe Constantine I abdicated. Or was he deposed? The line is not clear.
Things get even messier with his own eldest son, George II -- who was twice recalled to the throne. He first was passed over in the succession in favor of his younger brother, but reigned briefly. Then the monarchy was abolished -- only to be reinstated later on. So he went through a couple of periods of interregnum. How exactly does he count? It seems to me that some kings might qualify under two lists -- abdicated or deposed.
The history of the Greek monarchy, then, seems almost as messy as that of the Spanish monarchy -- hanging on a thread today. All I know is that only George II and Paul ended their reigns peacefully, as a result of dying in bed of natural causes.
« Back to index