Kings of Greece 1832 – 1973

Constantine II of Greece

This timeline details all Kings of Greece from 1832 to 1973.

Prior to 1832 Greece had been part of the Ottoman Empire. After Greece gained independence, it was ruled by a governor. However, after the assassination of John Capodistria, Britain, France and Russia determined that Greece should be a monarchy to give the country stability. Bavarian Prince, Otto Friedrich Ludwig was selected as the first monarch.

Otto – 27th May 1832 – 23rd October 1862
Son of Ludwig I of Bavaria and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Married Amalia of Oldenburg
Otto was chosen to be King of Greece following the London Conference of 1832. At that time he was still a minor and Greece was run by Bavarian regents. The regents were not popular with the people and when he reached his majority Otto dismissed them. He was forced to adopt a constitution in 1843 after a rising against his absolutism. He lost popularity during the Crimean War when Britain stopped Greece from attacking the Ottoman Empire. In 1862 he was deposed.
George I – 30th March 1863 – 18th March 1913
Son of Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse
Married Olga Constantinovna of Russia
After Otto was deposed in 1862 the people of Greece held a referendum to determine who should be King. However, their first choice, Prince Alfred of Britain was prohibited by the terms of the London Conference of 1832 and Prince William of Denmark was selected instead. He took the regnal name George. His sister Alexandra married Prince Edward of Britain and his sister Dagmar married Alexander III of Russia. This established strong links in Europe which helped Greece to find its place in Europe. Greece took control of Thessalonika in 1912 vastly increasing the size of the country. George was assassinated in 1913 by a disgruntaled Socialist, Aleandros Schinas.
Constantine I – 18th March 1913 – 11th June 1917
Son of George I of Greece and Olga Constantinovna
Married Sophia of Prussia
Constantine became King of Greece after the assassination of his father. In 1917 he was forced to give up the throne in favour of his son after disagreeing with his leading minister over whether or not Greece should enter World War One.
Alexander – 11th June 1917 – 25th October 1920
Son of Constantine I and Sophia of Prussia
Married Aspasia Manos
Became King after his father and elder brother were forced to leave Greece. He had little power and was a puppet of Greek Minister, Eleftherios Venizelos. He died in 1920 of sepsis after being bitten by a monkey.
Constantine I – 19th December 1920 – 27th September 1922
Son of George I of Greece and Olga Constantinovna
Married Sophia of Prussia
The death of his son had been followed by the voting out of Venizelos. This allowed Constantine to return to Greece and resume his reign. Although World War One had ended, Greece remained at war with the Ottoman Empire. The people wanted an end to the war but Constantine decided to continue fighting. After the Greeks were defeated at Anatolia, Constantine abdicated in favour of his son, George.
George II – 27th September 1922 – 5th March 1924
Son of Constantine I and Sophia of Prussia
Married Elisabeth of Romania
Became King after his father abdicated in his favour. He left Greece after a failed coup by his military officers but remained King. In March 1924 Greece was proclaimed a Republic.
Greek Republic 25th March 1924 – 3rd November 1935
The government of Greece was taken over by Georgios Kondylis, a former military man.
George II – 3rd November 1935 – 1st April 1947
Son of Constantine I and Sophia of Prussia
Married Elisabeth of Romania
George was restored as King of Greece following the fall of the Republic. The death of Kondylis led to the rise of Ioannis Metaxas who became dictator. He endorsed Metaxas which led to a fall in popularity. Despite the best efforts of Greece and the British Expeditionary force, Greece was invaded and occupied by Germany during World War Two. George and his family fled to Crete and then went into exile in Britain. George returned to Greece in 1946 to find a civil war raging in the country between Communists and the government. He died six months after his return.
Paul – 1st April 1947 – 6th March 1964
Son of Constantine I and Sophia of Prussia
Married Elisabeth of Romania
Married Frederica of Hanover
Paul became King after the death of his brother, George. At the time of his accession there was civil war in Greece between Communists and the government. When the war ended in 1949, Greece was in a poor economic state. The country began to recover during the 1950s. Relations with Britain became strained after the people of Cyprus wanted to unite with Greece, something Britain would not allow to happen. Cyprus became independent in 1960. Paul died of stomach cancer in 1964.
Paul – 1st April 1947 – 6th March 1964
Son of Constantine I and Sophia of Prussia
Married Elisabeth of Romania
Married Frederica of Hanover
Paul became King after the death of his brother, George. At the time of his accession there was civil war in Greece between Communists and the government. When the war ended in 1949, Greece was in a poor economic state. The country began to recover during the 1950s. Relations with Britain became strained after the people of Cyprus wanted to unite with Greece, something Britain would not allow to happen. Cyprus became independent in 1960. Paul died of stomach cancer in 1964.
Constantine II – 6th March 1964 – 1st June 1973
Son of King Paul and Frederica of Hanover
Married Anne-Marie of Denmark
Constantine II became King after the death of his father. Initially Constantine maintained good relations with Prime Minister George Papandreou. However, this was short-lived and the two fell out after Constantine refused to sanction Papandreou taking control of the military. After Papandreou resigned the swift appointment of Mitsotakis led to accusations that Constantine had planned Papandreou’s fall. In 1967 right-wing military colonels established a dictatorship following a coup. Constantine ordered a counter-coup but it failed. Constantine and his family left Greece for Rome. In 1973 George Papadopoulos declared Greece a republic and abolished the monarchy. Constantine made his home in London.

 

Published Oct 29, 2020 @ 11:55 am – Updated – Oct 29, 2020 @ 11:56 am

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Kings of Greece 1832 – 1973. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/kings-of-greece Last accessed November 29th, 2020