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Greek Royalty

House of Oldenburg (Glücksburg branch)


George I
Children
   Prince Constantine
   Prince George
   Princess Alexandra
   Prince Nicholas
   Princess Marie
   Prince Andrew
   Prince Christopher
Grandchildren
   Princess Olga
   Princess Elizabeth
   Princess Marina
   Princess Cecilie
   Prince Philip
   Prince Michael
Constantine I
Children
   Prince George
   Prince Alexander
   Princess Elena
   Prince Paul
   Princess Irene
   Princess Katherine
Alexander I
Children
   Princess Alexandra
George II
Paul I
Children
   Princess Sofia
   Prince Constantine
   Princess Irene
Constantine II
Children
   Princess Alexia
   Prince Pavlos
   Prince Nikolaos
   Princess Theodora
   Prince Philippos
Grandchildren
   Princess Maria
   Prince Constantine
   Prince Achileas
   Prince Odysseas

Alexander I, King of the Hellenes, (Αλέξανδρος Α΄) ruled Greece from 1917-1920.

He was born on 21 July (O.S.) = 1 August 1893 at Tatoi near Athens, the second son of Constantine I and his wife, Sophie of Prussia.

In 1917, Constantine I, known for his pro-German tendencies, insisted that Greece remain neutral in World War I, while Prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos was determined to go to war in support of the Triple Entente. At Venizelos' invitation, French and British troops entered Greece and forced Constantine I and his first born son Prince George into exile. Young Alexander was enthroned as king; in reality he had absolutely no power, and his only real task was to frequently visit the front and rally the troops.

Alexander I

On one major issue, however, he did defy Venizelos: On 4 November 1919 he eloped with a commoner, Aspasia Manos (1896-1972), daughter of Colonel Petros Manos, causing a scandal and infuriating Venizelos who had wanted the young king to marry princess Mary, daughter of king George V of England. The royal couple was forced to temporarily flee to Paris, until the crisis was resolved and his wedding was legalized.

On 25 October 1920 he died at Athens, of sepsis, after been bitten by a pet monkey a Barbary Macaque. After his death, his father was permitted to return to Greece as a king.

Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus)


His only child, born after his death, was Alexandra of Greece (1921-1993), who later married Peter II, King of Yugoslavia.

The city of Alexandroupolis (former Dedeagatch), near the river Evros on the Greco-Turkish border, was renamed after him in 1920 on the occasion of his visit there. He was the first King of Greece to visit the city since its capture by the Hellenic Army during World War I and the official change of guard between Bulgarian and Greek officials on 14 May 1920.

Alexander I. with Aspasia Manos (Postcard 1921)

References

  • Hindley, Geoffrey (2000). The Royal Families of Europe. New York: Caroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-0828-X.
  • Van der Kiste, John (1994). Kings of the Hellenes, Stroud: Sutton
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, edition 15 (1990). Article: Alexander (Greece)
  • Miroslav Marek. Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Genealogy.Eu. Accessed on June 30, 2005.
Preceded by:
Constantine I
King of the Hellenes
1917 -1920
Succeeded by:
Constantine I


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