George I (December 24, 1845 – March 18, 1913) was King of the Hellenes (Greece) from 1863 to 1913.
He was born in Copenhagen, the second son of King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse. He was brother to Alexandra of Denmark (Queen consort of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom) and Maria Fyodorovna, consort of Alexander III of Russia . He began his career in the Danish navy, and was elected King of the Hellenes on March 30, 1863 following the deposition of King Otto. He thus became the monarch of the country whose territory had been under dominion of his ancestors, Emperors of the Romans who ruled in Constantinople, such as Emperors Constantine IX, Alexius I, John II, Isaakios II, Alexius III and Theodoros I.
Queen Louise of Denmark, Mother of King George I
The new king, now only 17 years old, quickly learned Greek in addition to his native Danish. During a trip to Russia to meet with his sister Dagmar (consort to Tsar Alexander III) he met Olga Konstantinovna of Russia, a Grand Duchess of Russia, cousin of the Tsar, and fell in love. They married in 1867.
Together they had eight children:
- Constantine I (1868-1923), who succeeded his father as king.
- George (1869-1957), High Commissioner of Crete.
- Alexandra (1870-1891), married Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia (son of Alexander II of Russia). Mother of Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov, assassin of Grigori Rasputin.
- Nicholas (1872-1938), father of Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
- Marie (1876-1940), married first Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and second Perikles Joannidis.
- Olga (1881, died when three months old)
- Andrew (1882-1944), father of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
- Christopher (1888-1940), father of Prince Michael of Greece.
George I on the 1873 1-drachma coin
When alone with his wife, he usually conversed in German. Their children were taught English by their nannies, and when talking with his children he therefore spoke mainly English.
Alexander (Alexandros) Schinas
He ruled Greece with some success, overseeing the consolidation of Greek rule over Thessaly and Epirus and the putting down of rebellion in Crete. However, following the Balkan War which began in 1912 he was assassinated by Alexander Schinas in Thessaloniki.
King George dead.
Giorgos Iakovidis Paintings
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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