Princess Cecilie of Greece, Grand Duchess of Hesse

Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark (22 June 1911 in Greece – 16 November 1937 near Ostend) was the granddaughter of King George I of Greece and the daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg. Her younger brother is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

She was christened at Tatoi on 2 July 1911. Her godparents were King George V of Great Britain, The Grand Duke of Hesse, Prince Nicholas of Greece, and Vera, Duchess of Württemberg.

She married Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt on 2 February 1931. They had three children:

  • Prince Ludwig Ernst Andreas (25 October 1932-16 November 1937)
  • Prince Alexander Georg Karl Heinrich (14 April 1931-16 November 1937)
  • Princess Johanna Marina Eleonore (20 September 1936-1939)
  • stillborn baby (16 November 1937)

In October 1937, Georg Donatus' father, Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse died. A few weeks after the funeral, Ernst Ludwig's younger son, Prince Ludwig was due to be married to Margaret Geddes. On 16 November 1937, Georg Donatus, Cecilie, their two young sons, Georg's mother Grand Duchess Eleonore, the children's nurse and a family friend, along with a pilot and two crewmen, left Darmstadt for England, where Prince Ludwig was due to be married. The aeroplane hit a factory chimney near Ostend and crashed into flames, killing all those on board. Cecilie was pregnant with her fourth child at the time of the crash, and the remains of the eight-months child were found in the wreckage, indicating that Cecilie had, in all probability, either gone into labor shortly before, during or directly after the crash. The only survivor of the family was Johanna, she was not on the plane at the time. Johanna was adopted by Prince Ludwig and Princess Margaret, however, she died in 1939 from meningitis.


As a matrilineal descendant of Victoria of the United Kingdom, she is a member of mitochondrial haplogroup H.

Princess Cecilie of Greece, Grand Duchess of Hesse

Princess Cecilie of Greece, Grand Duchess of Hesse
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