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King Without A Country
A journey through the turbulent life of Constantine, the former king of Greece.
Last Modified: 10 May 2007 10:55 GMT

Constantine as king
To mark the 40th anniversary of the military coup that shook Greece in April, 1967, Al Jazeera's Elizabeth Filippouli hosts King Without A Country; a rare look into the turbulent life of Constantine, the former king of Greece.

With interviews with Constantine in his North London "home from home" and contributions from Professor Thanos Veremis of the University of Athens, the show documents Constantine's life from his accession to the throne in 1964 when he was just 23, to the military coup in 1967 and his subsequent exile.

Constantine in Rome in 1973
When Constantine won a gold medal in sailing in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome his future seemed bright, but just a few years later his life was transformed. When his father died in March 1964, Constantine became king and two weeks later married his cousin, Princess Anna Maria of Denmark. Thousands of Greeks gathered to celebrate the wedding but Constantines fortunes - and those of Greece - were to take a dramatic turn in the years ahead.

The collapse of Greece's socialist government in 1967 opened the way for a military coup by a group of firmly anti-monarchist army officers. Following a brief attempt at co-existence with the coup and a failed counter-coup, Constantine, the queen and their children fled to Rome where they spent the next seven years living in exile.

Constantine with his family
In 1973 the military government passed a law declaring Greece a Republic and the king deposed. In 1994 Constantine was stripped of his Greek citizenship, passport and his Greek property.

Elizabeth Filippouli and Constantine visit the estate in northern Athens that was taken from him. Today the house - just a remnant of its glorious past - has been abandoned by the state and is full of boxes containing Constantines past and Greece's history.

Constantine with Elizabeth
Filippouli
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Constantines rights had been violated and after a ten year battle he was compensated for the loss of his estate.

Constantine talks openly to Elizabeth Filippouli about his life, his love for Greece and his hopes to return one day.

Through the story of Constantine, the former king of Greece, King Without A Country showcases Greece's troubled passage from monarchy to democracy.

King without a Country aired from 20 to 22 April 2007

 

Click here to see Part 1 of King Without a Country

 

Click here to see Part 2 of King Without a Country

 


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