From Russia to England, Philip’s royal ties straddled Europe

Tatoi, Greece (AP) — Prince Phillip’s life spans a century of European history. His family ties are equally wide, and Britain’s longest-serving spouse was associated with most royal families on the continent by blood and marriage.

“If Queen Victoria is considered a European grandmother, Prince Phillip is a European uncle,” said Vassilis Koustsavlis, president of the Royal Estate Friends Association of Tatoi.

Philip’s father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, is buried in the dense forest at the foot of the mountain north of Athens. The Tatoi Estate had a royal summer mansion and a royal cemetery dotted with the tombs of Philip’s relatives. The King and Queen of Greece, the Prince and Princess of Denmark, the Grand Duchess of Russia, and even the distant relatives of Napoleon Bonaparte.

At that time, it was very common to marry another person in the royal family. And Christian IX (King of Denmark) was very good at it, “said royal expert Lars Hobbakke Sorensen. “He was instrumental in marrying the children to other European royal families.”

Christians also sent one of his sons to become a Greek monarch. The relatively new state gained independence from the Ottoman Empire decades ago with the help of the then great powers of Britain, France and Russia.

Philip’s grandfather became George I at the age of 17 in 1863, when the Greek Parliament elected him king, and was testified on behalf of the similarly unpopular King Otto.

George I married Russian Olga Constantinople, a member of the Romanov dynasty, and had eight children with him. Of these, Philip’s father, Andrew, was seventh.

All of George and Olga’s offspring married European royalty and aristocrats, with the exception of one child who died in infancy. For Andrew, it was Princess Alice, the great-grandson of Queen Victoria in the United Kingdom.

“What was important at the time was that the royal family needed blue blood in their veins,” Hovbakke Soerensen said.

Like the King of Denmark, Victoria was a famous matchmaker and married her children to a European monarch. Some of her offspring are still reigning in Europe.

As a descendant of Christian IX and Victoria, Philip’s kinship extends to the European royal family.

The current monarchs Margrethe II of Denmark, Harald V of Norway, and Felipe VI of Spain are all descendants of Victoria and Christianity.

Felipe’s Greek-born mother, Honorary Queen Sophia, was Philip’s second niece. Queen Elizabeth’s late husband’s uncle was Sophia’s grandfather, Constantine I of Greece.

Sophia is the wife of Juan Carlos I, King of Spain from 1975 to 2014 and a distant relative of Queen Victoria.

In a telegram of condolences to Queen Elizabeth last week, Felipe and his wife, Leticia of Spain, began with a loving “Dear Aunt Liribet”.

“We are deeply saddened to hear that our dear uncle Philip died,” he continued.

In addition to being Philip’s second nephew, Sophia’s brother was Constantine, who was banished as the Greek king in the 1970s. He and Philip maintained a strong friendship, including acting as the father of each other’s family members.

Other sitting royalty related to Philip includes King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and King Philip of Belgium.

Philip’s family was forced into exile to save the life of his father, who was sentenced to death when he fled Greece when he was still a baby and was sentenced to death when he was involved as an officer in a failed Greek military operation against Turkey in Asia Minor. it was done. Philip’s uncle, the King, was forced to abdicate.

Philip has been married to Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom for over 70 years. He will be intervened on saturday The royal vault of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, far from the tombs of his father and ancestors in the Greek Tatoi Forest.


Jan M. Olsen of Copenhagen, Denmark and Aritz Parra of Madrid contributed to this report.


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