Famous 20th Century Historical Personalities

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 1 Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II
91
Famous As: Queen of the United Kingdom
Birthdate: April 21, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mayfair, London, England

The Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II is the world's oldest living monarch and longest-reigning current monarch. The first child of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother , she ascended to the throne in 1952. Despite the press criticism of the royal family, she continues to be a popular figure in UK.

 2 Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria
49
Famous As: Queen of the United Kingdom (1837-1901)
Birthdate: May 24, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kensington Palace, London, England
Died: January 22, 1901

The Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for over six decades, Queen Victoria reigned for longer than any of her predecessors. Her rule witnessed the vast expansion of the British Empire and ushered in a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were celebrated with great pomp and show.

 3 Wilhelm II

Wilhelm II
35
Famous As: German Emperor and King of Prussia (1888-1918)
Birthdate: January 27, 1859
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: June 4, 1941

Wilhelm II reigned as the King of Prussia and German emperor from 1888 to 1918. He is credited with promoting scientific innovation and building a blue-water navy, which strengthened Germany’s position as a great power. However, he was also responsible for getting his country involved in World War I, which eventually brought an end to the Hohenzollern dynasty’s rule.

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 4 Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Lenin
24
Famous As: 1st & Founding head of government of Soviet Russia (1917-1924) and Soviet Union (1922-24)
Birthdate: April 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ulyanovsk, Russia
Died: January 21, 1924

Vladimir Lenin played a key role in the history of Russian politics by developing a political ideology called Leninism. During and after his lifetime, Lenin had a massive influence over international communist movement. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and significant personalities of the 20th century.

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 5 Nicholas II

Nicholas II
20
Famous As: Emperor of Russia (1894-1917)
Birthdate: May 18, 1868
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: July 17, 1918

Nicholas II reigned as the last Emperor of All Russia from 1894 until his abdication in 1917. His reign oversaw a series of reforms in Russia. These reforms included the introduction of literacy programs, civil liberties, and methods to modernize the empire's infrastructure. However, these reforms were eventually undermined by Nicholas' love for autocratic rule.

 6 George V

George V
47
Famous As: King of the United Kingdom (1910-36)
Birthdate: June 3, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 20, 1936

George V became the King of Great Britain and the British Dominions in 1910. During the World War I, he played an active role in supporting the troops. The rise of socialism, communism, fascism and the Indian independence movement was witnessed during his rule. His reign also saw the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons established by the Parliament.

 7 Hirohito

Hirohito
21
Famous As: Former Emperor of Japan
Birthdate: April 29, 1901
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan
Died: January 7, 1989
Hirohito, or Emperor Showa, the longest-reigning Japanese emperor, reigned from 1926 to 1989 and supported the Axis Powers during World War II. He also served in the Japanese military. He was not prosecuted for war crimes by the U.S. and played a major role in the post-war reconstruction of Japan.
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 8 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
43
Famous As: Shah of Iran (1941-79)
Birthdate: October 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: July 27, 1980

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi served as the last king of Iran from 1941 to 1979. During his reign, Iran witnessed rapid military and industrial modernization and several social and economic reforms. During his rule, Iran also enjoyed a spike in economic growth, surpassing France, England, and the US. However, the Iranian Revolution, which was unusual in many ways, overthrew the king.

 9 Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
4
Famous As: King and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia
Birthdate: December 31, 1935
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

 10 Akihito

Akihito
13
Famous As: 125th Emperor of Japan
Birthdate: December 23, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Akihito served as the 125th emperor of Japan after succeeding his father to the Chrysanthemum Throne. As emperor, he played a crucial role in inspiring people in 2011 when Japan was struck by two major disasters: Fukushima I nuclear crisis and Great East Japan Earthquake. Akihito abdicated the throne in 2019, becoming the first emperor to do so since 1817.

 11 Liliʻuokalani

Liliʻuokalani
5
Famous As: Queen of the Hawaiian Islands (1891-93)
Birthdate: September 2, 1838
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Died: November 11, 1917

 12 Haile Selassie

Haile Selassie
14
Famous As: Emperor of Ethiopia
Birthdate: July 23, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia
Died: August 27, 1975

Haile Selassie, served his country, Ethiopia, as its regent from 1916 to 1930 and as its emperor from 1930 to 1974. He introduced the first Ethiopian constitution, abolished slavery, chaired the Organisation of African Unity, and helped Ethiopia enter the UN. He inspired the Rastafari movement, too.

 13 Alexandra Feodorovna

Alexandra Feodorovna
7
Famous As: Empress consort of Russia (1894-1917), Saint
Birthdate: June 6, 1872
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Darmstadt, Germany
Died: July 17, 1918

Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Emperor Nicholas II, was the last Russian tsarina and reigned from 1894 to 1917. She suffered from hemophilia. Alexandra and her entire family were murdered by the Bolshevik revolutionaries. In 2000, the Russian Orthodox Church canonized her as Saint Alexandra the Passion Bearer.

 14 Alexandra of Denmark

Alexandra of Denmark
9
Famous As: Queen of the United Kingdom (1901-1910)
Birthdate: December 1, 1844
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 20, 1925
Alexandra of Denmark was the queen of the U.K. and the empress of India from 1901 to 1910, as the wife of King Edward VII. Her style of dressing inspired English fashion back then. She supported her son George V’s campaign against Germany, with the Allies, during World War I.

 15 Franz Joseph I of Austria

Franz Joseph I of Austria
10
Famous As: Emperor of Austria King of Hungary (1848-1916)
Birthdate: August 18, 1830
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: November 21, 1916

Franz Joseph I of Austria reigned as the Emperor of Austria from 1848 until his death in 1916. He also served as the King of Hungary, Bohemia, and Croatia and monarch of other states of Austria-Hungary. During his reign, Austria-Hungary decided to wage war against the Kingdom of Serbia, which eventually resulted in the First World War.

 16 Naruhito

Naruhito
9
Famous As: Emperor of Japan
Birthdate: February 23, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tokyo Imperial Palace, Tokyo

Naruhito, the 126th emperor of Japan and the only living monarch to use the title “Emperor,” ascended the throne after his father Akihito’s abdication in 2019. Devoted to efforts of water conservation, Naruhito has also been part of the International Olympic Committee. He plays both the violin and the viola.

 17 Margrethe II of Denmark

Margrethe II of Denmark
9
Famous As: Queen of Denmark
Birthdate: April 16, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Margrethe II, the reigning queen of Denmark, ascended to the throne after the death of her father, King Frederick IX, becoming the first female monarch of her country since Margrethe I. At 13, she was named her father’s heir through a constitutional amendment allowing daughters to inherit the Danish throne.

 18 Queen Rania of Jordan

Queen Rania of Jordan
9
Famous As: Queen consort of Jordan.
Birthdate: August 31, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kuwait City

Queen Rania of Jordan is the current queen consort of Jordan. Since her marriage to Abdullah II of Jordan, Rania has focused on improving education and health in Jordan. In 2005, Queen Rania joined hands with the Ministry of Education to launch the Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education, an annual teachers’ award.

 19 Felipe VI of Spain

Felipe VI of Spain
6
Famous As: King of Spain (Since 2014)
Birthdate: January 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain

Felipe VI of Spain is the current King of Spain, reigning since 2014. He ascended the throne upon the abdication of his father, Juan Carlos I. His mother is Queen Sofía. As the king, he is head of state and commander-in-chief of the Spanish Armed Forces as well. He also serves as the honorary president of several associations and foundations. 

 20 Harald V of Norway

Harald V of Norway
14
Famous As: King of Norway
Birthdate: February 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Skaugum, Norway

Harald V of Norway ascended the throne after the demise of his father, King Olav V. A sports enthusiast, he represented Norway in sailing at three Olympic Games. He also became a patron of World Sailing. The King is an admiral, the Supreme Commander of the Norwegian Armed Forces and a four-star general.

 21 Emperor Meiji

Emperor Meiji
7
Famous As: Emperor of Japan (1867-1912)
Birthdate: November 3, 1852
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan
Died: July 30, 1912

Emperor Meiji of Japan presided over the all-round revolutionary transformation of his empire which emerged as a strong force on the global scene during his reign. His policies and actions led to Japan’s rapid growth and ended its isolation from the rest of the world. One of the noted changes during rule was the abolition of special privileges of samurais.

 22 King Hussein of Jordan

King Hussein of Jordan
9
Famous As: King of Jordan (1952-99)
Birthdate: November 14, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Amman, Jordan
Died: February 7, 1999

King Hussein of Jordan reigned as the king of Jordan from 1952 to 1999. As a royal member of the House of Hashim, Hussein was a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad. At the time of Hussein's accession, Jordan was a young nation with few natural resources. However, by the end of his reign, Jordan had become a stable, modern state.

 23 King Willem-Alexander

King Willem-Alexander
9
Famous As: King of the Netherlands
Birthdate: April 27, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands
Willem-Alexander, son of Beatrix of the Netherlands and German-born diplomat Claus van Amsberg, took over as the king of the Netherlands after his mother’s abdication. He has served the Royal Netherlands Navy and been a member of the International Olympic Committee. His interests include sports and water management.

 24 Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy

Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy
8
Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: December 25, 1936
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Belgrave Square, England

 25 George I of Greece

George I of Greece
9
Famous As: King of Greece (1863-1916)
Birthdate: December 24, 1845
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: March 18, 1913

George I of Greece reigned as the king of Greece from 1863 until his murder in 1913. During his reign of nearly 50 years, which is the longest in the history of modern Greece, George helped expand Greece's territory significantly. During his reign, Greece also became increasingly prosperous and attained a popular place on the European stage.

 26 Farah Pahlavi

Farah Pahlavi
11
Famous As: Widow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Birthdate: October 14, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Farah Pahlavi was the Shahbanu of Iran from 1961 to 1979, as the wife of Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Though she was not allowed to hold a political role, she worked for many charities and helped found Iran's first American-style university. She has continued her involvement in charity work even after her husband’s death in 1980. 

 27 Beatrix of the Netherlands

Beatrix of the Netherlands
6
Famous As: Queen of the Netherlands (1980-2013)
Birthdate: January 31, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Soestdijk Palace, Baarn, Netherlands

Beatrix of the Netherlands reigned as Queen of the Netherlands for 33 years. At the time of her abdication in favor of her son, she was the oldest-reigning monarch in the history of the monarchy of the Netherlands. As the queen, Beatrix had a huge impact on the Dutch people and continues to serve as a patron of several organizations.

 28 Puyi

Puyi
15
Famous As: Emperor of China (1908-12)
Birthdate: February 7, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: October 17, 1967

Puyi served as the final emperor of China's last imperial dynasty, The Qing dynasty. After Manchuria was invaded by Japan, Puyi became a puppet at the hands of the Japanese and was chosen as the emperor of the puppet state of Manchukuo. He then signed many edicts, given to him by the Japanese, including the one that made slavery legal.

 29 Olav V of Norway

Olav V of Norway
7
Famous As: King
Birthdate: July 2, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sandringham, Norfolk, England
Died: January 17, 1991

Olav V of Norway served as the king of Norway from 1957 to 1991. Olav became heir apparent to the throne in 1905 when his father was crowned king of Norway. His leadership skills during World War II earned him the position of Norwegian Chief of Defence in 1944. Nicknamed The People's King, Olav was popular for his down-to-earth style.

 30 Charles I of Austria

Charles I of Austria
7
Famous As: Emperor of Austria (1916-18)
Birthdate: August 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Persenbeug-Gottsdorf, Austria
Died: April 1, 1922

Charles I of Austria reigned from 1916 to 1918 as the last emperor of Austria. He was the last king of Croatia, Bohemia, Hungary, and the last monarch from the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. Charles is remembered for making unsuccessful attempts to end Austria-Hungary's World War I campaign. He also tried to save the Austro-Hungarian Empire from disintegration but was unsuccessful.

 31 Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark

Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
5
Famous As: Princess
Birthdate: February 5, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hobart, Australia

Mary Elizabeth Donaldson is the Crown Princess of Denmark and the Countess of Monpezat, as the wife of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark. She previously worked as a consultant for Microsoft and had met Prince Frederik at a Sydney pub when he in Australia for the 2000 Summer Olympics.

 32 Bhumibol Adulyadej

Bhumibol Adulyadej
12
Famous As: King of Thailand (1946-2016)
Birthdate: December 5, 1927
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 13, 2016

Bhumibol Adulyadej of the Chakri dynasty reigned as the ninth monarch of Thailand. Reigning from 1946 until his death in 2016, Adulyadej is the second-longest reigning monarch in the history. During his reign, Bhumibol Adulyadej retained enormous constitutional powers and was extremely popular among his subjects, with some even seeing him as close to divine.

 33 Faisal of Saudi Arabia

Faisal of Saudi Arabia
8
Famous As: King of Saudi Arabia (1964-75)
Birthdate: April 9, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Died: March 25, 1975

Faisal of Saudi Arabia was King of Saudi Arabia from 1964 to 1975. He was the son of King Abdulaziz and his wife, Tarfa. During his father’s reign, he was given numerous responsibilities of political significance. After coming to power, he implemented a series of modern reforms and issued a decree for the total abolition of slavery. 

 34 Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
8
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: May 6, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Qasr Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Died: November 2, 2004

 35 Hassanal Bolkiah

Hassanal Bolkiah
10
Famous As: Sultan of Brunei (Since 1967)
Birthdate: July 15, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Hassanal Bolkiah is the prime minister and Sultan of Brunei. The eldest son of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III, Bolkiah is the world's second longest-tenured living monarch, after Queen Elizabeth II. He has chaired APEC and ASEAN summits. He was the world’s richest person in 1997, surpassing Bill Gates.

 36 Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark

Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark
5
Famous As: Prince of Denmark
Birthdate: May 26, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark

Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark is the first in order of succession to the Danish throne. Frederik has various interests that range from climate change to sports. He often encourages the people of Denmark to stay active and healthy. He has also established the Crown Prince Frederik's Foundation, which aims to provide financial support to students and encourage scientific expeditions.

 37 Abdullah II of Jordan

Abdullah II of Jordan
12
Famous As: King of Jordan
Birthdate: January 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Amman, Jordan

The King of Jordan since 7 February 1999, Abdullah II of Jordan is a member of the Hashemite dynasty. He is a 41st-generation direct descendant of Muhammad and the son of King Hussein of Jordan and his second wife, Princess Muna. Upon assuming the throne, he liberalized the economy and implemented numerous reforms. He is a popular monarch.

 38 Emperor Taishō

Emperor Taishō
7
Famous As: Emperor of Japan (1912-26)
Birthdate: August 31, 1879
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japann
Died: December 25, 1926

Emperor Taishō was the 123rd Emperor of Japan. He was the son of  Emperor Meiji and Yanagihara Naruko, a concubine. As the eldest living son of the emperor, he was formally named the crown prince in 1888. Upon the death of his father in 1912, he ascended the throne. A sickly man with disabilities, he died at 47.

 39 Rezā Shāh

Rezā Shāh
4
Famous As: Shah of Iran (1925-41)
Birthdate: March 15, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alasht, Iran
Died: July 26, 1944

Rezā Shāh was a military colonel who founded the Pahlavi dynasty and reigned as the Shah of Iran from December 1925 to September 1941. He was also the prime minister of Iran from October 1923 to November 1925. His tenure saw the introduction of many social, economic, and political reforms, and he is regarded as the founder of modern Iran. 

 40 Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
10
Famous As: 5th King of Bhutan
Birthdate: February 21, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dechencholing Palace, Thimphu, Bhutan

Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is Druk Gyalpo or "Dragon King" of the Kingdom of Bhutan. He is the son of Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who abdicated the throne in his favor in 2006. As the king, he began overseeing the democratization of Bhutan and has implemented several reforms to improve the standard of living in his country. 

 41 Michael of Romania

Michael of Romania
7
Famous As: King
Birthdate: October 25, 1921
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Peleș Castle, Sinaia, Romania
Died: December 5, 2017

 42 Mohammed VI of Morocco

Mohammed VI of Morocco
7
Famous As: King of Morocco (Since 1999)
Birthdate: August 21, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Rabat, Morocco

Mohammed VI of Morocco is the present King of Morocco. He ascended to the throne in 1999. His father was King Hassan II. Hailing from the Alaouite dynasty, Mohammed VI well-educated man with a Ph.D. in law with distinction. It is alleged that corruption is rampant in his court, and he is criticized for his extravagant lifestyle.  

 43 George VI

George VI
35
Famous As: King of the United Kingdom (1936-52)
Birthdate: December 14, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sandringham, Norfolk, England
Died: February 6, 1952
The last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth, King George VI was the King of the United Kingdom for fifteen years. He served in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force before reluctantly inheriting the throne and becoming a symbol of courage during WWII. His determination also helped him in his struggle with stammering.

 44 Ibn Saud

Ibn Saud
11
Famous As: King of Saudi Arabia (1932-53)
Birthdate: January 15, 1875
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Died: November 9, 1953

Ibn Saud, or King Abdulaziz, was the founder and first monarch of Saudi Arabia. He oversaw the discovery of petroleum and the subsequent oil production in his country. He annexed the kingdoms of central and northern Arabia and ruled for over 20 years. He sired countless children, including 45 sons.

 45 Constantine I

Constantine I
5
Famous As: King of Greece (1913-1917)
Birthdate: August 2, 1868
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: January 11, 1923
Constantine I reigned as the king of Greece from 1913 to 1917 and again from 1920 to 1922. He led the Greek army during the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913. The National Schism was a result of his disagreement with Eleftherios Venizelos on whether Greece should join World War I.

 46 Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
5
Famous As: Queen
Birthdate: May 17, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina

The queen consort of the Netherlands, Queen Máxima is the daughter of Argentine politician Jorge Zorreguieta. She initially worked in the sales departments of HDFC and Deutsche Bank. She apparently didn’t know she was meeting a prince when she met her husband, King Willem-Alexander, at the Seville Spring Fair.

 47 Leopold II of Belgium

Leopold II of Belgium
10
Famous As: King of the Belgians (1865-1909)
Birthdate: April 9, 1835
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 17, 1909

Leopold II of Belgium reigned over Belgium as its second king from 1865 to 1909. He also owned the Independent State of the Congo from 1885 to 1908. Congolese people were subjected to torture and murder under Leopold's administration; the term crimes against humanity was coined by George Washington Williams in 1890 to describe the atrocities of Leopold's administration.

 48 Christian IX of Denmark

Christian IX of Denmark
5
Famous As: King
Birthdate: April 8, 1818
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gottorf Castle, Schleswig, Germany
Died: January 29, 1906

Christian IX of Denmark was King of Denmark from 1863 to 1906, having claimed the throne following the death of King Frederick VII. During his early reign, the Danish saw defeat in the Second Schleswig War and lost several duchies. Recovering from a tumultuous start, he reigned over his nation for several years and was respected by his people.

 49 Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
18
Famous As: Former King of Saudi Arabia
Birthdate: August 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Riyadh, Sultanate of Nejd (now Saudi Arabia)
Died: January 23, 2015
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, or Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, was the king of Saudi Arabia and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques from 2005 to 2015. One of King Abdulaziz’s sons, he also led the Saudi Arabian National Guard. He was once the world’s third-wealthiest head of state.

 50 Constantine II of Greece

Constantine II of Greece
7
Famous As: King
Birthdate: June 2, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Psychiko, Greece

Constantine II of Greece reigned as the King of the Hellenes from 1964 until 1973 when the Greek monarchy was abolished. His reign culminated in the Greek junta and the former King of Greece was forced into exile when the countercoup against the junta failed. Constantine is also a former sailor who won an Olympic gold in the 1960 Olympics.