Birthday: February 2, 1882
Died At Age: 62
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Born in: Old Royal Palace, Athens, Greece
Famous as: Son of King of Greece and Denmark, King George I
Emperors & Kings
Spouse/Ex-: Princess Alice of Battenberg
father: George I of Greece
mother: Olga Constantinovna of Russia
children: Duke of Edinburgh, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Hesse Sophie, Margarita (Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg) Theodora, Margravine of Baden Cecilie, Princess George of Hanover Prince Philip
Died on: December 3, 1944
place of death: Metropole Hotel, Monte Carlo, Monaco
City: Athens, Greece
Who was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark?
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark was born in Athens, Greece, as the fourth son and seventh overall child of the King of Greece and Denmark, King George I. His mother was a Russian royal, Olga Constantinovna. Prince Andrew was much lower in the line of succession for the royal throne and he started his career with a position in the Greek army and saw action during the Balkan wars at the age of 30. The uprising caused much harm to Greece and his father, King George died in 1913. After the death of his father, his elder brother Constantine became the king. But Greece’s stand in the World War I was heavily criticized by the local public and politicians, which saw the possible dangers to the lives of royal family, resulting into their exile from Greece. Somehow, he came back, but the political turmoil forced him on another exile in 1922, and he remained in France for the remainder of his life. His marriage with Princess Alice of Battenberg was also quite controversial. Andrew died in 1944 in Monte Carlo, separated from his entire family.
Childhood & Early Life
Prince Andrew was born in the royal palace in Athens, in the family of Greek royals, King George I and Queen Olga on February 2, 1882. He was the fourth in line to be the heir to the throne and was the seventh overall child in the family, and so he was never quite taken seriously by the family.
He took his lessons in the European languages early in his life and by the time he was a teenager, he could speak German, Danish, French and Russian, along with his mother tongue, Greek. He conversed with his family members in Greek only and showed signs of patriotism from early teenage, and as he grew up, he aspired to serve the royal army.
He did his early schooling from Athens, and while most of his siblings were mostly interested in other European history, Andrew concentrated his attention in studying Greek history. He was good in studies and showed a sharp intellect and presence of mind. Andrew suffered from short-sightedness as a kid, and the condition haunted him for most of his life, but it never quite came in the way of his achievements.
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Most of Prince Andrew’s education took place in the military schools and he had his focus fixed on being a part of it and at the tender age of 19, he joined the Greek armed forces. Ever since the prince joined the military, there wasn’t a time when the political situation in the country was smooth and stable. It was constantly plagued with the ups and downs and the prince had to resign from the army services in 1909, following an uprising against the royal family, of which Andrew was a part of.
But his presence was missed during the Balkan wars in 1912, and as a result Prince Andrew was reinstated into the army, which further saw him receiving honours as a military man for his bravery. By then, his father had died and his elder brother, King Constantine was sitting on the throne, and he was considered as a very weak king, which led to his abdication in the First World War in 1917. This weird turn of events harmed Andrew and his family, and they were forced into exile.
The political storm stabilized around 1920 and Constantine was named the King once again, which led to about a couple of years of peace for the royal family. In the Greco-Turkish war, Andrew fought bravely for his country, but somehow, Greek was on the verge of another political crisis, and this time it was serious. Greece had lost war in Asia Minor in 1922 and the entire royal Greek family faced court-martial and Prince Andrew felt a danger to his and his family’s life. But the good relations he shared with King George V of England had him fix an escapade and he left Greek with his family and settled down in the outskirts of Paris, where he spent most of his remaining life.
Life in Exile & Later Years
Prince Andrew served his time in the Greek army with honesty, but his exile was getting questioned by the international community and his patriotism was questioned extensively so much so that he had to write a book ‘Towards Disaster’ in 1930. The book gave honest accounts of his experiences in the army and redeemed his position to some degree but his personal life was at its worst in the 30’s. He became a loner; his daughters were married off to German royalties, a country which was being considered an enemy by most of the Europe. His wife, Princess Alice was institutionalized due to mental disorders, which dragged Prince Andrew into depression.
To make the matters worse, there were no signs of situation improving in Greece and he knew that his exile would be extended for a very long time to come. Andrew lived all alone in French Riviera in a small apartment. He missed his wife, but his married life was practically over, and then there were rumours of him being bisexual, and the fact that his wife’s cause for mental instability was due to lack of pleasure from sexual intercourse, it harmed his married life even more.
But despite all that, there came a chance of a better life when his exile was lifted in 1936 and he moved briefly to Greece. Most of the royal family’s assets were given back to them, and a further family reconciliation in 1937 happened when his daughter Cecile and her entire family died in a plane crash. The funeral took place in Darmstadt and most of his family attended the funeral. He talked with his wife, his son and his sisters, and it seemed like there was a chance of some sort of happy ending. But too much harm was already done, and Prince Andrew returned to his life back in France.
But deep down, the chances of a happy reunion were still alive and then, the Second World War happened. His family was divided into two as his son Philip was fighting for the British, while his daughters were married into the royal German families, which led to a conflict within the family. His wife had returned to Greece, his home country which Andrew had come to hate by then. He led a life of ignorance, depression, loneliness, before finally dying, wishing to see his family together one last time. On 3rd December 1944, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark dragged his last breathe at the age of 62 in Monte Carlo.
Prince Andrew’s personal life was traumatic at its very best. He met and married Princess Alice of Battenberg in early 1900s and the couple lived together in harmony for the first few years and Alice gave birth to four daughters - Princess Margarita, Princess Theodora, Princess Cecilie and Princess Sophie. Years later in 1921, Alice gave birth to their son Philip.
Prince Andrew has been mentioned as a bi-sexual by many sources and that is said to be one of the reasons for the troubles in his marriage which haunted him since late 20s to the rest of his life. He loved and cared for his entire family, but never quite managed to see them while he was on his deathbed.