Author Topic: Danish Election to throne of Greece  (Read 7907 times)

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Offline DOMOVOII

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Danish Election to throne of Greece
« on: January 08, 2005, 03:19:57 PM »
Can someone please clarify the circumstances behind the election of George I of Greece from the reigning house of Denmark.

I gather it was an "uncertain" throne, and can recall a cartoon in an old Punch, where two Greek bandits waited in ambush on a mountain pass..."Shh!!, the next man who comes this way, ....we'll make HIM King!!"

Was is that he was suitable enough solely through his bloodline? Or was there a past family connection?

It was so much easier with fairy tales; King = Dad Queen = Mum, Princes = Sons, Princesses = Daughters!
A stand can be taken against an army of men, but no stand can be made against an invasion of an idea          V Hugo

Offline Martyn

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2005, 03:30:06 PM »
Prince William Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, second son of King Christian IX of Denmark, was nominated for the Greek throne by Britain in 1862 and was recognised as King George of the Hellenes by the Powers the following year.
If I recall correctly the previous incumbent had been a Wittelsbach, King Otto, son of Ludwig I of Bavaria.  At any rate he was 'invited' to quit Greece and returned to Bavaria with his unpopular queen and died there in 1867, having refused to recognise the validity of George's accession to the Greek throne.
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Offline Angie_H

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2005, 04:06:52 PM »
Alfred Duke of Edinburgh was in consideration at one time wasn't he?

Offline Martyn

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2005, 11:51:09 AM »
Seventeen is terribly young to be elected monarch of a sovereign state.  I wonder if they thought that, in his youth, he would be easy to manipulate?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Martyn

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2005, 11:52:11 AM »
Love the story about the sardine sandwiches and the newspaper wrapping - surely it must be apocryphal?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Sarah1872

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2005, 02:49:51 PM »
The reason why Alfred, did not take the throne was because, the British had said that they would keep their hands of Greece.
George (Then Prince William Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, was first seen as a potentional 'King of Denamrk' at arounf the time of his sisters wedding (Alexandra to the Princess of Wales) On of the Reason's for this was becasue there was 'no strings attached' in a sense.

Here is some information I found on the matter

"The vacant Greek crown was then offered to Queen Victoria's second son Alfred, Duke of Edimburgh, but the British government refused since there was an international agreement that established that no member of the British Royal family was elegible for the Greek throne. Neveertheless, England was deeply interested in Greece since she wanted to inccrease her infuence in the Aegean. If Prince Alfred could not be king, there were other candidates. and the elected was the second son of Prince Christian of Schleswig Holstein Sonderburg Glucksburg, the seventeen-year-old  Prince William of Denmark. The Greeks accepted the choice. A King suportted by England meant the return of the Ionian Islands, now in British hands. Besides, Prince William was closely related to the British Royal family since his siser Alexandra had just married the Prince of Wales.  
 
On March 30, 1863, the Greek National Assembly proclaimed William as King George I of the Hellenes. William,a frank and cheerful young man, who loved joking, was happy about acceptng the Greek crown, but not his father, Prince Christian, nor his mother, Princess Luise, who apealed toher daughter the Princess of Wales to influence the British government against the match and wrote Queen Victoria, looking for her support; but everything was unuseful against William becoming King of the Hellenes. Even King Frederik VII of Denmark supported the idea. Christian had to accept but he established some conditions: the three Great Powers must guaranteee his son 25,000 pounds a year in case of being dethroned and the Ionian Islands should be returned to Greece by England.On June 6, 1863, Prince William formally accepted the Greek crown.
  In October that same year, the young King George arrived in Greece. He soon realised he had received one of the poorest, bad organized and unstable countries in Europe. The Royal Palace, where he would live, was in a deplorable condition, having been victim of vandalism since King Otto's departure. The Danish Prince faced the difficulties of his new possition with great aplomb, and he identified himself with his new country as much as posssible. He quicly lernt the Greek language and he visited every part of the country, even by mule or on foot. He remained Protestant but he paid a great respect to the Greek orthodox Church. King George forced his Greek ministers to frame a new constitution which resulted very liberal for those days. Altough he could appoint and dismiss ministers as well as to disolve the assembly, he involved himself as little as possible in internal  politics. Most of the times, he left the politicians to resolv problems, interfiring only in time of crisis. He didn't favpour any party.
  After four years of reigning, King George began to think in marriage in order to establish a dynasty. He tought Russia would provide him of a suitable wife since his future children would have to be Orthodox and only in Russia he could find an Orthodox princess. And so he did. In October, 1867 King George of the Hellenes married in the Winter Palace to the fifteen-year-old daughter of Grand Duke Constantine (Alexander II's younger brother), Grand Duchess Olga. Nine months later, the new Queen of Greece  geve birth to her first son. He was named Consantine and soon was followed by six more children (4 boys and 2 girls), who grew up lovingly and naturally. ing George bought for his family a 40,000 acre property, fifteen miles north of Athens, which was named Tatoi. George gave tatoi a danish character; more trees were planted, the roads were fixed, Danish agricultural methods were introduced, barns and stables were built and Danish and Swiss cows were imported, and soon Tatoi had become a complete Danish farm.
  Altough King George was a Dane in private, he was a Greek in public life. he had a compromise with the "Great Hellenic Dream", the return to Greece of Crete, Thessaly, Espirus, and most of all, Constantinople, then in Turkish hands."

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Sarah1872 »

Offline Sarah1872

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2005, 02:56:51 PM »
Quote
Love the story about the sardine sandwiches and the newspaper wrapping - surely it must be apocryphal?


Yes, I love that story too Martyn ! I remember (I think it was Prince Micheal of Kent) teeling the story, about George, having his sandwiches wrapped in newspaper, then one day he went to go eat his sandwiches and saw one on of them that he had been elected King of Greece ! -- Now, that doesn't happen everyday  ;)

Offline DOMOVOII

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2005, 03:16:02 PM »
Thats the great thing about this board, you ask a question, that for some reason, ...it somehow passed you by, and then, this wealth of knowledge is shared; and put across so well.

It's amazing , thank you all.

Help....Ludwig I built Neuschwanstein right?  The "challenged" Ludwig I.... Otto's great aunt, she swallowed a glass piano? Those Bavarians...?

As for the newspaper story, what's a valet for if not to keep "abreast" of these things? I'm assuming that Prince William Christian had a Gentleman Valet/batman/Butler?

No whispers, below stairs ?  

I wonder which he found more appetising, the sardine sandwich, or the thought of his own kingdom? Beats a car, for your 18th any day
A stand can be taken against an army of men, but no stand can be made against an invasion of an idea          V Hugo

Offline Martyn

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2005, 08:05:20 AM »
Quote
Thats the great thing about this board, you ask a question, that for some reason, ...it somehow passed you by, and then, this wealth of knowledge is shared; and put across so well.

It's amazing , thank you all.

Help....Ludwig I built Neuschwanstein right?  The "challenged" Ludwig I.... Otto's great aunt, she swallowed a glass piano? Those Bavarians...?

As for the newspaper story, what's a valet for if not to keep "abreast" of these things? I'm assuming that Prince William Christian had a Gentleman Valet/batman/Butler?

No whispers, below stairs ?  

I wonder which he found more appetising, the sardine sandwich, or the thought of his own kingdom? Beats a car, for your 18th any day


You are absolutely right.  You ask a question and someone comes along and answers it to your heart's delight.  Bliss.
It was Ludwig II who built Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof, marvels of architectural wonder and hugely expensive.  A member of the 'eccentric' Wittelsbach family, his brother, who succeeded after Ludwig's untimely death was certifiably insane and Bavaria was perforce ruled by a regent for many years.  Who was it who swallowed the glass piano?  Nanny_Orchard told me that tale but I forgot to ask for detail...............
Who knows about the valet, after all the girls had to make their own dresses and shared bedrooms.  What's the point of being a princess if Buttericks is the best that can be hoped for?  I wouldn't fancy having to embroider my own court train, would you?
Maybe if he had known what he was in for, he might just have stuck with the phaeton or curricle (or whatever it was that rich boys wrere given as a car in the 19th century).  Wasn't Waldemar offered a kingdom as well and sensibly turned it down?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline DOMOVOII

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2005, 10:59:40 AM »
I am sorry but I don't know the name of the great aunt, the bushels of german princes/esses and grand dukes etc, meld into a swirling miasma for me...anyways it turns out I was barking up the wrong tree altogether... As you rightly point out I was thinking of another "challenged" Ludwig!

Back to the thread....
A stand can be taken against an army of men, but no stand can be made against an invasion of an idea          V Hugo

Offline Martyn

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2005, 11:13:15 AM »
Off topic I know, but the other Ludwig came a cropper over Lola Montes, did he not?  Those Wittelsbachs, so colourful!
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

bluetoria

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2005, 11:29:56 AM »
There's a really good book about Lola Montez...I think it's by  ?? Seymour.

Offline kmerov

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2005, 12:48:49 PM »
Prince Waldemar was offered the throne of Bulgaria, but declined.
His wife, Marie of Orleans did not want to leave Denmark and go to Bulgaria.
Altso Waldemar knew, that being king of Bulgaria eventually would bring him into conflict with his brother, King George I..

Offline Martyn

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2005, 07:42:59 AM »
Quote
There's a really good book about Lola Montez...I think it's by  ?? Seymour.


I think that I have that book somewhere.  Thanks Bluetoria.
The throne of Bulgaria - a poisoned chalice if ever there was one.  Marie was a very astute woman and who can blame her for preferring the comfort and civilisation of Denmark to the wilds of Bulgaria, with its turbulent past and inhabitants?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline WillC

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Re: Danish Election to throne of Greece
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2005, 06:16:08 AM »
Valdemar had also been offered the newly created throne of Norway in  1905. This he also refused. His nephew Prince Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar xel of Denmark was to become King Haakon VII of Norway in 1905.

Marie d'Orleans was the only female member of the Danish Royal Family to have a tattoo. She had an anchor on her left shoulder, recognising her husband's life in the navy. She could also ride a bull side-saddle, as was correct for a princess.

Moving across to Bulgaria, as a sideline. It has given the world of Monarchy the only case of a deposed king, Tsar Simeon II, being elected Prime Minister of the same country 50 years later.