December 3, 1944 – Death of Prince Andrew of Greece
On December 3 1944, Prince Andrew of Greece passed away at the Hotel Metropole in Monte Carlo, Monaco, at the age of 62. He was survived by his estranged wife, and four of his five children.
Prince Andrew was born February 2 1882, in Athens, Greece, the 7th child of King George I of the Hellenes and Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinova of Russia. At the time of his birth, he was 4th in line to the Greek throne behind his three brothers. As a child, he was considered to be more ‘Greek’ than most of his siblings, refusing to speak anything but Greek with his parents, despite also speaking several other languages. His education was mostly in military schools and led to his joining the Greek forces at the age of 19.
Andrew was married in a civil service in Darmstadt on October 6 1903 (religious ceremonies followed the next two days in both the Lutheran and Greek Orthodox churches). His wife, Princess Alice of Battenberg, was the eldest daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine – later the Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven. The couple settled in Athens, and had five children:
– Margarita, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1905-1981)
– Theodora, Margravine of Baden (1906-1969)
– Cecilie, Hereditary Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine (1911-1937)
– Sophie, Princess Christoph of Hesse, later Princess Georg of Hanover (1914-2001)
– Philip, Prince of the United Kingdom, Duke of Edinburgh (1921-)
Prince Andrew military service was often interrupted by the political turmoil in Greece. In the early years, he resigned from the army following a coup d’état in 1909. He later returnedin 1912 and found in the Balkan Wars. Following the abdication of his brother, King Constantine I, in 1917, Andrew went into exile along with most of the Greek royal family. Upon Constantine’s return to the throne in 1920, Andrew was also reinstated in the Greek Army and saw service in the Greco-Turkish War. Following another coup d’état in 1922, Andrew was arrested and court-martialled. He was found guilty and faced possible death. Through the efforts of King George V of the United Kingdom, arrangements were made for Andrew to be spared and with his family, he went into exile again. They settled in Paris. Andrew would only return to Greece once, very briefly, in 1936. By this point, he did not have much contact with his family. His wife had suffered a breakdown and was institutionalized, his daughters were all married and settled in Germany, and his son was living and attending schools in England. When his daughter Cecilie was killed in a plane crash in 1937, he attended the funeral in Darmstadt and met his wife and son for the first time in 6 years.
When World War II began, it brought an end to the contact between Andrew and most of his family. He spent his remaining years on the French Riviera with his mistress and passed away on December 3 1944. He was initially buried at the Russian Orthodox church in Nice, and in 1946, his remains were reinterred in the royal cemetery at Tatoi Palace in Greece.
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