The only son of King Paul I and Queen Frederica, Constantine was overthrown by the country's generals in 1967 after just 9 years of rule. After staging a failed counter-coup a year later, the 28-year-old monarch fled to Italy and later Great Britain. When the junta itself was overthrown in 1974, Greece held a national vote on whether to restore the country's monarchy but only 30% of the public wanted Constantine to return and, that same year, he was officially stripped of his crown. Constantine suffered another blow in 1994, when the Greek legislature passed a law to expropriate his property and revoke his citizenship. To this day, he refuses to accept being told that he is not Greek.
After living in exile in London for nearly 30 years, Constantine was allowed to return to his homeland in 2004 for the Olympic games, although Greece still hasn't granted him permanent residency. He spends most of his time in England with his 5 children and 7 grandchildren and works as chairman of Round Square, a global organization of schools dedicated to cultural diversity and outdoor adventure. Constantine claims to receive more than 140,000 fan mail letters each year, and has his own website at FormerKingOfGreece.org.
Royal Factoid: Constantine won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1960 for yachting, becoming the first Greek to do so since 1912. He's the cousin of Great Britain's Prince Philip and godfather to Prince William. His sister, Sofia, is Queen of Spain.
"The 21st of April was the worst day of my life."
Constantine, on the 1967 coup d'état in which a group of Greek colonels seized power
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