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The Last Princesses of Orthodox Europe: What Happened to the Girls of Deposed Dynasties
The Last Princesses of Orthodox Europe: What Happened to the Girls of Deposed Dynasties

Until recently, almost every country in Europe had its own ruling dynasty. But the twentieth century was merciless towards monarchies, and all traditionally Orthodox countries now live without kings. Princesses, once born to become queens in other states, ended up with a different fate.

Greece: cousins ​​of Prince Philip

Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, is a representative of the Greek dynasty of Glucksburgs. Strictly speaking, and this can be seen from the name of the dynasty, it was once founded by a Danish prince. But he was elected to the Greek throne by the people's assembly, that is, by the will of the Greek people. One of the sons of the Danish prince, who was born already in Greece, was named Andrew, he was baptized in Orthodoxy. Philip is the son of this Andrew. To marry Elizabeth, he had to leave the Orthodox faith and go to the Anglican Church.

The dynasty ruled Greece for exactly 110 years, from 1863 to 1973, and Constantine II became the last king to be removed from the throne by a special referendum. Accordingly, the last Greek princesses were his daughters - Alexia and Theodora. The first was born in 1965 on the island of Corfu, the second in 1983 in London, since her family had already left Greece.

For some time after birth, before her brother appeared, Alexia was considered the heiress to the throne, but this hardly affected her personality - after all, her brother appeared very soon. At the age of eight, Alexia had to leave the country with her parents. She attended school in Rome, the capital of Italy, and went to a Greek college in London, and after that she earned a bachelor's degree in history from the institute.

In the nineties, Alexia moved to Barcelona, ​​Spain, where she became a teacher in a class for children with special needs. In Spain, she met the architect Carlos Javier Morales Quintana, married him and gave birth to three daughters and one son in zero. In 2021, the happy family was still living in Carlos' home in the Canary Islands.

Theodora graduated from high school in England, went to college in Australia and received her BA in theater arts from a university in the United States. Since 2009, she has been acting in films under the name Theodora Gris, that is, Theodora Greece. In 2020, she was supposed to marry an American lawyer of Indian descent, but due to the pandemic, the wedding had to be postponed.

Princess Alexia in her mother's arms and arm in arm with her husband

Romania: three unhappy marriages

Since 1881, the royal dynasty of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen ruled in Romania, and Prince Charles, crowned under the name Karol, became its first king. Under him, Romania became completely independent from the Ottoman Empire. In total, five kings ruled in Romania, the last was Mihai I. He ascended the throne during the Second World War and his power was nominal - in fact, he was subordinate to Prime Minister Antonescu, an active ally of Hitler.

Only when the Soviet troops approached close enough, the young king managed, relying on the anti-fascist underground, to arrest Antonescu and his people and declare war on Germany. As a result, at the end of the war, the Romanian army fought side by side with the Soviet in Austria and Germany. The accession of Romania to the USSR in the war was one of the important turning points and significantly brought the defeat of Hitler closer, therefore Mihai I was awarded the Soviet Order of Victory.

However, then he was given to understand that if he did not abdicate, a coup would be staged in Romania with unpredictable consequences for the young king. In the forty-seventh year, King Mihai became a citizen of Mihai and, out of harm's way, emigrated with his family to Switzerland. Already in exile, he married and had children. Five daughters were born after the abdication of Mihai, so that the last Romanian princesses are not they, but his aunts - Ileana, Elizabeth and Maria.

Elizabeth of Romania

Elizabeth was born in 1894, and when the First World War began, she was twenty years old. Together with her sister Maria, she made every effort to open a hospital for the wounded right in the palace, where Romanian, Serbian and Russian soldiers were treated, and she herself also worked there under the shelling of zeppelin. For this, in 1916, the Russian tsar awarded Elizabeth and Maria the fourth degree St. George medals.

After the war, Elizabeth married the Greek Crown Prince George, a cousin of Prince Philip. This marriage was unhappy and ended in divorce. The prince became the Greek king, and Elizabeth lived until the overthrow of her dynasty in Romania, constantly having romances with one or the other. She ended her life in Cannes, France.

Photos of Mary of Romania

Everyone adored Maria from a young age. She was beautiful, kind, sweet, smart, spoke many languages ​​and dashingly drove cars long before it became popular among girls. In addition, she was engaged in painting and sculpture. She was born in 1900, so at the time of being awarded the Russian medal she was only sixteen.

After the war, she married Alexander Karageorgievich, who later became the first king of Yugoslavia (and left a memory of himself as a dictator). They had three sons. In the thirty-fourth year, Mary's husband was killed, and she became regent under her eldest son Peter. After World War II, Yugoslavia became a republic. The Karageorgievichs lost their crown and the chances of returning home one day - with the outbreak of the war, they were evacuated to Britain. Maria died in London in 1961. In 2013, her remains were transported to Serbia.

Princess Ilyana in folk costume

Ileana, or Ilyana, was born in 1909. When she was little, everyone was sure that she would become the wife of the Russian Tsarevich Alexei. This was not destined to come true. After the war, Ilyana was the organizer and leader of the Romanian Maiden Movement. She also loved to sail on a yacht and was a real sailor. In 1931, brother-king Karol II, father of Mihai I, almost forcibly married her to Archduke Anton of Austria, and after the wedding demanded that the young go to Austria. Ilyana had to give up everything.

After the Anschluss, Anton was drafted into the Luftwaffe, and Ilyana left for Romania and organized a hospital for the wounded Romanian soldiers. They were reunited only at the very end of the war. Together with Mihai, Ilyana and Anton left for Switzerland, and from there - to Argentina, where Anton would not be reproached for serving in the Third Reich. In the fifties, Ilyana divorced her husband and began to live in the United States with her children. She married a doctor of Romanian descent. They did not live long - Ilyana left for a nun. She died in the early nineties. She and Anton had six children, four of them are girls.

Ilyana with all her children from Archduke Anton

Bulgaria: a girl from a too short dynasty

In 1908, the Bulgarian prince Ferdinand of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha dynasty became king. The dynasty he founded consisted of exactly three ruling monarchs: himself, the son of Boris and the grandson of Simeon. Moreover, Simeon ascended the throne in 1943, when he was six years old - instead of him, of course, the regency council ruled. When Simeon was nine, the monarchy in Bulgaria was abolished, and his family took him first to Egypt, and from there to Spain. Together with him went to Spain and the elder sister, Maria Luiza, the last Bulgarian princess. She was thirteen years old at the time of the overthrow of the monarchy.

Maria Louise was baptized in Orthodoxy, so she could not get married when she wanted to marry Karl Vladimir, Prince of Leiningen, a Lutheran. They met in Madrid, and they got married in Bavaria - at a civil ceremony. The Leiningen princes were considered one of the richest nobles in Germany. But Karl Vladimir and Maria Louise decided not to stay in Germany or Spain, but to move to Canada and open their own business there.

Little Maria Louise with her brother Simeon

One by one, they had two sons. Alas, they did not strengthen the marriage. Probably due to the difficulties associated with the move, the relationship between Karl and Maria Louise gradually became hostile. They divorced, and the last Bulgarian princess married a Pole living in Canada, Bronislav Chrobok. Together they left for the United States, taking the sons of Prince Leiningen there. In a new marriage, Maria Luisa gave birth to a daughter and a son and devoted most of her life to children.

The stories of the princesses have very often influenced the general history of Europe, although this is rarely discussed. What did the obstinate daughter of Nicholas I go to for her own happiness: Maria Romanova.

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