Modern Greek History

Summary of the Kings of Greece

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The front facade of the current Hellenic Parliament building, Old Royal PalaceAlthough the Ancient Greeks are the ones who actually invented democracy, it took some time before it really became established in the country. Greece achieved its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1832 and even though the people had tried to establish a democratic system right away, it didn’t stick. The Kingdom of Greece was in place off and on from 1832 to 1973, including during the seven-year military junta, which was a turbulent time for the country. Over the course of the years, Greece had a total of nine kings from two separate houses, the House of Wittelsbach and the House of  Glücksburg. Here’s a list of all these kings:

King Otto

Originally from Bavaria, King Otto is the only King to have been a member of the House of Wittelsbach. The second son of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, he reigned from 1832 to 1862 when he was deposed. He became king after the First Republic of Greece proved to be too unstable after the assassination of the country’s first governor. The rule of King Otto was always controversial amongst the Greek people and many believe that he didn’t assimilate into Greek society well enough to stay in power.

King George I

The first King of the Hellenes, King George I was a member of the House of Glücksburg. He became king in 1863, shortly after King Otto was deposed in October of 1862. He reigned until March 18, 1913. George was born in Denmark and was originally a Danish prince. He was elected as the king after the people rejected King Otto’s brother as the next king. His reign ended abruptly when he was assassinated.

King Constantine I

King Constantine I was the first-born son of King George I. He was King of the Hellenes from March 18, 1913 to June 11, 1917. He became king again from December 19, 1920 to September 22, 1922. The restoration of his throne was not well received and he died in 1923 in exile in Italy.

King Alexander I

King Alexander I was the second son of King George I and he was born near Athens in their summer palace at Tatoi. He was King of the Hellenes from June 11, 1917 to October 25, 1920, shortly after his brother’s reign was first ended. After King Alexander I’s death in 1920 due to a dog attack that took place at the Tatoi Palance, his brother, King Constantine I, was restored to the throne.

King George II of Greece

King George II of Greece became King of the Hellenes on September 22, 1922 shortly after King Constantine I was exiled. He reigned until March 25, 1924. From 1924 to 1935 Greece was in a highly turbulent state where the country had about 23 total changes in the government, 1 dictatorship, and 13 total coups. His second reign went from November 3, 1935 to April 1, 1947 when he died of arteriosclerosis.

King Paul I

King Paul I was the third son of King Constantine I. He reigned from April 1, 1947 to March 6, 1964. He became king shortly after his brother, King George II, died. Since King George II didn’t have any children, his younger brother, Paul, became king. He died in February of 1964 about a week after he had surgery for stomach cancer.

King Constantine II

King Constantine II was King of the Hellenes took the throne on March 6, 1964 after his predecessor, King Paul I, died after surgery. Constantine was the nephew of King George II – he was the only son of George’s brother. He reigned until June 1, 1973 and went into exile under peaceful circumstances when the monarchy was abolished.

As you can see, the time period before the current government was politically unstable. After the monarchy was abolished, the Royal Palace became the Greek Parliament.


Wikipedia – List of Kings of Greece 

Wikipedia – Kingdom of Greece

Wikipedia – Otto of Greece

Wikipedia – George I of Greece

Wikipedia – Constant I of Greece

Wikipedia – George II of Greece

Wikipedia – Paul of Greece

Wikipedia – Constantine II of Greece

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This post was written by Greek Boston