Prince Andrew of Greece

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Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the death of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, who died on this day in 1944. The fourth son of King George I of Greece and Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, he was a grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark and a nephew of Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia, and King Frederick VIII of Denmark. Growing up in Greece, Prince Andrew was educated at the cadet school and staff college at Athens, later holding a number of military positions. In 1902, while attending the Coronation of his uncle, King Edward VII, he met the latter’s great-niece, Princess Alice of Battenberg, who he married the following year. The couple had five children: Princess Margarita (later Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg)Princess Theodora (later Margravine of Baden), Princess Cecilie (later Grand Duchess of Hesse), Princess Sophie of Greece and Hanover and Prince Phillip (now the Duke of Edinburgh). During WWI, the Greek Royal Family was exiled, returning in 1920, when Prince Andrew was reinstated in the army, as a major-general, in the Greco-Turkish War, and after the Greek defeat, he was arrested, court-martialed, and found guilty, narrowly escaping being shot, and escaping into exile aboard a British cruiser, HMS Calypso, after being stripped of their Greek nationality, following which they traveled under Danish passports. The family settled at Saint-Cloud on the outskirts of Paris, where he published a book ‘Towards Disaster: The Greek Army in Asia Minor in 1921’, defending his actions, until Princess Andrew suffered a mental breakdown and was institutionalized in Switzerland, the daughters were married and settled in Germany, and Prince Philip was sent to school in Britain, while Prince Andrew went to live in the South of France, where he stayed in a small apartment or on board a yacht with his mistress, Countess Andrée de La Bigne. Despite being reunited with his wife and surviving children in the later years of the 1930s, Prince Andrew continued to reside on the French Riviera, and was later separated from them during WWII, when the Princess was in occupied Athens, Prince Phillip fought for the Allies, and his German sons-in-law fought for the Nazis. Prince Andrew passed away in Monte Carlo on this day in 1944, being initially buried at the Russian Orthodox church in Nice, before being transferred to the Greek Royal Cemetery at Tatoi Palace. After the war, Prince Phillip travelled to Monte Carlo to collect items belonging to Prince Andrew from Countess Andrée, among them was a signet ring which he has worn from then onwards.

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