Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark, who passed away on this day in 2007! The youngest daughter of King Constantine of Greece and Princess Sophia of Prussia, Princess Kathrine was the sister of King George II of Greece, Queen Helen of Romania, King Alexander of Greece, King Paul of Greece and Princess Irene, Duchess of Aosta (one-time Queen of Croatia). Born just a few weeks after the assassination of her grandfather, King George I, Princess Kathrine’s godparents were Queen Olga of Greece (grandmother), Queen Alexandra (great-aunt), King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II (uncle), the Greek Navy and the Greek Army. Her childhood was spent in a chaotic period of the First World War, including when she was carried by Queen Sophie when the Tatoi Palace was set on fire, before the Royal Family went into exile in 1917, when her brother, King Alexander, was made a puppet King under Allied pressure, due to the Crown Prince (and the King and Queen’s) position as germanophiles. King Constantine was restored after King Alexander’s death in 1920, but abdicated two years later, dying the following year, with the family settling in Italy after the Monarchy was abolished in 1924, settling at the Villa Sparta in Florence, home of her sister, Queen Helen of Romania.
Princess Kathrine was the cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Margarita, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Princess Cecile, Grand Duchess of Hesse, Princess Theodora, Margravine of Baden, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, Princess Paul of Yugoslavia, Princess Sophie of Greece and Hanover, Princess Eugenie of Greece, and Prince Michael of Greece, and the aunt of Queen Sofia of Spain, King Constantine II of Greece, King Michael of Romania, Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia, and the Duke of Aosta.
Princess Katherine was educated at a boarding school at Broadstairs and then North Foreland Lodge in England, being a bridesmaid at the Wedding of Prince George, Duke of Kent and her cousin, Princess Marina of Greece, in 1934. Princess Katherine returned to Greece with her brother King George II following the restoration of the monarchy in 1935, joining the Greek Red Cross when the Second World War broke out, though the Greek Royal Family were forced to flee when Greek was invaded by the Axis in 1941, following which Princess Katherine worked as a nurse at a hospital in Cape Town, before retiring to England in 1946, meeting Major Richard Campbell Brandram MC, an officer in the British Royal Artillery, on board the Cunard liner RMS Ascania. The Greek Royal Family returned to Athens in 1946, with Princess Katherine’s engagement announced the following February. The Wedding to Major Richard Brandram at the Royal Palace of Athens took place in April, as originally scheduled after the sudden death of her brother, King George II.
The couple settled in the United Kingdom, where King George VI granted her the rank and title of a duke’s daughter, so she was styled as Lady Katherine Brandram there, though continued to attend Greek Royal Events up to the 1960s, including King Paul’s 60th Birthday Banquet at the Royal Palace of Athens in 1961, the Wedding of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia of Greece, and the Greek Monarchy Centenary Celebrations in 1963. They had one son, Richard Brandram, and remained happily married until his death in 1994. Princess Katherine was the last surviving great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria at the time of her death in 2007, remaining close to the Greek and British Royal Families.