The new King Charles III rules the UK, but Greece at his heart


LONDON — Britain’s new king, Charles III, whose father Prince Philip was born in Corfu, Greece and was prince of Greece and Denmark, has a long affinity for Greece, has visited it often and said it was one of his favorite places.

His mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, only made one trip to Greece – when she was still a princess – but her son, and now king, said Greece had a special place for him as a that country of some of his ancestors and he was recently on Corfu.

It’s an island he’s spent time on before for many years, but it’s not the only place in the country he travels to, having been to Crete in 2018 and his wife Camilla, where they joined to the Cretan dance in traditional costume.

They also visited the archaeological site of Knossos – site of the Greek legend of King Minos – then went to see stalls displaying Cretan products, displaying genuine interest more than royal duty.

In March 2021, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence and the liberation from Turkish rule, they came to Athens and speaking at the Presidential Mansion in Athens, he also remarked on his love for the Greece.

He said: “Today, as in 1821, Greece can count on her friends in the United Kingdom. The ties that bind us are strong and vital and make a profound difference to our shared prosperity and security.

“In feeling a deep connection to Greece – its landscapes, its history and its culture – I am not the only one: there is something of its essence in all of us,” he said. “As the source of Western civilization, the spirit of Greece runs through our societies and our democracies. Without it, our laws, our art, our way of life would never have flourished as they did.

During dinner at the presidential palace, he exclaimed, “Hi, oh, joy, freedom! Long live Greece!”

“It is a special joy for my wife and I to return to Greece, which has a special place in my heart. After all, Greece is my grandfather’s homeland and my father’s birthplace, he almost a hundred years ago, on the occasion of the centenary of the Greek Revolution. Later, in Athens, my dear grandmother, Princess Alice, during the dark years of the Nazi occupation, saved a Jewish family – a act for which she was awarded the title of ‘Justice of the Nations’ by Israel,” said Charles

It reminded him of his visit three years earlier when, echoing a famous quote from the 19th century English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, he acknowledged the debt that Western civilization owed to Greece, remarking that “we are all Greeks . Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their roots in Greece.

He met with the head of the Greek Orthodox Church and noted that he had also visited Mount Athos and its monasteries several times, and not just once as most visitors to the remote region do.

“And after doing that, I gained a special appreciation for the traditions of the Orthodox Church,” he said. Links to Greece include his grandfather’s birth at Tatoi Palace on Mount Parnitha, 27 km from Athens and where many members of the royal family are buried.

The site noted that he explained his fascination with Greece during his 2018 visit, saying, “I distinctly remember my first visit to Greece about 50 years ago… for me, this first visit as well as all the following ones, I was lucky. enough to bring to life the fascinating stories about the beauty of the country and the character of the Greeks that I had heard growing up.

He began his visits in 1964, notes the Fourals website, the first official trip on November 22, 1998, just 14 months after the death of his first wife, Princess Diana, in a car accident while the car in which she was traveling found was continued. by paparazzi in Paris, smashing through a tunnel.

When he came to Athens as part of the Festival of Britain and Greece, he again remarked on the glory he saw and why it touched him so much.

“This is my first opportunity in many years to see Athens, both ancient and modern. I really appreciate this opportunity, for example, to see the Acropolis and the neoclassical heritage of Athens, as well as what you are doing to help the modern city develop in harmony with the old.


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