Today Queen Anne-Marie of Greece celebrates her seventieth-third birthday.
Princess Anne-Marie Dagmar Ingrid of Denmark was born on 30 August 1946 at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen as the third and last daughter of the then Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark and his wife Ingrid (née Sweden). Anne-Marie's grandfather King Christian X was still on the Danish throne when his granddaughter was born; however, he was not to last until her first birthday. Christian X died on 20 April 1947 and was succeeded by Anne-Marie's father, King Frederick IX.
In 1959, thirteen year-old Anne-Marie of Denmark and her third cousin nineteen year-old Crown Prince Constantine of Greece met during a state visit in Copenhagen paid by Constantine's parent's King Paul of Greece and his wife Frederica (née Hannover) to King Frederick and Queen Ingrid. Two years later, in 1961, Crown Prince Constantine returned to Denmark and declared his intention of marrying Anne-Marie to her parents. When Frederick IX was told by Constantine of the plan, the Danish king locked his future son-in-law in the royal loo, while going off to fetch Queen Ingrid to tell her about the man who wanted to marry their youngest daughter!
Owing to Anne-Marie's age, the union needed to wait some years. It was not until July 1964 that the engagement of King Constantine II of Greece and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark was announced. In the intervening years, Constantine's older sister Sophia had married Juan Carlos of Spain in 1962, and his father Paul had died in 1963 - at which time Constantine became king.
The couple were wed in great splendour at Athens on 18 September 1964. The new Queen of Greece converted from Lutheranism to Greek Orthodoxy. She wore a wedding gown by Danish designer Jørgen Bender.
In the first twenty-two years of their marriage, King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie had five children: Princess Alexia (b.1965), Crown Prince Pavlos (b.1967), Prince Nikolaos (b.1969), Princess Theodora (b.1983), and Prince Philippos (b.1986). The king and queen left Greece in 1967 after the king attempted a counter-coup against an authoritarian regime; however; they returned to the country to live in 2013.
The King and Queen of Greece frequently attend royal events around Europe. Unfortunately, King Constantine has suffered from ill-health for some time now. Yet, he has an able supporter in his wife, who has been by his side through the sorrows and joys of the nearly fifty-five years that they have been married.
We wish Her Majesty a very Happy Birthday!
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