Funeral procession of former king held in Athens amid tight security

Funeral procession of former king held in Athens amid tight security

The funeral procession of former King of Greece Constantine II will be held at the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens followed by a private burial at the cemetery of the former royal estate of Tatoi, north of the Greek capital Monday. His body will lie at rest in Saint Eleftherios chapel next to the Cathedral ahead of the funeral service.

His funeral is expected to be attended by close family and members of Europe’s royal families.

Among those attending are Queen Letizia of Spain, who will be there with her husband and Constantine’s nephew, King Felipe, as will Queen Margrethe of Denmark, who was his sister-in-law.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, as well as Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands will also be in attendance.

Deputy Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos and Culture Minister Lina Mendoni will represent the Greek government at the service. The government last week decided not to grant the ex-king a state funeral.

A reported 1,000 police will be deployed for the funeral service and burial of the former king. Police said they “will have a presence at vital points [around] the metropolitan cathedral and Tatoi, as well as the funeral procession’s route and the locations where invited officials stay.”

Constantine died in a hospital last Tuesday at the age of 82. Greece’s monarchy was definitively abolished in a referendum in December 1974 and Constantine spent decades in exile before settling in his home country once more in his waning years. [Combined reports]

A Greek Orthodox priest pays his respects to former King of Greece Constantine II at Saint Eleftherios chapel, where he lies at rest before the funeral service, in Athens, Monday. [Reuters]


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