The body of former king of Greece, Constantine II, was buried alongside his ancestors at the former royal estate of Tatoi, north of Athens, shortly before 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon.
The private burial service was held after the completion of the funeral service at the Athens Metropolitan Cathedral, led by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos, with the participation of senior clerics of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece.
Once a richly forested site popular with Athenians for picnics and nature walks, Tatoi was ravaged by a wildfire about two years ago and had remained mostly blackened and derelict ever since. Cleanup crews worked feverishly since Constantine’s death last week at age 82 to clean up the site in time for Monday’s funeral.
A referendum definitively abolished Greece’s monarchy in 1974. Constantine, a controversial figure during a turbulent time in Greek history, spent decades in exile before returning to settle in his home country in his waning years.
“By the grace of God, you drew your last breath in our country, which you always loved above all else throughout your life,” Pavlos said in a eulogy to his father. Constantine’s children and grandchildren, Pavlos said, “are ready, as you had always been, to offer Greece whatever the country asks of us.”
European royals, many closely related to Constantine, descended on Athens for the funeral, including Margrethe and the Spanish royal family. Constantine’s sister Sophia is the mother of Spain’s King Felipe VI and the wife of former King Juan Carlos I.
Constantine was one of the godparents of Prince William, heir to the British throne. William’s aunt, Princess Anne, represented the British royal family in Athens.
Juan Carlos, walking with the aid of a walking stick, attended with Sophia at his side. It was a rare public appearance for the former king, who has lived in Abu Dhabi since being cut off from the Spanish royal family in 2020 amid financial scandals.
The Greek government had announced Constantine would be buried as a private citizen without honors reserved for former heads of state. A limited lying in state was allowed from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m in a chapel next to the cathedral.