Members of the royal family gather at the funeral of the last Greek king, Constantine

The funeral of the last Greek monarch, Constantine II, will take place on Monday, with a group of European monarchs expected to arrive in Athens to take part in the service.

The ceremony will see royals from Britain, Denmark, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain pay their respects to the former monarch, who died on Tuesday at the age of 82.

But there has been controversy in Greece over the funeral arrangements.

Constantine was a divisive figure in the country’s history and the government decided not to give him the honor of a state funeral.

The special service begins at noon at the Athens Metropolitan Cathedral, and approximately 200 guests are expected.

All members of the Royal Family of Spain, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Crown Prince Frederick, the Swedish Royal Family, the King and Queen of the Netherlands, Grand Duke Henry of Luxembourg, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Prince Albert II of Monaco are all set to attend.

The British crown will be represented by Princess Anne, daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth II. She is not expected to be joined by King Charles III, cousin of the former Greek king, and Prince William, the godson of Constantine.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President Katerina Sakellaropoulou will not attend the funeral.

The Greek government will be represented by Deputy Prime Minister Panagiotis Pekramenos and Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni.

– lifted by inversion –

Constantine’s body will lie in rest from 6:00 am (0800 GMT) to 10:00 am so that members of the public can pay their respects.

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Many Greeks feel either indifference or resentment towards the former king.

Constantine, the last member of a century-old dynasty, had ruled for only three years when a brutal army dictatorship took control of the country in 1967.

Declassified US diplomatic cables say that Constantine may have been contemplating martial law before the coup.

Almost eight months after the military junta seized power, Constantine staged a military counter-coup, which failed. He fled to Rome with the rest of the royal family, and later to London.

The military junta abolished the monarchy in 1973, and Greeks voted not to reinstate the royal family after democracy was restored in 1974.

After Constantine got into a bitter property dispute with the Greek state, his Greek citizenship was revoked in 1994.

The former king returned to Greece in 2013, selling the 9,500-square-foot London mansion where his family had lived for four decades.

– ‘Kingdom of Greece no longer exists’ –

The day after Constantine died in a private hospital in Athens, the Prime Minister announced that the funeral would be held in private.

On Saturday, Mitsotakis insisted that the decision was correct, stressing that the former king was the leader of “a kingdom of Greece that no longer exists.”

He said that history “will judge Constantine fairly and harshly.”

“I feel embarrassed every time my colleagues from abroad ask me why the former monarch was not buried with the honors of a head of state while he was head of state,” journalist and royal expert Christos Zambonis told ERT TV on Sunday, echoing widespread criticism against him. Greek government decision.

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After the funeral ceremony, Constantine’s body will be transferred to the royal tombs at Tatoi, about 29 kilometers (18 miles) north of Athens.

Most members of the former royal family are buried in the former royal summer palace on Tatoi, including the founder of the dynasty by Danish-born George I.

Constantine was married to Anne Marie – sister of Queen Margrethe of Denmark – and they had five children.

As Crown Prince, he won a gold medal in sailing at the 1960 Rome Olympics and was an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee.

was / yap / lcm / pvh

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