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Paul I
(Decemeber 14, 1901 - March 6, 1964) Greece

Paul I



Paul, King of the Hellenes on the death of his eldest brother, King George II, on 1 Apr 1947, was born at Athens and d iedat Tatoi, near Athens 6. He married Friederike Princess of Hannover, Duchess of Braunschweig-Lüneburg.

Allegedly, one Denham Fouts was the lover of king Paul I.


Prince Paul witnessed the difficulties faced by his father in holding Greece's precarious neutral position in WWI. He saw his father remove himself from the Greek throne in 1917 under pressure from the British and the French (who thought he was too pro-German). He saw the effects of his brother Alexander's tragically early death and the return of his father to the throne in 1920. As a sub-Lieutenant on board the cruiser "Elli", he witnessed the evacuation of Smyrna in September,1921, after its brutal sacking by the Turks in the Graeco-Turkish War which followed WWI.

Prince Paul saw his elder brother, George II, succeed his father, King Constantine I, after Constantine's abdication in 1922. When Greece was declared a Republic in April, 1924, King George II and Prince Paul (now Crown Prince) went into exile. King George II finally settled in London. Crown Prince Paul also came to England. He worked for a year as an apprentice aircraft mechanic (calling himself Paul Beck) at Armstrong-Whitworth's factory in Coventry. Crown Prince Paul and King George II returned to Greece nearly 12 years later in 1935, after a national plebiscite overwhelmingly called for the return of the Monarchy after over a decade of political instability.

A year later, Crown Prince Paul visited Berlin for the XIIth. Olympiad. There he proposed to Princess Frederica of Hanover, Duchess of Brunswick Luneburg. She was the granddaughter of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II (then exiled at Doorn in Holland).

The war, and the subsequent battles in Greece between the Communists and their opponents, caused great tension. But, on 1 September, 1946, the Greek electorate voted in favour of the return of King George II. King George II died on 1 April, 1947. His brother, King Paul I, ascended the throne.

Soon after King Paul I's accession, the Communist insurrection which led to fighting in Northern Greece in the Spring of 1946, blew up into a full scale Civil War. Under heavy guard, the new King and Queen toured Northern Greece in the summer of 1947.

Queen Frederica appealed for support for a Northern Provinces Welfare Fund - set up to help orphans and families threatened with having their children abducted into the neighbouring Communist countries of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria or Albania if they did not support the Greek Communists. Also in that summer, King Paul I became seriously ill with typhoid fever and could not attend the wedding of his first cousin, Prince Philip (son of his uncle, Prince Andrew) to Princess Elizabeth, future Queen of England.

The Civil War ended at the end of August, 1949, with the victory of the national army in the mountains close to the Albanian frontier. The Civil War had been even more traumatic for the population of Greece than the Second World War itself. One tenth of the population was homeless and the King broadcast an appeal for the reconstruction of 7000 destroyed villages.


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