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The Greek Royal Family Joins the Danish Royal Family at Graasten Castle: Summer Cousin Reunion

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  • Reading time:14 mins read

Queen Margrethe II has gathered around her her large family with whom she will spend part of the summer at Graasten Castle. Queen Anne-Marie and Princess Benedikte, Margrethe’s sisters, managed to reunite some of their descendants. The Royal Danish Court has shared some beautiful photos of this summer reunion.

Also read: The Danish Royal Family at the wedding of Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein

The very large family reunion of the three daughters of King Frederick IX with their descendants

Queen Margrethe II, 82, Princess Benedikte, 78, and Queen Anne-Marie, 75, usually get together for the holidays. This year, the three daughters of King Frederick IX succeeded in uniting some of their descendants around them. Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim, the two sons of the Queen of Denmark, are reunited in Graasten and welcomed their cousins.

The three daughters of King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid gathered around them almost all of their children (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

The two daughters and the son of Princess Benedikte are all present. On the side of Queen Anne-Marie, it is more complicated to reunite her five children, who live in the four corners of the world. Princess Alexia, Prince Nikolaos, Princess Theodora and Prince Philippos responded. So only the family of Crown Prince Paul is missing.

Reunion between first cousins ​​in Graasten. Four of Anne-Marie’s five children are present with Margrethe’s two daughters and Benedikte’s three children (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

Graasten Castle, located not far from Sonderbourg, is a former royal family hunting lodge, which in the 1930s became the summer residence of King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid after major renovation work. restoration. Margrethe, having kept childhood memories with her sisters in these places, decided to perpetuate the tradition and to come and settle there too during the holidays.

Princess Benedikte drives her two sisters in a buggy on the grounds of Graasten Castle, near Sondeburg, one of the former strongholds of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksbourh family (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)
Grand cousinade at Graasten Castle (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

Read also: The Danish royal family in front of the tomb of King Frederick IX for the Golden Jubilee of Margrethe II

The Royal Family of Greece, the Royal Family of Denmark and the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg family gathered at Graasten Castle

The Danish royal family has always maintained very strong ties with the Greek royal family. Since the abolition of the monarchy in Greece, Denmark has played a protective role towards the former royal family. In 1863 Prince William of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, son of King Christian IX of Denmark, was elected the first King of the Hellenes. He will reign under the name of Georges 1st until 1913. The kings of the Hellenes did not know reigns of all rest, punctuated by various periods of exile, until the definitive abolition of the monarchy in 1973, during the reign of King Constantine II, husband of Queen Anne-Marie.

Through the marriage of Anne-Marie to the last king of the Hellenes, the Danish royal family has strengthened the already important ties with the Greek royal family for the last time (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

Since the foundation of the kingdom of Greece of the Glücksbourg dynasty, descendant of the counts of Oldenburg, headed by a king son of the king of Denmark, the Danish royal family has never cut ties with this branch. Members of the Greek royal family have always kept their title of Prince of Denmark. With the difference in Danish that a title is “prins til Denmark”, a title reserved for princes born into the family and listed in the order of succession. The other title is “prins av Danmark”used for consorts, princes of Greece and members not listed in the line of succession.

The close relationship between the Royal Family of Greece, the Royal Family of Denmark and the Royal Family of Spain (Image: Royal Histories)

In addition to the ancestral proximity linked to their common ancestor, Christian IX, the two royal families strengthened their cousinhood when Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, daughter of King Frederick IX, married the very young King Constantine II in 1964. The royal family of Greece is first cousin of two reigning royal families. The five children of Constantine II and Anne-Marie are first cousins ​​of the Danish royal family through their mother and of the Spanish royal family through their father. King Constantine II is the brother of Queen Sofia, wife of King Juan Carlos.

Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Princess Benedikte of Denmark serene with their family in Graasten, their childhood vacation castle (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

Read also: The wedding of Prince Philippos of Greece and Princess Nina in Athens

Almost all the children of Margrethe II, Benedikte and Anne-Marie end up with cousins

Princess Benedikte, meanwhile, in 1978 married Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, head of the former German princely family. The couple had three children: Prince Gustav, Princess Alexandra and Princess Nathalie. Prince Gustav recently married Carina, his longtime partner. Princess Alexandra is in her second marriage, having had two children with her first husband. Her current husband, Count Michael Preben Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille, is present at the summer family reunion in Graasten.

The spouses of the cousins ​​who answered the call are Princess Nina, Carlos Morales and Matthew Kumar on the Greek side, Crown Princess Mary and Princess Marie on the Danish side, Princess Carina and Count Michael on the Sayn-Wittgenstein side. Berleburg (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

The Danish royal family has shared several photos taken during this vacation between cousins. The focus was on the reunion between the cousins ​​of Crown Prince Frederik’s generation. Their own children are therefore not shown in the photos. We do not know which children are currently in Graasten, in southern Denmark, 20 km from the German border.

Only Crown Prince Paul of Greece is missing to bring all the cousins ​​together. From left to right in the foreground: Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Princess Benedikte of Denmark. Second and third rows from left to right: Matthew Kumar, Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark, Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark, Carlos Morales Quintana, Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark, Princess Nina of Greece and of Denmark, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Count Michael Preben Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille, Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Crown Prince Federik of Denmark, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark, Prince Joachim of Denmark, Princess Marie of Denmark, Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Princess Carina of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset)

On the side of Queen Margrethe II, her two sons are present with their wife: Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie. Princess Benedikte has her three children with her but it seems that Princess Nathalie is alone, while Prince Gustav is with Princess Carina and Princess Alexandra is accompanied by Count Michael. Queen Anne-Marie can count on four of her five children. Apart from Crown Prince Paul and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal who are missing with their five children, the other members of the siblings are present.

King Constantine II, in precarious health, did not make the trip to Denmark. Princess Alexia, eldest of Constantin and Anne-Marie, made the trip from Lanzarote, where she lives with her husband, Carlos Morales, and their four children. Alexia and Carlos appear in the photos. Prince Nikolaos, for his part, seems to have joined Denmark alone. His wife, Princess Tatiana, does not appear in the photos. Newlyweds Prince Philippos and Princess Nina joined Graasten, along with Princess Theodora, accompanied by her longtime fiancé Matthew Kumar.

Map of the principality of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and a list of its rulers since the county’s existence in 1607 (Image: Royal Histories)

The Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg family ruled the sovereign county of the same name for nearly two hundred years. The county was located mainly around the town of Berlebourg. In 1792, the county was raised to the rank of principality. In 1806, the principality was absorbed (mediatised) by into the Grand Duchy of Hesse. In 1918, when the monarchy was abolished in the German Empire, Prince Richard, 4th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg officially lost his titles of nobility. He was the great-grandfather of Prince Gustav.

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Nicholas Fontaine

Chief Editor

Nicolas Fontaine has been a freelance web editor since 2014. After having been a copywriter and author for numerous Belgian and French brands and media, he specialized in royalty news. Nicolas is now editor-in-chief of Histoires royales. [email protected]