Duke of Edinburgh, Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna, House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, King Charles III of the United Kingdom, King George I of the Hellenes, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, Prince Philip, Princess Alice of Battenberg, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (February 2, 1882 – December 3, 1944) of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, was the seventh child and fourth son of King George I of the Hellenes and He was a grandson of Christian IX of Denmark, and the father of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was a prince of both Denmark and Greece by virtue of his patrilineal descent.
Prince Andrew was born at the Tatoi Palace just north of Athens on February 2, 1882, the fourth son of George I of the Hellenes and Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, the oldest daughter of Grand Duke Constantine Nikolaievich and his wife, Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg.
Grand Duke Constantine Nikolaievich was the son of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia and Princess Charlotte of Prussia, the eldest surviving daughter and fourth child of King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, and Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and a sister of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV and of German Emperor Wilhelm I, King of Prussia.
Prince Andrew was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, he was a Prince of both Greece and Denmark, as his father, King George I of the Hellenes a younger son of Christian IX of Denmark and his wife Prince Louise of Hesse-Cassel. Prince Andrew was in the line of succession to the Greek and more distantly to the Danish throne.
A career soldier, he began military training at an early age, and was commissioned as an officer in the Greek army. His command positions were substantive appointments rather than honorary, and he saw service in the Balkan Wars.
In 1913, his father was assassinated and Andrew’s elder brother, Constantine, became king. The king’s neutrality policy during World War I led to his abdication, and most of the royal family, including Andrew, was exiled. On their return a few years later, Andrew saw service as Major General in the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922), but the war went badly for Greece, and Andrew was blamed, in part, for the loss of Greek territory. He was exiled for a second time in 1922, and spent most of the rest of his life in France.
In 1902, Prince Andrew met Princess Alice of Battenberg during his stay in London on the occasion of the coronation of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom who was his uncle-by-marriage and her grand-uncle.
Princess Alice was a daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, King Edward VII’s niece. They fell in love, and the following year, on October 6, 1903, Andrew married Alice in a civil wedding at Darmstadt.
The following day two religious wedding services were performed: one Lutheran in the Evangelical Castle Church, and another Greek Orthodox in the Russian Chapel on the Mathildenhöhe. Prince and Princess Andrew had five children, all of whom later had children of their own.
During their time in exile the family became more and more dispersed. Alice suffered a nervous breakdown and was institutionalized in Switzerland. Philip was sent to school in Britain, where he was brought up by his mother’s British relatives. Andrew went to live in the South of France.
By 1930, he was estranged from his wife, Princess Alice of Battenberg. His only son, Prince Philip, served in the British navy during World War II, while all four of his daughters were married to German Royals, three of whom had Nazi connections.
On the French Riviera, Andrew lived in a small apartment, or hotel rooms, or on board a yacht with Countess Andrée de La Bigne. His marriage to Alice was effectively over, and after her recovery and release, she returned to Greece.
In 1936, his sentence of exile was quashed by emergency laws, which also restored land and annuities to the King. Andrew returned to Greece for a brief visit that May.
The following year, his pregnant daughter Cecilie, his son-in-law and two of his grandchildren were killed in an air accident at Ostend; he met Alice for the first time in six years at the funeral, which was also attended by Andrew’s sixteen-year-old son Prince Philip.
During World War II, he found himself essentially trapped in Vichy France, while his son, Prince Philip, fought on the side of the British. They were unable to see or even correspond with one another.
Andrew’s three surviving sons-in-law fought on the German side: Prince Christoph of Hesse was a member of the Nazi Party and the Waffen-SS; Berthold, Margrave of Baden, was invalided out of the Wehrmacht in 1940 after an injury in France; Prince Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Langenburg served on the Eastern Front and was dismissed after the July 20 plot. For five years, Andrew saw neither his wife nor his son.
Death and burial
He died on December 3, 1944 in the Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo, Monaco, of heart failure and arteriosclerosis in the closing months of the war in Europe.
Andrew was at first buried in the Russian Orthodox church in Nice, but in 1946 his remains were transferred, by the Greek cruiser Averof, to the royal cemetery at Tatoi Palace, near Athens.
Prince Philip and then-private secretary, Mike Parker, traveled to Monte Carlo to collect items belonging to his father from Andrée de La Bigne; among these items: a signet ring which the Prince wore from then onwards, an ivory shaving brush he took to using, and some clothes he had adapted to fit him.
Prince Andrew left to his only son seven-tenths of his estate, but he also left behind a debt of £17,500, leading Philip’s maternal grandmother, Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven, to complain bitterly of the extravagance the Greek prince had been led into by his French mistress.
His only son, Prince Philip married Princess Elizabeth on November 20, 1947, the daughter of King George VI of the United Kingdom and his wife Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Prince Philip was created Duke of Edinburgh by the King. Princess Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in 1952 as Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. This makes Prince Andrew the paternal grandfather of King Charles III of the United Kingdom.
He ended up in a shallow life yet contributed a son who, for the most part, gave a life of service.
That’s true. I guess his father was a role model on how not to be.