King George I
He was born in Copenhagen, the second son of King Christian IX of Denmark and the brother of Alexandra of Denmark (consort of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom). He began his career in the Danish navy, and was elected King of the Hellenes on March 30, 1863 following the deposition of King Otto.
The new king, now only 17 years old, quickly learned Greek in addition to his native Danish. During a trip to Russia to meet with his sister Dagmar (consort to Tsar Alexander III) he met Olga Konstantinovna of Russia, a Grand Duchess of Russia, cousin of the Tsar, and fell in love. They married in 1867.
Together they had eight children:
- Constantine (1868-1923), who succeeded his father as king.
- George (1869-1957), High Commissioner of Crete.
- Alexandra (1870-1891), married Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia (son of Alexander II of Russia). Mother of Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov, assassin of Grigori Rasputin.
- Nicholas (1872-1938)
- Marie (1876-1940), married first Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and second Perikles Ioannidis.
- Olga (1881, died when three months old)
- Andrew (1882-1944), father of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
- Christopher (1888-1940), father of Prince Michael of Greece.
When alone with his wife, he usually conversed in German. Their children were taught English by their nannies, and when talking with his children he therefore spoke mainly English.
He ruled Greece with some success, overseeing the consolidation of Greek rule over Thessaly and Epirus and the putting down of rebellion in Crete. However, following the First Balkan War, he was assassinated by Alexander Schinas in Thessaloniki on March 5, 1913 (old calendar) / March 18, 1913 (new calendar).
King George opened the 1896 Summer Olympics.
King of the Hellenes
King Constantine I