George I of Greece - Encyclopedia

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GEORGE I., king of the Hellenes (1845-), second son of King Christian IX. of Denmark, was born at Copenhagen on the 24th of December 1845. After the expulsion of King Otho in 1862, the Greek nation, by a plebiscite, elected the British prince, Alfred, duke of Edinburgh (subsequently duke of Coburg), to the vacant throne, and on his refusal the national assembly requested Great Britain to nominate a candidate. The choice of the British government fell on Prince Christian William Ferdinand Adolphus George of Schleswig-Holstein-SonderburgGliicksburg, whose election as king of the Hellenes, with the title George I., was recognized by the powers (6th of June 1863). The sister of the new sovereign, Princess Alexandra, had a few months before (loth March) married the prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward VII., and his father succeeded to the crown of Denmark in the following November. Another sister, Princess Dagmar, subsequently married the grand duke Alexander Alexandrovitch, afterwards Emperor Alexander III. of Russia. On his accession, King George signed an act resigning his right of succession to the Danish throne in favour of his younger brother Prince Waldemar. He was received with much enthusiasm by the Greeks. Adopting the motto, "My strength is the love of my people," he ruled in strict accordance with constitutional principles, though not hesitating to make the fullest use of the royal prerogative when the intervention of the crown seemed to be required by circumstances. For the events of his reign see Greece: History. King George married, on the 27th of October 1867, the grand duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, who became distinguished in Greece for her activity on behalf of charitable objects. Their children were Prince Constantine, duke of Sparta (b. 1868), who married in 1889 Princess Sophia of Prussia, daughter of the emperor Frederick, and granddaughter of Queen Victoria; Prince George (b. 1869), from November 1898 to October 1906 high commissioner of the powers in Crete; Prince Nicholas (b. 1872), who married in 1902 the grand duchess Helen-Vladimirovna of Russia; Prince Andrew (b. 1882), who married in 1903 Princess Alice of Battenberg; Prince Christopher (b. 1888); and a daughter, Princess Marie (b. 1876), who married in 1900 the grand duke George Michailovich of Russia.

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