Just Who Was Prince Andrew Of Greece And Denmark?

If you want to learn about the monarchy, you’ve come to the right place. We take a closer look at just who was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.

Over the years, we’ve seen some truly remarkable royals come and go, and sadly, we have recently had to say goodbye to the husband of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, who sadly passed away in April at the ripe old age of 99.

Why are we talking about the Duke of Edinburgh? Because the royal we’ll be covering in today’s article is the late Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, the father of Prince Phillip of Edinburgh.

Like many others before and after him, he spent much of his life in the military and had an impressive military background, but who was the real Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark?

The early life of Prince Andrew Of Greece And Denmark

Prince Andrew was born on the 2nd of February, 1882 at the Tatoi Palace located just north of Athens.

He was the fourth son of George I of Greece and was a prince in both Greece and indeed, in Denmark as well, due to the fact that his father was the younger son of Christian IX of Denmark.

He was an intelligent and bright child and was fluent in many languages, including Greek, Danish, French, German, English, and Russian. Despite this, he refused to speak to his parents in any other language apart from Greek.

Just Who Was Prince Andrew Of Greece And Denmark?
Prince Andrew (left), with his older brothers, the Crown Prince Constantine and Prince Nicholas. | Image: Bain News Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

He attended cadet school and staff college at Athens, where he received private military tuition. He went on to join the army in 1901, joining as a cavalry officer in the month of May.

Marriage and military career

Prince Andrew met Princess Alice of Battenburg in 1902, while he was staying in London for the coronation of King Edward VII. The two instantly got along and soon fell in love.

A year later, on the 6th of October, 1903, the two were married. In total, they had five children who coincidentally, also had 5 children each.

Andrew briefly resigned from the military, only to be reinstated in 1912 at the outbreak of the Balkan Wars, where he became a lieutenant colonel in the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. He was placed in command of a field hospital.

Exile from Greece

During the Battle of Sakarya, Andrew was given command of the II Army Corps. He had little respect for those in the command above him, as he viewed their tactics as reckless and desperate. He was given orders to attack a Turkish position, which he refused to do because it would put his men in danger.

He was disciplined and placed on leave for two months. A year later he was arrested and court-martialled for disobeying an order and was stripped of his military roles.

Just Who Was Prince Andrew Of Greece And Denmark?
Prince Andrew (1st from the right) on trial in 1922. | Image: Agence Rol, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Many other defendants of the same trial were actually shot and executed. British diplomats feared for his life, though he was spared and was banished for life from Greece, along with his family.

He and his family fled on a British battlecruiser known as the HMS Calypso and as the years went by, they found themselves moving across Europe, with Andrew settling in the South of France.

Death of Prince Andrew Of Greece And Denmark

Just Who Was Prince Andrew Of Greece And Denmark?
Portrait by Philip de László, 1913 | Image: Philip Alexius de László (1869-1937).Carolus at nl.wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Andrew died on the 3rd of December, 1944, aged just 62, of heart failure.

He was buried first at the Russian Orthodox Church in Nice, before having his remains transferred to the Royal Cemetery of the Tatoi Palace near Athens, where he was born. Andrew left seven-tenths of his estate to his son Phillip, although he also left a £17,500 debt.