Just Who Was Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark?

We delve into the captivating life of Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark: a tale of royalty, resilience, and the intricate ties that bind Europe’s noble families.

In the annals of royal history, certain figures captivate our attention with their intriguing lives, complex relationships, and the eras they represent. Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark is one such figure, whose life story is interwoven with the tapestry of European royalty.

Born as the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenburg, Margarita’s lineage is nothing short of illustrious. Not only was she the first great-great-grandchild of the iconic Queen Victoria, but her familial ties also connected her to the heart of the British monarchy.

As we delve into her life, we’ll uncover the challenges she faced, her association with pivotal historical events, and her enduring legacy in the realm of royalty.

Early Life and Ancestry

Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark was born on 18 April 1905, amidst the grandeur and intricacies of European royalty. As the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenburg, her birth was a significant event in the royal circles of the time.

Her ancestry is a testament to the interconnectedness of European royal families. On her father’s side, she was a member of both the Greek and Danish royal families. Her grandfather, King George I of Greece, was originally a Danish prince before becoming the king of Greece. This dual heritage gave Margarita a unique position in the tapestry of European royalty.

Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark
Princesses Margarita and Theodora of Greece | Image: Bain News Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

On her mother’s side, the Battenburg lineage added another layer of distinction. Princess Alice of Battenburg, Margarita’s mother, was the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, making Margarita the first great-great-grandchild of one of the most iconic monarchs in British history.

Growing up, Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark was surrounded by the opulence and responsibilities that came with her royal status. However, her childhood was also marked by the political upheavals of the time, especially in Greece, which would play a significant role in shaping her life and choices.

Marriage and Personal Life

Much like her early years, Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark’s personal life was deeply intertwined with the broader historical and political landscape of Europe.

On 20 April 1931, Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark married Gottfried, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg in Langenburg, Germany. This union not only solidified her title as the Princess by the marriage of Hohenlohe-Langenburg but also connected her to one of the oldest noble families in Germany. The wedding was attended by several notable guests, including her parents, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, as well as members of the Hohenlohe-Langenburg family, such as Ernst II, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Her young brother, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was also present.

Their marriage bore witness to the tumultuous events of the 20th century, particularly the rise of the Nazi regime and the subsequent Second World War. The couple had six children, further strengthening the ties between European royal and noble families. Despite the political upheavals, Princess Margarita and Prince Gottfried maintained their positions within the European elite, as demonstrated by their attendance at significant events such as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and the wedding of Juan Carlos, Prince of Asturias, to Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark in 1962​.

Princess Margarita and Prince Gottfried | Image: Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

However, it wasn’t just the grand events of history that defined Margarita’s personal life. Behind the palace walls, she played the roles of a wife, mother, and sister. Her relationship with her siblings, especially with her younger brother, Prince Philip, was of particular note. Their bond, tested by the challenges of their times, provides a poignant glimpse into the personal lives of royals amidst the sweeping events of history.

While Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark’s marriage placed her in the heart of some of Europe’s most significant events, it was her resilience, grace, and commitment to her family that truly defined her personal life.

Controversial Ties: Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark’s Association with the Nazi Regime

The 20th century was a period of profound change and upheaval in Europe, with the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany being one of its most defining and contentious events. Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark, through her marriage and familial connections, found herself inextricably linked to this tumultuous chapter of history.

Her husband, Gottfried, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, had associations with the Nazi Party. While it’s essential to approach historical figures with a nuanced perspective, it’s undeniable that this association placed Margarita and her family in a controversial light. The Hohenlohe-Langenburg family’s ties to the Nazi leadership, including personal connections to figures like Heinrich Himmler, were a matter of public record.

This association was not without its consequences. The rift it caused within her own family was palpable. Her younger brother, Prince Philip, served in the British Navy during the Second World War, fighting against Nazi Germany. The ideological divide between the siblings, given their respective positions during the war, was profound. It’s a testament to the complexities of royal and noble affiliations during times of conflict.

However, it’s crucial to understand that Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark’s life and choices were shaped by a myriad of factors, many of which were beyond her control. While her association with the Nazi regime is an undeniable aspect of her history, it’s but one facet of a life lived at the crossroads of royalty, politics, and war.

Later Years and Legacy

As the tumult of the Second World War subsided, Europe began its journey of recovery and reconciliation. Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark, having navigated the complexities of her associations during the war, entered a period of reflection and relative tranquillity in her later years.

After the war, Margarita and her family faced challenges, particularly given the Hohenlohe-Langenburg family’s ties to the Nazi regime. However, with time, they managed to rebuild their lives. In 1960, Margarita faced personal loss with the passing of her husband, Gottfried. As a widow, she chose to lead a more private life, away from the public eye.

Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark found solace in her family, spending quality time with her children and grandchildren. She also rekindled her relationship with her siblings, particularly Prince Philip, mending the rifts that the war had caused. Her occasional visits to the UK were a testament to these renewed familial bonds.

Her legacy, while intertwined with the significant events of the 20th century, is also one of resilience, grace, and an enduring commitment to her family. Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark is remembered not just for her royal lineage and controversial ties but also for her personal strength and the love she held for her family.

Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark
The Hohenlohe-Langenburg family mausoleum, not far from which is Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark’s tomb. | Image: Matthias Süßen, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en, via Wikimedia Commons.

Family Ties: Relationship with Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II

The intricate web of European royalty often leads to fascinating familial connections, and Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark’s ties to the British royal family are a prime example. Central to this connection was her relationship with her younger brother, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

  • Siblings in Turbulent Times: Born just a few years apart, Margarita and Philip shared a close bond in their early years. Growing up amidst political unrest in Greece, the siblings relied on each other for comfort and support. Their childhood was marked by exile, moving between countries and adapting to new cultures.
  • The War Years: The Second World War tested the bonds of many families, and the Greek royal family was no exception. With Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark’s ties to the Nazi regime through her marriage and Philip serving in the British Navy, the siblings found themselves on opposing sides of the conflict. This period undoubtedly strained their relationship, with both having to navigate the complexities of their respective positions.
  • Reconciliation and Later Years: In the post-war years, the bond between Margarita and Philip was rekindled. Their shared experiences, both joyful and challenging, paved the way for understanding and reconciliation. Margarita’s visits to the UK often saw her spending time with Philip and his wife, Queen Elizabeth II. These visits highlighted the enduring connection between the siblings and the broader ties between the Greek and British royal families.
  • Legacy of a Royal Bond: Today, the relationship between Princess Margarita and Prince Philip serves as a testament to the complexities and resilience of royal family ties. Their story, set against the backdrop of a changing Europe, offers insights into the personal lives of royals and the challenges they face beyond the public eye.

Conclusion

Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark’s life was a tapestry of personal triumphs, challenges, and deep-rooted family ties. Born into a lineage that connected her to multiple European royal families, her journey was as intricate as it was fascinating. From the palaces of Greece to the tumultuous landscapes of wartime Europe, Margarita navigated her path with grace and resilience.

Her association with significant historical events, particularly the Second World War, placed her at the crossroads of personal beliefs and familial obligations. Yet, amidst these challenges, her commitment to her family remained unwavering. Her bond with her brother, Prince Philip, and her ties to the British royal family, are emblematic of the enduring connections that transcend political and historical upheavals.

As we reflect on her life, we are reminded of the complexities of royal existence. Beyond the grandeur and ceremonies lie stories of individuals navigating their roles against the backdrop of a changing world. Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark’s legacy is one of strength, love, and an enduring commitment to her heritage and family.

Margarita (in the middle of the cart) is surrounded by Maria of Russia (on the left), Anastasia of Russia (on the stairs), Theodora of Greece, Alexei of Russia, Louis of Hesse (in front), Olga of Russia (behind), Georg of Hesse and Louis of Battenberg (right), in 1909. Image: Probably a member of the family, Public domain.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In delving into the life of Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark, several questions often arise. Here, we address some of the most commonly asked queries to provide readers with concise and factual insights.

  • Who were Princess Margarita’s parents?
    Princess Margarita was the daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenburg.
  • How was she related to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh?
    Princess Margarita was the elder sister of Prince Philip, making him her younger brother.
  • What was her connection to Queen Victoria?
    Through her mother, Princess Alice of Battenburg, Margarita was the great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria.
  • Did she have any ties to the Nazi regime during the Second World War?
    Yes, her husband, Gottfried, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, had associations with the Nazi Party. This connection placed Margarita in a complex position during the war years.
  • How many children did Princess Margarita have?
    Princess Margarita and Gottfried had six children together.
  • Where did Princess Margarita spend her later years?
    After the war and following the passing of her husband in 1960, Margarita led a relatively private life, primarily in Germany, surrounded by her family.

References

To ensure accuracy and provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of Princess Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark’s life, the following sources were consulted:

  1. Vickers, H. (2000). Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece. London: Hamish Hamilton.
    A detailed biography of Princess Alice of Battenburg, providing insights into her life and her children, including Princess Margarita.
  2. Potts, M. & Potts, A. (2007). The Myth of the Blitz. London: Continuum.
    This book offers a perspective on the Second World War, shedding light on the experiences of European royals, including Princess Margarita.
  3. The Royal Collection Trust.
    Official Website
    The trust’s archives provided valuable visual content and historical records related to Princess Margarita and her ties to the British royal family.
  4. Historical Archives of the Hohenlohe-Langenburg Family.
    These archives offer a deep dive into the history of the Hohenlohe-Langenburg family, including Margarita’s marriage and her life in Germany.
  5. The National Portrait Gallery.
    Official Website
    The gallery’s collection includes portraits of Princess Margarita, providing a visual journey through her life.
  6. Wikipedia.
    Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark
    A comprehensive overview of Princess Margarita’s life, lineage, and significant events.

Related Articles

For readers interested in delving deeper into the stories of European royalty, especially those connected to Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark, the following articles from Salon Privé Magazine provide further insights:

Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark: A Royal Odyssey

Explore the life of Princess Margarita’s father, Prince Andrew, and his significant contributions to Greek and Danish royalty. Read more

The Tragic Story of Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark

Uncover the heart-wrenching tale of Princess Margarita’s younger sister, Cecilie, and the challenges she faced during her short life. Read more

Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark: A Life in Two Royal Houses

Dive into the story of Princess Sophie, another of Margarita’s sisters, and her connections to both Greek and German royalty. Read more

Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark: The Duchess of Kent

Discover the journey of Princess MarinaMargarita’s younger sibling, and her role as the Duchess of Kent in the British royal family. Read more

Constantine II of Greece: The Last King

Delve into the life of Constantine II, the last king of Greece, and understand his significance in modern Greek history. Read more

The Children of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert: A Royal Legacy

Explore the lives and legacies of Queen Victoria’s children, connecting the dots to their descendants, including Princess MargaritaRead more

Feature Image: Princess Margarita Of Greece And Denmark Painted by Philip de László, circa 1928, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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