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Funeral Oration of HM King Constantine II of blessed memory

Dear Brother Archons and Friends,

While the Archon Leadership was in Athens, Greece on a preparatory visit to plan the 4th International Archon Conference for Religious Freedom, the Foundation for Democracy and Human Rights, the funeral of HM King Constantine II took place on Monday, January 16th, 2023 at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Annunciation which was conducted by Archbishop Ieronymos. The burial of Greece’s last king who reigned from 1964~1973 was attended by 8 royal heads of state and many other representatives and heads of European royal houses, including HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, HM King Felipe VI of Spain and representing the British monarch, was his sister HRH Princess Anne. There were many other distinguished Greek and international mourners who are friends of the family, including our own Father Alexander Karloutsos and Presbytera Xanthi.

The eldest son of King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie, HRH Crown Prince Pavlos, a dear friend, offered a moving farewell to his beloved father which I have attached with his permission for your edification. It was a most fitting and eloquent expression of respect, gratitude and love for a cherished “Papa” and late king.

Maria joins me and The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle in offering our heartfelt condolences to HM Queen Anne-Marie, HRH Crown Prince Pavlos and the entire family of HM King Constantine II of blessed memory.

Ζωή σε σας.

With abiding faith in our Lord and Savior and with hope in His resurrection, I remain,

In Christ,

Anthony J. Limberakis, MD

Archon Aktouarios


 

Funeral Oration of HM King Constantine II of blessed memory

Offered by HRH Crown Prince Pavlos

January 16, 2023 / Athens, Greece / Metropolitan Cathedral of the Annunciation

Papa, Constantine, Your Majesty, Grandfather, Olympic Champion

It is a painful day of departure for all of us.

For Your Dear Queen and our Mother.

For us, Your children and grandchildren.

For all those who come together on this day to say farewell to You for the last time.

And for all those who honour Your memory, and for everyone whom it is not possible to be here today.

But Father, this is not the end. You shall always live in our minds and hearts – as it happens with every Greek family when they lose the dearest and most precious figure of their life.

At a very young age, You lost your Father, King Pavlos, my Grandfather.

However, You always remained loyal to the legacy that He conveyed to You, when at the age of 18, You became Crown Prince of Greece and received your commission as an officer in the glorified Armed Forces of Greece.

His advice included and I quote:

“Devote your life to the happiness of the motherland – for it is the most noble and remarkable mission.”

“Always remember that it is better for the King to suffer than for the people and the country.”

“You are the guardian and protector of our Holy Church.”

“Heal offense through forgiveness, discord through unity, mistake through truth, and doubt through faith.”

This is the legacy of my Grandfather to You, that is now passed to myself, my brothers, and your grandchildren. It is a contract of honour. A sacred rule of order for us which You honoured first and foremost throughout all Your life.

As Olympian, You honoured Your country by winning the gold medal at the 1960 Olympic Games. You brought honour to the blue and white flag of Greece and to our homeland. Your victory was a feat of tactical and physical endurance that you navigated on the sea with Your dedicated crew toward ultimate victory.

It was truly a challenging era when You ascended the Throne. Hard conflicts, opposing passions, and the result was one that no one wished for. From the very first moment, You tried to overthrow the coup. Your effort did not come to a successful result – yet You did not wish that Your presence in Greece would provoke bloodshed. Always loyal to the legacy of Your Father, You respectfully accepted the decision made by the Greek People.

Your love for the youth, for their education, and for international sport has been a constant. Being the founder of the Hellenic College of London, the international school organization Round Square, as well as actively participating in the World Sailing International Federation and the Olympic Committee (IOC) demonstrate the dedication and spectrum of Your efforts to support these goals. The influence you exercised for the election of Athens as the host for the 2004 Olympic Games was one of your most important achievements.

Family was a core value to You and our Mother. It has always been Your strong belief that it is the foundation of society. Together, You created a large family, inseparably united by love for each other and a sense of duty for the country.

By the grace of God, You drew Your last breath in our country, which You always loved, above all else, throughout Your whole Life.

On this day, we, Your children and grandchildren, who are the future of Your family, here in our land and around the world, are ready as You had always been, to offer to Greece whatever the country asks of us.

My strength is the love of the people – this has always been the motto and guiding principle of our family.

For us, as for all the Greeks, the strength of the country lies in the love of the Greek people for their homeland.

We, as you dear Papa, will always love Hellas and its people.

Safe journey.

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