Constantine II, who was the last king of Greece until 1973, before the country’s monarchy was abolished and a republic proclaimed, died on Tuesday evening at the age of 82. He was in intensive care at an Athens hospital, doctors who treated him told the Associated Press, without specifying what he died of. There has yet to be an official announcement of his death from the family. Before becoming king, Constantine II had also been a notable athlete in his youth: at the age of twenty he won gold at the 1960 Rome Olympics in team sailing.
He ascended the throne in 1964, in a particularly turbulent period in Greece from a political point of view: only three years later in the country there was a military coup, which Constantine II decided to support, or at least not openly oppose. In the meantime, however, he was preparing a counter-coup to remove the military junta: this failed in December 1967 and Constantine II voluntarily went into exile together with his family, taking refuge in Italy (then also in Denmark and England).
He was formally deposed by the military junta in 1973, and therefore his reign appears to have lasted a total of 9 years, and the Republic was established: the following year in Greece, two referendums confirmed that decision. Constantine II was a descendant of the Glücksburg royal family of Denmark, cousin of King Charles III of England and godfather of Prince William. In 2004 he had a role in the International Olympic Committee during the Olympic Games in Athens.
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