Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Constantine not worried about losing throne

December 1, 1915

One male member of the Greek royal family recently spoke with the Associated Press's Foreign Correspondent in Athens, and discussed the current situation.   The unidentified prince said "We believe it is better for Greece to make sure of keeping what she has got than to risk what she has just won in two bloody, costly wars in the hope of getting more."

The prince decided to speak to the reporter, perhaps at the suggestion of King Constantine, as the royal family has been "much criticized" at home and abroad.

"There is no time for a mere fox to be greedy.  There are too many lions and tigers on the prowl these days."

The Greek monarchy may be in danger, and "events of the next few months" may leave King Constantine without a throne.  

The king is aware that the "tenacity with which he had held to his determination" that Greece should not enter the European war" has led to one political crisis after another.  He has created one Cabinet "after another" and cannot be so "ignorant that he has set himself against the will of people."  His actions have driven the "people's idol. Eleutherios Venizelos, into a political corner," where there may be no exit.

Constantine is simply waiting for what he "considers the appropriate moment for action."  He has made only one public statement since October 13, since the beginning of the current political crisis in Greece, following the second election of Venizelos, "by a majority of the Greek people."

The King's brothers and his children believe Constantine is "steering with complete confidence."  He is convinced he knows the Greeks better than they know themselves.

Queen Sophie, the sister of the German Emperor, may have her husband's ear, but she has "little influence."

There was criticism of the King after he ordered the mobilization of the troops.  He did not head immediately to Saloniki to "place himself as the head of his country's troops as commander-in-chief."  He was said to be ill, but the real reason what that he did not want to leave the "political direction of the country" in the hands of Mr. Venizelos.

Even after foreign troops landed at Greece's second city,  the king did not travel. He sent his 25-year-old son, George, the heir to the throne, and "installed" his brother, Prince Andrew to keep an eye on his son.

Prince Andrew and his nephew are living in a "pleasantly situated little villa" on the water, near Saloniki.   Andrew's wife, Princess Alice, does not come often to Saloniki, because she finds it "too embarrassing."  She is seen as an English princess, and Saloniki is filled with British officers and peerages whom she has known for years.   She cannot extend to them "the slightest hospitality" as this would be seen as a royal acceptance of the presence of foreign troops in Greece.
She had remained in Athens with the couple's four young daughters.

Like his older brother, the King,  Prince Andrew is good looking.  He is "tall, clean shaven," and wears a monocle.   His pride is said to be his cavalry regiment.

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