Friday, September 2, 2016

Greek Queens: Sophie supports Germany, while Olga sides with Russia

September 2, 1916

There has been a lot written about how the "masterful Queen Sophia of Greece and of the manner in which for two years she has been exercising her powerful influence on her husband," in connection with the present war that many have forgotten the Dowager Queen Olga, who will celebrate her 65th birthday tomorrow.

Queen Olga, the widow of King George, who was assassinated in 1913, has remained in Petrograd for the last 18th months.  She has refused to return to Greece as she will not sanction the "hostile attitude" that her son, King Constantine, and his German-born wife, have toward Russia and her allies, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

Olga was born in Russia, the daughter of Grand Duke Constantine Nicholaivitch. the sailor brother of Alexander II, and "probably the most gifted and liberal-minded" member of the Russian Imperial Family.

Queen Olga believes that Greece "owes everything to Russia."   Until Constantine married Princess Sophie, a younger daughter of the late Friedrich III,  the people of Greece looked to Russia as the bulwark against the Turks.  Nicholas II's mother, the Dowager Empress Marie, was the sister of King George.  Two of Olga's daughters,  Princess Marie and Princess Alexandra, married Grand Dukes George and Paul, and Olga's son, Prince Nicholas, is the husband of Grand Duchess Helen.
Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection

As Crown Princess Sophie was determined to eliminate Russian influence in Greece and replace it with a total Germanizing of the court.  This led to antagonism with Queen Olga,  as well as Constantine's siblings.   According to this dispatch,  Sophie became more aggressive when she became Queen.

The antagonism grew more acute as the years went by.  It was difficult for Queen Olga to support a cause, only to have Sophia "combat" the idea.  Olga, as the dowager Queen, found her position difficult.  She could not speak to her son, as he is  "under the sway of her German daughter-in-law."

So she remains in Russia, unable to provide, even tacit approval of King Constantine's position in the war."

1 comment:

Göran said...

Do you believe there is anything true in this, or were there just malicious allegations? I have always read that Queen Sophia was very 'English' orientated due to her mother?