(5 Dec 2002)
LONDON, 5 December 2002 (APTN)
1. Exterior of Claridge’s Hotel, London, location of news conference
2. King Constantine and family pose for cameras
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) King Constantine, former Greek monarch: “My only aim is to get my home back. That was my only priority. I feel the government has behaved unjustly, vindictively, and there was absolutely no reason for them to take away my home, and especially to do it in the way of ratifying what the Greek dictators have done.”
4. Wide of King speaking with family looking on
5. Cutaway family (left to right: Queen Anne-Marie, Crown Prince Pavlos, Princess Marie Chantal, Prince Nikolaos)
6. Closeup Queen Anne-Marie with Crown Prince Pavlos
7. Wide of news conference
8. SOUNDBITE: (English) King Constantine, former Greek monarch: “I have stated to the Greek people that I was born Greek, I am Greek, and I will die Greek. There are certain things that every human being will not go further. You cannot push an individual further. And that’s my limit.”
LONDON , 1 July 1995 (APTN)
9. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth arrives for wedding of Constantine’s son Prince Pavlos, is greeted by Constantine
10. Wedding ceremony in which crowns are exchanged, Constantine and wife look on
LONDON, 5 December 2002 (APTN)
11. SOUNDBITE: (English) : King Constantine, former Greek monarch: “I would like to be treated as an equal. I would like to go into my country and out of my country like everybody else does. Now the Greek people have decided 30 years ago that they want to have a republic. That is their privilege. I am not about to go and try to change that.”
12. King and family depart
Former Greek monarch King Constantine accused the Greek government of ‘vindictiveness’ Thursday but insisted he had no intention of seeking to regain his crown.
He was speaking after the European Court of Human Rights ordered the Greek government to pay him 13-point-2 million euros in compensation for seizing family properties.
Constantine was flanked by his wife, Queen Anne-Marie, his sons Prince Nikolaos and Prince Pavlos, and Pavlos’ wife Princess Marie Chantal, at a news conference in London where he lives in exile.
The ex-monarch, who now lives in exile in Hampstead, north London, had claimed 480 (m) million euros/310 (m) million pounds sterling in damages.
Constantine, 62, a cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh and godfather of Prince William, said: “I have never ever claimed any money from the Greek people and never will.
“I feel that the Greek government have acted unjustly and vindictively. They treat me sometimes as if I’m their enemy – I am not the enemy.”
He repeated his intention to return to live in Greece but would at first have to obtain a Greek passport at present denied him.
“I consider it the greatest insult in the world for a Greek to be told that he is not a Greek,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s a single person who said that I cannot pray at my parents’ graveside.”
The compensation has been awarded in relation to three properties – Mon Repos Palace on Corfu, where Britain’s Duke of Edinburgh was born; the former royal palace at Tatoi, north-west of Athens which includes the royal burial ground; and a 9,000-acre hunting woodland at Polydendri in central Greece – which were seized.
The estates were seized at the same time as Constantine was stripped of his Greek citizenship. His family now travel on passports issued by Denmark, where his wife is a princess.
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