King of the Hellenes from 1913 to 1917 and from 1920 to 1922. The eldest son of King George I and Queen Olga. He was named after his mother's father, the Grand Duke Constantine of Russia. As Crown Prince, he had admired German military training. On 1 December 1916, an outbreak of violence involving French seamen and British marines (which resulted in the shelling of the Royal Palace in Athens) completed the breach between King Constantine and the Entente Powers. Greek ports were blockaded. The French, with the connivance of the new British Prime Minister, Lloyd George, gave the King notice to quit his throne - if the blockade was to be lifted. Because the King's eldest son, Crown Prince George, had served with the German army, he was unacceptable as a successor. So King Constantine stepped aside for his second son, Alexander. King Constantine I did not formally abdicate. Power became closely vested in the Prime Minister, Venizelos. At the General Election of 14 November 1920, Venizelos lost and left the country. On 5 December, 1920, the Greek people, in a plebiscite, voted for the restoration of King Constantine I. He returned in triumph a fortnight later. During the last days of the conflict with Turkey, a group of Greek colonels called for King Constantine's abdication. His health was failing, and, with the advice of Colonel Metaxas, he abdicated -avoiding the risk of Civil War. On 27 September 1922, the throne passed to his eldest son Crown Prince George, who became George II. Four months later in a hotel in Palermo, Sicily, King Constantine I died.
Bio by: Jelena
Olga Constantinovna Romanov Oldenburg