Constantine II of Greece
Constantine (left) at the 1960 Olympics
|Height||189 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||80 kg (176 lb)|
Constantine was born at the Psychiko Palace in Psychiko, a suburb of Athens. He was the nephew of King George II, and also the second child and only son of the king's brother and heir presumptive, Prince Paul. His mother was Princess Frederica of Hanover. Constantine's older sister Queen Sofía of Spain is the wife of the retired King Juan Carlos of Spain, while his younger sister, Princess Irene, has never been married.
Constantine was just one year old when Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany invaded Greece, and he spent the next four years in exile in Egypt and Cape Town, South Africa (where his sister Irene was born) with his family. He returned to Greece with his family in 1946. King George died in 1947, and Constantine's father became the new king, making Constantine the crown prince. He was educated at a preparatory school and later a boarding school where he was an above-average student academically. A fellow student recalled him as "a good chap, a young man with all the right instincts. He was at his best on the playing fields."
Constantine served in all three armed services, attending the requisite military academies. He also attended the NATO Air Force Special Weapons School in Germany, as well as the University of Athens, where he took courses in the school of law.
Constantine was an able sportsman. In 1960, aged 20, he won an Olympic gold medal in sailing (dragon class), which was the first Greek gold medal in sailing since the Stockholm 1912 Summer Olympics. He was also a strong swimmer and had a black belt in karate, with interests in squash, track events and riding. In 1963 Constantine became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He resigned in 1974 because he was no longer a Greek resident, and was made an Honorary IOC Member.