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Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark

European royal

Died when: 26 years 147 days (316 months)
Star Sign: Cancer


Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark

Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark (Greek: Καικιλία, romanized: Kaikilía; 22 June 1911 – 16 November 1937) was by birth a Greek and Danish princess who became the titular Hereditary Grand Duchess consort of Hesse and by Rhine through her marriage to Prince Georg Donatus, pretender to the throne of the Grand Duchy of Hesse.

She was also the third-eldest sister to Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (later Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh) and the paternal aunt of Charles III.

The third of five children of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, Cecilie spent a happy childhood.

In her early years, however, she witnessed the Balkan Wars (1912–1913), followed by the First World War (1914–1918) and the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922).

For the young princess and her relatives, these conflicts had dramatic consequences and led to their exile in Switzerland (between 1917 and 1920), and then in France (from 1922 to 1936).

During their exile, Cecilie and her family depended on the generosity of their foreign relatives, in particular Marie Bonaparte (who offered them accommodation in Saint-Cloud) and Lady Edwina Mountbatten (who supported them financially).

The year 1929 was a turning point in Cecilie's life.She formed a relationship with her maternal cousin, Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse.

Around the same time, her mother was struck by a mental health crisis which led to her confinement in a Swiss psychiatric hospital until 1933.

After marrying Georg Donatus in 1931, Cecilie moved to Darmstadt.There she gave birth to their three children, Ludwig (1931–1937), Alexander (1933–1937) and Johanna (1936–1939), before becoming pregnant with her fourth child in 1937.

Initially distant from the Nazi movement, she joined the Nazi Party at the same time as her husband in May 1937.

Soon after, the princess and her family embarked on a trip to the United Kingdom, where they were to attend the wedding of her brother-in-law Louis, Prince of Hesse and by Rhine to Margaret Campbell Geddes.

However, the aircraft in which they were travelling crashed in flames near Ostend, instantly killing all the passengers.Repatriated to Darmstadt, their remains were buried in the Grand Ducal mausoleum of Rosenhöhe on 23 November 1937.

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