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The last king of Greece, Constantin, buried in the old royal cemetery

The last king of Greece, Constantin, buried in the old royal cemetery

Athens: Greece’s last king, Constantine II, was laid to rest at Tatoi Royal Cemetery near Athens on Monday, after a private funeral service that drew dozens of European royals and a crowd of several hundred.

Constantine, who died aged 82 last week, was a divisive figure in the country’s history, and the government has drawn criticism from Tories after deciding not to honor him with a state funeral.

Former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was among those who said Constantin, a former Olympic gold medalist for Greece, deserved to be buried as a former head of state.

In his eulogy, Constantine’s eldest son, Paul, said his father ascended the throne during a “difficult time” and left the country to avoid “further bloodshed”.

“This is not the end, father. You will live forever in our thoughts and hearts,” he said, adding that the former monarch helped Athens win the 2004 Olympics.

At least 2,000 people had lined up outside the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens from dawn on Monday to pay their respects, according to state television ERT.

Police declined to give an estimate of the numbers.

Some pickers clutched royal-era flags, flowers and portraits of the ex-king and his wife, Danish Princess Anne-Marie.

Many bowed and kissed the coffin, which was draped in the Greek flag. (AFP)

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