The former London mansion of King Constantine II of Greece has been sold for £6million during lockdown.
Spilling over 9,500-square foot of prime Hampstead real estate, just a stone’s throw away from the so-called Billionaire’s Row, it was used as the royal’s British bolthole after he was forced into exile following the coup of 1967.
As Prince William’s godfather, Constantine regularly hosted Princess Diana who would regularly been seen arriving in her open-top Audi.
Estate agents Glentree, which specialise in marketing luxury properties, waxed lyrical about the idyllic celebrity enclave in which the grand property is located on Linnell Drive.
Trevor Abrahmsohn said: ‘Cross Whitestone Pond in Hampstead and you enter a surreal, bucolic fairy-tale world, complete with red telephone boxes and village greens.’
And describing the home itself, he said: ‘Space was never an issue in this residence, which stretches to more than 9,500-square-foot – which was just as well, since the royal Greek lifestyle was typified by a burgeoning family entourage, with a glittering social network and army of domestic staff, to attend to their needs.
‘Hence, the 13 bedroom suites, where a small army could be very easily lost.’
Constantine, the first cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh, and his wife Anne-Marie of Denmark fled Athens for Britain and set up home in north London, buying a 13-bedroom stately house on the edge of Hampstead Heath.
There they raised their five children Alexia, Pavlos, Nikolaos, Theodora and Philippos, and would often host visits from Princess Diana and the young princes in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Constantine and Anne-Marie lived in exile at the luxurious gated house for 46 years until making the shock announcement in 2013 that they were moving back to Greece for good.
As well as 13 bedrooms it boasts nine bathrooms, a reception hall, drawing room, study, garden room, kitchen and half an acre of garden.
The walls played host to the most dazzling parties, according to the estate agents, which said: ‘Even in the most rarefied circles, it would be difficult to surpass the illustrious A-list guests at one of the many functions, which were held in the property.’
Greece descended into civil war after it was liberated from the Nazis in 1944, and the conflict finally came to a head 23 years in 1967.
Constantine had come to the throne aged 24 three years previously following the death of his father King Paul but was forced to flee when a junta of army generals overthrew the ruling monarchy and took control of the country.
The military dictatorship continued until 1974 when it was overthrown. Constantine had hoped to return to the throne but instead the country became a republic.
A law was passed in 1994 stripped Constantine of his Greek citizenship, passport, and property.
His wife Anne-Marie is the sister is Queen Margrethe of Denmark. The pair are said to have returned to Athens after Constantine grew homesick.