Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark

Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark

Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark was a woman whose life was marked by both joy and tragedy. Born into royalty, she lived a privileged childhood before marrying into another royal family. However, her life was cut tragically short in a plane crash that also claimed the lives of her husband and two of her children. Despite this devastating loss, Cecilie’s legacy lives on through her surviving children and grandchildren, as well as through the enduring fascination with her story in popular culture. In this article, we will explore the life and legacy of Princess Cecilie, from her early years to her untimely death and beyond.

Cecilie’s Early Life

Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark was born on June 22, 1911, in Tatoi Palace, Greece. She was the third child and second daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. Cecilie had four siblings: Margarita, Theodora, Sophie, and Philip, who later became the Duke of Edinburgh.

Cecilie’s early life was marked by political turmoil as her family was forced to flee Greece during the Greco-Turkish War. They settled in Paris for a while before moving to England where they lived with Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. Cecilie received her education at home from private tutors and showed an interest in music and art from a young age. Despite her royal status, she remained humble and down-to-earth throughout her life.

Cecilie’s Wedding

Cecilie’s wedding was a grand affair, attended by royalty and dignitaries from all over Europe. On February 2, 1931, she married her first cousin once removed, Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. The ceremony took place at the Evangelical Church in Darmstadt, Germany.

The bride wore a stunning gown made of silver lamé and tulle with a train that measured over 20 feet long. She also wore a diamond tiara that had been in the family for generations. The groom looked dashing in his military uniform.

The couple exchanged vows in front of their families and guests before embarking on a carriage ride through the streets of Darmstadt. The reception was held at the New Palace where they danced the night away.

Their marriage was short-lived as tragedy struck just two years later when they were both killed in a plane crash while en route to London for a wedding. Despite their untimely deaths, Cecilie’s wedding remains an important moment in European royal history.

Cecilie’s Tragic Death

Princess Cecilie’s life was cut short tragically at the young age of 26. On November 16, 1937, she and her family were traveling from Germany to London for her sister’s wedding when their plane crashed in Ostend, Belgium. The accident claimed the lives of Cecilie, her husband, and their two children, as well as her mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

The news of the crash shocked Europe and left many in mourning. Cecilie was known for her beauty, grace, and kindness towards others. Her death was a great loss not only to her family but also to the people who knew her personally or admired her from afar. Even today, over 80 years later, people still remember Princess Cecilie with fondness and respect. Her tragic death serves as a reminder that life is precious and should be cherished every day.

Cecilie’s Legacy

Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark’s legacy is one that is often overshadowed by the tragic circumstances surrounding her untimely death. However, it is important to recognize the impact she had during her short life. Cecilie was known for her philanthropic work, particularly in the areas of healthcare and education. She was a patron of several organizations, including the Red Cross and the German Society for Child Welfare.

Cecilie’s dedication to helping others continued even after her death. Her husband, Grand Duke Georg Donatus of Hesse, established a foundation in her memory that provided aid to those affected by World War II. The Princess Cecilie Memorial Fund also supported medical research and education initiatives.

Despite her relatively brief time on this earth, Princess Cecilie left a lasting impression through her selflessness and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. Her legacy serves as an inspiration for future generations to follow in her footsteps and strive towards creating positive change in their communities.

Cecilie in Popular Culture

Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark may not be a household name, but her tragic story has been the subject of various works in popular culture. In literature, she is often mentioned in books about the royal families of Europe and their connections. Her life and death have also been depicted in several films and television shows.

One notable portrayal of Cecilie is in the 2016 German film “A Heavy Heart” (Schwere Jungs). The movie tells the story of a former boxer who becomes a chauffeur for a wealthy family, including Princess Cecilie. The film explores her relationship with her husband, children, and the events leading up to her untimely death.

Cecilie’s legacy lives on through these depictions in popular culture, ensuring that her story will continue to be remembered for generations to come.


In conclusion, Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark was a remarkable woman whose life was tragically cut short. Despite her privileged upbringing, she faced many challenges and difficulties throughout her life. Her marriage to Grand Duke Georg Donatus of Hesse was a happy one, but it was also marked by tragedy when they both died in a plane crash along with their two young children. Despite the sadness that surrounded her death, Cecilie’s legacy lives on through her descendants and the memories of those who knew her. She will always be remembered as a kind-hearted and gracious princess who left an indelib and enjoy this classic American treat!

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