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Politics

Prince Charles: Greece’s 1821 Liberation Struggle Can Still Serve as Source of Inspiration Today

ATHENS — A part of the essence of Greece is within us all, said Prince Charles of Wales during his address at the state dinner hosted by President Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Wednesday.

Addressing Greek and foreign state leaders and dignitaries, the heir apparent to the British throne added that Greece's spirit permeates societies and democracies, being the source of western civilization. Without Greece, he pointed out, modern laws, the arts, and culture at large would not have prospered.

Referring to his special bonds with Greece and its people, Prince Charles said it is the home country of his grandfather Prince Andrew of Greece & Denmark and the birth place of his father Prince Phillip. Charles' grandmother Princess Alice of Battenberg helped rescue a family of Jews during the Nazi occupation of Athens, the prince recalled, which earned her a Righteous Among the Nations recognition by Israel.

Greece's 1821 triumph is not credited to a single heroic figure, he underlined, but to the extraordinary courage and vigor of all its people. The British, he noted, did not perceive the liberation struggle of a foreign peoples, but as the pursuit of a common struggle, as noted through Byron's and Percy Bysshe Shelley's poetry.

Prince Charles also expressed his great admiration for what he called the strength of Greek people, and said he was particularly moved by the resilience of young people in Greece, both during the economic crisis and the pandemic. He said he was pleased to be have been able to help them through the Prince's Trust International to find jobs or start their own businesses.

The 1821 Greek struggle, he said, could serve as a source of inspiration, as societies and economies are currently tied in a process of reconstruction, and Greece can count on its British friends now as much as it did back in 1821.

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