On this day in 1995 Pavlos, the eldest son of Constantine, the deposed king of Greece, married billionaire Robert W. Miller’s daughter, Marie-Chantal, at London’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sophia. Pavlos and Marie-Chantal were first introduced on a blind date arranged by Alexander ‘Alecko’ Papamarkou, a New York based investment banker and the son of a former aide to Pavlos’ grandfather, King Paul of Greece. Papamarkou introduced the couple at the 40th birthday party of Philip Niarchos, which was held in New Orleans. According to Marie-Chantal’s 2008 Vanity Fair interview, she said of the encounter, “it was love at first sight. I knew that [Pavlos] was the person I would marry.” Pavlos proposed to Marie-Chantal on a ski lift in Gstaad, Switzerland about two years after they met. Constantine and former queen Anna Maria officially announced the engagement from their residence in London on January 11, 1995. That same week, Pavlos and MarieChantal traveled to Constantinople where they were blessed by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.
On this day in 2004, Greece won the UEFA Euro Cup in Portugal – one month before the 2004 Olympics. Greece’s previous visit to a European Championship was in 1980. They had made it to the 1994 World Cup but did not win a single game in the United States – which was not surprising since Greece’s national team had never won a game – or even scored a goal – in a major tournament. Thus, in 2001, the Greek Football Association handed responsibility of the under-performing national team to a veteran German coach, Otto Rehhagel. Speaking about Rehhagel, Takis Fyssas said, the first thing [Rehhagel] taught us was that the national team had to come first … he insisted that everything else came after the national team.”
On this day in 1827, the Treaty of London, which helped establish the modern Greek state, was signed by the United Kingdom, France, and Russia. These three main European powers had called upon Greece and the Ottoman Empire to cease hostilities that had been going on since the Greeks had revolted against Ottoman rule in 1821. After years of negotiations, the European allied powers finally decided to intervene in the war on the side of the Greeks. The Treaty declared the intention of the three allies to mediate between the Greeks and the Ottoman Turks. The base arrangement was that Greece would become a dependency of Turkey and pay tribute as such. Additional articles were added to detail the response if the Turkish Sultan refused the offer of mediation and continued hostilities in Greece. The articles detailed that the Turks had one month to accept the mediation or the Allied powers would form a partnership with Greece through commercial relations. Measures were also adopted stating that if the Ottoman Sultan refused the armistice, the Allies would use the appropriate force to ensure the adoption of the armistice. The Ottoman Empire declined to accept the Treaty, believing that they had a superior naval force. Thus, as outlined in the Treaty, the three European nations were allowed to intervene on behalf of the Greeks. At the naval Battle of Navarino (October 20, 1827), the Allies and Greece crushed the combined Ottoman-Egyptian fleet in an overwhelming victory that forcefully and effectively created an independent Greek state.