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This Week in History: September 17 to 23

September 17, 2021

SEPTEMBER 18TH:

On this day in 1964, King Constantine II of Greece married the Danish Princess Anne-Marie (two weeks after her 18th birthday). Constantine II was the only son of King Paul and Princess Friederike of Hanover, while Princess Anne-Marie was the youngest daughter of King Frederick IX of Denmark and Princess Ingrid of Sweden. It was the first, and to date only, wedding of a Greek monarch whilst they sat on the throne. The wedding took place at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens. The couple, third cousins, first met in 1959 when then-Crown Prince Constantine accompanied his parents on a state visit to Denmark. Princess Anne-Marie was just 13 at the time. They met again in 1961, and in 1962, Anne-Marie was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Constantine's older sister, Princess Sophia. In 1962, Princess Anne-Marie was on holiday with her governess in Norway, where Crown Prince Constantine was attending a yacht racing event, he proposed, she accepted. King Frederick IX initially withheld his consent, as Anne-Marie was only 15 at the time, but eventually relented on the conditions that she finish her education and reach her 18th birthday.

SEPTEMBER 19TH:

On this day in 1982, Eleni Daniilidou, the Greek tennis player, was born in Chania, Crete. She is considered as one of the best Greek tennis players of the Open Era, winning five singles titles and three doubles titles on the WTA Tour. In 2003, she reached the mixed-doubles final of the Australian Open, making her the first Greek player to have reached a Grand Slam final. Her highest singles ranking is world No. 14, making her the only female tennis player from Greece to have reached the top 20. No male tennis player had achieved this until Stefanos Tsitsipas reached 15th place on August 13, 2018. By beating Justine Henin in the first round of the 2005 Wimbledon Championships, she became the first player to defeat a reigning French Open champion in the first round of Wimbledon.

SEPTEMBER 23RD:

On this day in 1821, the city of Tripolitsa was once again declared to be Greek. The siege/fall of Tripolitsa to revolutionary Greek forces began in the summer of 1821 and marked an early victory in the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. It is also known for the massacre of its Muslim and Jewish population, which occurred after the city’s fall to the Greek revolutionary forces. The siege and eventual fall of Tripolitsa was an idea earlier conceived by Theodoros Kolokotronis, because he calculated that this would be a heavy blow for the Turks and would certainly give a major advantage to the Greeks, since Tripolitsa was the administrative hub of the Ottoman Empire in Morias (the Peloponnese) and home to probably half of the Turkish population in the district. The anniversary of the heroic liberation of Tripolitsa is honored every year with events that go on for many days in the presence of high officials and a massive crowd. These celebrations include a Divine Liturgy and an Archieratical Doxology held in the Cathedral of Agios Vasilios of Tripolis, a celebratory speech, a memorial service, and a wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of the bishops and dignitaries, a parade in the center of Tripolitsa and finally, traditional dancing in the main square.

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