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Last King of Greece Constantine II Dead at 82

Former King Constantine II of Greece arrives at the Yacht Club of Greece in Piraeus, near Athens, on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Former King Constantine II of Greece and former Queen Anne-Marie celebrate Thursday their Golden wedding anniversary with royals from all over Europe. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Constantine II, the last King of Greece, has died at the age of 82, APA reports citing Sputnik.

The news comes roughly a week after Constantine was hospitalized following a stroke. On Sunday, he was described as being in “serious but stable” condition at Hygeia Hospital in the Athens suburb of Chalandri, and had been moved out of the intensive care unit.

Constantine ascended to the Greek throne in 1964, following the death of his father, Paul, King of Hellenes. However, he was forced to flee the country just three years later, when the Greek military seized power, setting up a military dictatorship under Georgios Papadopoulos.

In 1973, the junta held a referendum on abolishing the monarchy, which passed, but was not considered to be legitimate, so when the junta collapsed in the following year, a new referendum was held that confirmed the result, establishing the Third Hellenic Republic. Constantine accepted the results from abroad.

As a younger man, Constantine studied at a boarding school in Alexandria, Egypt, alongside the future Hashemite King of Jordan, Hussein, and served in all three branches of the Greek armed forces. He was also an accomplished athlete, holding a black belt in karate and winning an Olympic gold medal in sailing in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.

Following the 1967 coup, Constantine attempted to moderate the power of the military by forcing them to agree to mostly civilian ministers, but fled the country after an attempted counter-coup failed. He lived in exile for the next 40 years, and while claiming to have been convinced of the merits of democracy, he also attempted to sue the Hellenic Republic for the value of royal property seized by it in 1992 during actions that also stripped him of Greek citizenship.

He and his wife, the former Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, lived in England until 2013, when they returned to Greece, buying a villa on the Peloponnese.

He is survived by Anne-Marie and their five children Alexia, Pavlos, Nikolaos, Theodora, and Philippos.