14 August 2020

Royal Jewel Rewind: The Greek Royal Wedding of 2010

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Our fifth and final post this week on Greek royal weddings past features a recent celebration: the nuptials of Prince Nikolaos and Tatiana Blatnik, which took place in Greece ten years ago this month.




Crown Prince Pavlos, Princess Alexia, and Prince Nikolaos play outside their home in Surrey as their parents, King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie, await the results of the referendum on the Greek monarchy inside, December 1974 (Keystone Pictures/ZumaPress/Alamy)

Over the past two days, we've talked about the royal lives and loves of Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark's elder siblings, Princess Alexia and Crown Prince Pavlos. Unlike them, Nikolaos was not born in Greece; he the first member of his family to be born after they went into exile. King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie welcomed Nikolaos, their third child and second son, in Rome on October 1, 1969. The family had left Greece two years earlier following a military coup. The new royal baby was baptized in Rome on January 25, 1970. The baptism was attended by Queen Friederike, Princess Irene, Princess Sofia of Spain, and King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark.


Prince Nikolaos attends the funeral of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, March 2004 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Prince Nikolaos spent his childhood in Italy, Denmark, and England. The Greek monarchy was abolished by referendum in 1974, and from then on, the former royal family established a new life for themselves in the UK. (His only visit to Greece as a child came in 1981, when the former royals were permitted to enter the country for a few hours to bury his grandmother, Queen Friederike.) Nikolaos was educated with Alexia and Pavlos at the Hellenic School in London, which was founded by his parents in 1980. He went on to earn a degree in international relations from Brown University in Rhode Island and worked in the television and financial management fields. Like his elder brother, Nikolaos also briefly trained at Sandhurst.


Tatiana Blatnik (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

The press often liked to depict Prince Nikolaos as a playboy, romancing actresses and supermodels. But in the early 2000s, he began dating the woman who would eventually become his wife. Tatiana Blatnik, born in Venezuela in 1980, was a decade his junior and had recently graduated with a degree in sociology from Georgetown University -- the same school that Nikolaos's elder brother had attended. Tatiana, who had spent her childhood in Europe and attended boarding school in Switzerland, also had another link to the extended family: she worked as an event planner for the fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, who son, Prince Alexander, had been married to a younger sister of Nikolaos's sister-in-law, Princess Marie-Chantal.


King Constantine, Queen Anne-Marie, Tatiana, and Nikolaos, February 2010 (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

The couple dated for several years, making a home together in the posh London borough of Chelsea, before Nikolaos proposed. The engagement was officially announced by King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie in December 2009. The couple posed for engagement portraits with Nikolaos's parents at the Royal Yacht Club in Athens.


Nikolaos and Tatiana pose for official engagement portraits in Greece, February 2010 (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

Like his father and brother before him, Nikolaos offered his fiancee a sapphire and diamond engagement ring. The sapphire in the ring was given to Nikolaos by Queen Anne-Marie.


Tatiana and Nikolaos attend the pre-wedding gala for Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel in Stockholm, June 2010 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Many expected that the wedding would be held at St. Sophia's Cathedral in London, where both Princess Alexia and Crown Prince Pavlos had been married. Ultimately, though, the couple opted for a summer wedding in Greece. By 2010, rules that had prevented the former royal family from spending time in Greece had been significantly relaxed. Rather than have the ceremony in the capital of Athens, however, the celebrations were scheduled for August 25, 2010, on the island of Spetses. In July, Tatiana converted to the Greek Orthodox faith in London. It was a busy summer for the couple: they also attended the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in June, and in July, Nikolaos was in Athens to serve as a best man at the wedding of a close friend, Nasos Thanopoulos.


Tatiana and Nikolaos attend the reception at the Hotel Poseidon (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Guests began arriving at the Hotel Poseidon in Spetses shortly before the royal wedding in August. A reception was held at the hotel, which was reserved entirely for the couple's guests, on the night before the wedding. Royals were pictured in summer attire and casual jewels for the occasion. The guest list for the wedding celebrations included Nikolaos's parents, siblings, and their spouses, as well as numerous other royal relatives. From Spain, two of Nikolaos's aunts, Queen Sofia and Princess Irene, traveled to Greece for the nuptials, along with Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, Infanta Elena, Infanta Cristina, and Inaki Urdangarin. Greek royal cousins Prince and Princess Michael of Kent were there with Lady Gabriella, as were Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and his son, Peter.


Greek royals at the pre-wedding reception (L-R): Prince Philippos, Princess Theodora, Carlos Morales Quintana, Princess Alexia, Queen Anne-Marie, King Constantine

Another aunt, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, attended with Crown Princess Mary (who was expecting twins), Prince Joachim, and Princess Marie. The extended Danish royal guests also included Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Carina Axelsson, as well as Princess Alexandra and her husband and son. The younger generation of European royals was also represented by Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, plus Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Princess Madeleine, and Princess Carl Philip of Sweden. Farah Pahlavi, the former empress of Iran, was there, too.


Tatiana arrives for her wedding (Milos Bicanski /Getty Images)

On the day of the wedding, Tatiana arrived at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in a horse-drawn carriage, accompanied by her stepfather, Attilo Brillembourg. The island was not closed to the public during the celebrations, and a small crowd of onlookers gathered outside the church to watch the bride's arrival.


Chris Jackson/Getty Images

For her wedding, Tatiana chose a lace gown by Venezuelan designer Angel Sanchez.


Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Her veil was held in place by the Antique Corsage Tiara, a loan from her mother-in-law, Queen Anne-Marie. The same tiara had been worn by Tatiana's sister-in-law, Princess Marie-Chantal, at her wedding fifteen years earlier. Tatiana also wore a pair of diamond and pearl earrings that look as if they were designed specifically to complement the heirloom tiara.


STUDIO KOMINIS/AFP/Getty Images

Although this royal wedding was a much less formal occasion than many other royal celebrations, we still got to see a few interesting pieces of royal jewelry. Here are some highlights! Queen Anne-Marie, mother of the groom, wore the same diamond cross pendant she wore for her own wedding in 1964, as well as Crown Prince Pavlos's wedding in 1995.


Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Princess Marie-Chantal wore a large sapphire ring (not her engagement ring) on her left hand, plus intricate diamond earrings made for her by JAR.


Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Rather than her usual long, layered necklaces, Queen Sofia chose a double-strand of multi-colored pearls with coordinating earrings (though you'll note several other necklace chains beneath the pearls).


Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Princess Letizia (who was still several years away from becoming Queen) wore gorgeous girandole earrings set with blue topaz.


LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark used her sapphire and diamond fleur-de-lis brooch as an enhancer on a pearl necklace.


Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Princess Maxima of the Netherlands (who was also several years away from becoming Queen) wore Queen Juliana's Aquamarine Drop Earrings.


Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

And Farah Pahlavi wore a very interesting suite of pearls adorned with coral rosettes.


Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana attend birthday celebrations for the King and Queen of Norway, May 2017 (JON OLAV NESVOLD/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2013, Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana made a major move: they relocated to Greece on a permanent, full-time basis. (King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie returned to the country at the same time.) Both are private citizens, but each has made Greece a priority in their working lives. Tatiana is a food writer who has co-written a cookbook focused on Greek cuisine, while Nikolaos captures the local landscape as a photographer. In 2016, Tatiana told Vogue that returning to Greece was "emotional, overwhelmingly so, because Nikolaos was so attached to the idea of Greece and couldn't get enough of it. One night, I was exhausted and wanted to go to bed but he pleaded with me, 'No, please, I must watch every sunset and every sunrise. I've been longing for this my whole life.'"