Former King Constantine, who died on Tuesday in Athens, had an affair with Aliki Vougiouklaki in the early 1960s, and it was an affair that made headlines in international newspapers at the time.
Vougiouklaki was one of the most popular stars in Greek cinematic history. The blonde stunner was so beloved that she was even given the title of “The National Star of Greece.”
Reports suggest that relations between the pair began in 1959, when the then Prince Constantine, accompanied by his sisters Irini and Sofia, who later became Queen of Spain, attended a play called “Topo sta niata” in which Aliki Vougiouklaki starred.
Constantine is said to have fallen in love with the Greek star, whom he met almost every day. Rumors at the time about the romance were fueled by the Prince’s regular appearances in the Athens theater, where Vougiouklaki performed.
“She had a friendship with Constantine and from what it seems, he was really in love with her,” Aliki Vougiouklakis’ brother, Antonis, has said in an interview.
“He went almost every day [to] the studios [where] she was filming,” he said. “He kept besieging her…”.
Foreign media presented the affair as “the romance of the prince and the Greek Grace Kelly.”
Almost half a year later, in July 1960, reports said that Vougiouklaki went to Italy for the Olympic Games held in Rome for the Olympic Games.
Prince Constantine was competing, and, at the age of just twenty, he won an Olympic gold medal in sailing. This was the first Greek gold medal won in sailing since the Stockholm Olympic Games of 1912.
Italian magazine Oggi reported that the pair “shared passionate moments in Italy,” as Constantine was secretly meeting Vougiouklaki.
Former King Constantine and Aliki Vougiouklaki met through a tunnel
According to reports at the time of their romance, Constantine often spent endless hours outside the theater to see the Greek star, and he sent her a bouquet of roses every day with a card signed simply as “Kostas” (short for Constantine).
The press even wrote that the two were meeting through a secret tunnel connecting the royal palace to Vougiouklaki’s apartment nearby to avoid the paparazzi.
The one and only time Constantine spoke about his relationship with Aliki Vougiouklaki was many years later in an interview with Cyprus public television broadcaster RIK.
When asked to comment on the “urban legend” about his relationship with Vougiouklaki, Constantine said that she was “an amazing actress and a good person.”
Commenting on the secret tunnel he said jokingly, “I don’t know what to say. If we believe that such a tunnel exists and if Vougiouklaki decided to change house, would we have to create a new tunnel?”
He admitted, however, that he had visited the studios Vougiouklaki was filming, and, when asked if it was an affair, he laughed and said, “I don’t know, you tell me.”
In an interview in 1993, Aliki Vougiouklakis said, “We chatted for endless hours…We hung out, he was a very tender young man, very pressured by his mother. Then she had sent him on tour to get him away from me.”
Vougiouklaki was referring to Constantine’s mother Princess Frederica, who was opposed to the relationship between the young prince and the actress.