With the death of Constantine II the Greek royal family has regained the spotlight and, seizing the opportunity, the Greek government has announced that Tatoi Palace, the final resting place of the former monarch’s remains, will open as a museum in 2025. Until then , those interested in the country’s monarchical past can visit another of the former residences of the royal family.
On the east coast of the island of Corfuarises the palace of Mon Repos, used by the Greek royal family for their summer holidays and years ago transformed into a municipal archaeological museum. In reality, only a few details reveal his link with the royal family.
On the facade of the building hangs a plaque commemorating the birth of the deceased Duke of Edinburghborn June 1921. In 2021, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s consort, the Corfu Heritage Trust has announced plans to open a permanent exhibition on Prince Philip inside the museum, but everything is still suspended and it seems that the palace will more easily attract fans of The Durrells than the royals: the palace, in fact, is one of the locations in the series.
Built in the early 19th century, Mon Repos Palace originally belonged to the summer house of the British governor of Corfu, then a British protectorate like the other Ionian islands. In 1864, following the union of the archipelago with Greece, the palace was handed over to the King George I of Greece. The Greek royal family then began to spend their summer holidays there, a bit like the Spanish royal family does with Marivent.
During one of these summers, Prince Philip was born, the future husband of Queen Elizabeth II and son of Princes Andrew and Alice of Greece, whose first photograph was taken right in the palace. Also there Princess Alexia, eldest daughter of King Constantine and Queen Anna Maria, born in July 1965, was born in Mon Repos. The palace is also the scene of some youthful memories of Queen Sofia, that she spent a summer here when she began her courtship with Don Juan Carlos.
Like Tatoi, the Greek royal family’s summer palace was confiscated in 1974 by Papandreou’s socialist government. But as Tatoi fell into disrepair, Mon Repos was given to the Ministry of Culture to house the Archaeological Museum of Corfu, which opened in 2000, which saved it. Today the gardens and the immense estate surrounding the palace, with direct access to the sea, are open to the public.
Source: Vanity Fair
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