During the early and mid-1960s, then-Crown Prince Constantine was a popular figure in Greece. Around that same time, his sister, Princess Sophia, married the future King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

The Royal House of Greece seemed to be doing very well for itself. And then in 1964, King Paul died of stomach cancer and Constantine ascended to the throne. Making him forever more King Constantine II of Greece. But not very long after, a series of events that would prove disastrous for the Hellenic Monarchy would ensue. Including, but not limited to, the rise of a dictatorship.

And now another chapter related to that part of history has come to a close.

Constantine passed away on January 10, 2023

The former King Constantine II has died, reports Politico and Reuters. A precise cause of death has not been immediately announced to the public. But Constantine had apparently been in failing health and was hospitalized at the time.

Constantine had a particularly unhappy distinction. As the king at the helm of his country's monarchy when it was abolished during the 1970s. His accession would happen the month after the third rise of Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou. It was not a happy partnership between the two, who clashed frequently.

But even still, those earliest days were likely the best for Constantine as king.

Because before the decade was out, an authoritarian regime seized control of the Greek government. Eventually leading to he and his family being exiled to Italy.

When the dictatorship was toppled, the Greek people chose to go on a different route. One that would not include its storied monarchy. Citizens apparently weren't satisfied with Constantine's failure to fend off the authoritarians.

Though, maybe a bit contradictory, others thought that he involved himself too much in politics. Perhaps most damaging of all was the unpopularity of his mother, Queen Frederica and the power she wielded.

For the next several decades, Constantine and his family were largely absent from the country they once presided over. They spent much of their time living in London.

But as time went on, positive sentiments towards them started to rise again. On Christmas Eve of 2004 Constantine and his family made a high-profile visit to their former home. The former Royal Palace had since been transformed into the Presidential Mansion. Where they were hosted by President Konstantinos Stephanopoulos.

Eventually, Constantine and his wife, Queen Anne-Marie, were allowed to return to Greece. He would remain a resident for the remainder of his Earthly days.

His eldest son becomes head of the family

Constantine's second-born child, Crown Prince Pavlos, now sits atop the Royal House of Greece. Should the monarchy in Greece be restored, as has been discussed at times, he would theoretically become king.

As it stands, the family shares close relations with a number of other reigning monarchies in Europe. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is Anne-Marie's sister. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is her first cousin and King Harald V of Norway is her second cousin. King Felipe VI of Spain is Constantine and Anne-Marie's nephew. King Charles III of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth is Constantine's second cousin.

Constantine was a renowned athlete

Constantine was an accomplished athlete who participated in a variety of sports. Most notable being sailing. In 1960, Constantine competed in sailing at the Summer Olympics in Rome. He would earn a gold medal in the dragon class event. Constantine and King Harald, a world champion sailor himself, would become honorary co-presidents of World Sailing.

In addition, Constantine would earn a black belt in karate. Other Olympic sports he took an interest in include swimming, track and riding. Shortly before becoming king, he became a member of the International Olympic Committee.