Today I shere with you a portrait colourisation of Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark, favourite sister of Prince Phillip, husband of our late Queen Elizabeth II.
Her tragic story is one filled with sorrow and loss. Cecilie was born on June 22, 1911, in Tatoi, Greece. She was the daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. Cecilie was a member of the Greek royal family as well as a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
In 1931, Cecilie married her cousin, Prince George William of Hanover, who was the younger brother of the Duke of Brunswick. The couple settled in Germany and had three children together: Prince Ludwig, Prince Alexander, and Princess Johanna.
Tragedy struck the family on November 16, 1937, when Cecilie and her family boarded a plane to attend the wedding of her younger brother, Prince Louis of Hesse and by Rhine, to Princess Margaret of Prussia. The plane, a Dutch airliner named "IJssel," encountered unfavorable weather conditions near Ostend, Belgium.
Due to heavy fog, the plane crashed into a factory chimney. All on board, including Cecilie, her husband, and their two sons, perished in the accident. Cecilie was eight months pregnant at the time, and her daughter Johanna, who was born prematurely, survived only briefly after the crash.
The news of the tragic accident shocked the world, and Greece and Germany mourned the loss of Princess Cecilie and her family. Her father, Prince Andrew, who was then living in exile in France, traveled to Germany to identify the bodies of his daughter and grandchildren.
The funeral of Princess Cecilie and her family took place in Darmstadt, Germany, and was attended by members of European royal families. Cecilie and her family were laid to rest in the New Cemetery in Darmstadt.
The loss of Princess Cecilie and her family deeply affected her parents and siblings. Her mother, Princess Alice, who had a close bond with Cecilie, suffered a mental breakdown and spent the rest of her life in various sanatoriums. Cecilie's father, Prince Andrew, died in 1944, and her younger brother, Prince Philip, went on to marry Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and become the Duke of Edinburgh.
The tragic story of Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark serves as a reminder of the fragility of life and the profound impact of unexpected loss on those left behind.