Friday, July 10, 2015

Pavlos No Ordinary King by Nikos Politos

King Paul (Pavlos) was only 63 years old when he died in March 1964, leaving the throne to his only son, the inexperienced Crown Prince Constantine.   Known as 'good King Pavlos,' he was a sovereign genuinely mourned by many of his subjects.

Thus, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death,  Greek filmmaker Nikos Politos released a documentary, Pavlos No Ordinary King, which took three years to complete.

The premiere took place at the Gennadios Library in Kolonaki on March 5, 2014 in the presence of King Constantine, Queen Anne Marie, Queen Sofia and other members of the Greek and Spanish royal families.  King Simeon of Bulgaria, Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, Princess Alexandra of Hannover (who died last month) and Archduchess Helen of Austria were also present.   Alexander and Helen's mothers were Greek princesses by birth.  Princess Alexandra was the late Queen Frederika's sister-in-law.

Politis told the assembled crowd: "For us, there is nothing more noble than searching for the truth.  Except one thing. The restoration of it."

The documentary was released as a DVD and is included in the eponymous softcover  companion book.

Pavlos No Ordinary King has 255 pages celebrating King Pavlos' life from his birth through several exiles, marriage and parenthood and the growing political tensions between the king and Greek premier Karamanlis, and the king's death from stomach cancer.

This book offers readers insight into Pavlos' life (from the monarchists' point of view) with a biographical text and a diverse selection of historical photographs from Pavlos' childhood to death.   The photos were chosen from several Greek archives and other sources.  Much to my delight, the book includes a very clear photo of Joyce  Brittan Jones, King George II's companion.

The text of the book is bi-lingual: Greek and English.   The publisher has also included a series of color photos of the Greek royals at the premiere of the documentary.

A DVD of the 2.5 hour documentary will be found in a slipcase in the inside back cover. It is a Region 2 DVD, which means it can only be played on European DVD players, unless you own a code-region free DVD players with a PAL converter.  (North America uses NTSC as its television system.  PAL and NTSC are not compatible.

No Ordinary King offers new insight into the life and reign of King Pavlos of the Hellenes.  

Only 1000 copies of the book were published..  It can be ordered through Amazon. Dutch bookstore van Hoogstraten also has copies in stock.  The cost is 55 Euros.  The Amazon price is $58.00.   The publisher is MP productions.

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