Amalia of Oldenburg (1818-1875) was born a duchess and became Queen of Greece when she married King Otto in 1836. Otto was appointed King of the “new” Kingdom of Greece in 1833.
Upon her arrival, she was immediately loved by the Greeks for her beauty, grace, charm, and sense of fashion. When she began to get involved with politics, that warm welcome went sour. Topped with her inability to produce an heir- the Queen found herself the victim of some pretty harsh attacks. It didn’t help that she remained Protestant in a strictly Orthodox country.
After an uprising in 1862, the King and Queen were forced into Exile and spent their final days in Bavaria.
Interesting notes on Amalia:
- She was the first to introduce the Christmas Tree to Greece
- When she arrived in Greece, she had a special dress made to reflect the style of her new people. It became a legendary fashion choice and is a national costume known as the Amalia dress.
- There was an assassination attempt on the Queen in 1861, the man was sentenced to death but Amalia stepped in and pardoned him.
- She was determined to beautify Athens, and in 1836 commissioned the National Gardens of Athens.