King Constantine of Greece says his pledge to fight as a soldier to defend democracy in Greece was not a call to arms to the Greek People against their rulers.
GV Constantine and family walking in garden
SCU Constantine interviewed
REPORTER (RICHARD LINDLEY): "Well now the Colonels say that you supported the naval mutiny last month. They say that even though you were told that it would fail, you still gave the order to go ahead with it. Now what truth is there in that?"
KING CONSTANTINE: "Absolutely no truth whatsoever, In my statement to the Greek people, I categorically denied any involvement in this move by the Royal Navy."
REPORTER: "Do you think that the Naval officers and men who did mutiny thought that you were behind them?"
KING: "That I can't say for sure, because as I haven't had any contact with them, I don't know, I would be very happy if this could be found out. Maybe one could ask them."
REPORTER: "Although you say you had no hand in this thing, did you in your mind give it moral support"
KING: "I give moral support to anything that would help in getting rid of this type of regime in my country. And I think that all the Greek people give moral support to any effort in the restoration of the true democracy."
REPORTER: "Your family crest, I think bears the crest: My strength is the love of my people. Do you really have any evidence that you are the focus of a real opposition to the present regime?"
KING: "I think yes, I think because the Greek people and the armed forces know that, as long as they don't have the possibility to elect a free government and express themselves in a true democratic way, I will remain the sale expression of legality and responsibility for the nation. And in that respect I think it is quite clear that I will be the sale attraction of opposition."
REPORTER: "Turning to your own personal situation at the moment, the Colonels have been supporting you financially while you have been in exile here in Rome. Now, presumably that's stopped."
KING: "That is correct that it has stopped, but I do not believe that the Colonels are supporting me here in Rome. I'm being given an allowance which has come from the Greek people, and which is given to the Head of State by the freely elected government of the country. In this case it is not a freely elected government of the country, and therefore I consider that the allowance that has been given to the Head of State comes from the Greek people."
REPORTER: "Now that it has stopped, how are you going to live?"
KING: "A very good question, I shall have to look into it very seriously over the next few days how I am going to support my family."
REPORTER: "What prospects do you see, what could you do?"
KING: "I will have to think about it very carefully, and see what I am going to do from now on. In the last few days, I haven't really had time go get down to that problem."
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Background: King Constantine of Greece says his pledge to fight as a soldier to defend democracy in Greece was not a call to arms to the Greek People against their rulers. He told BBC-reporter, Richard Lindley, in a filmed interview on Monday (4 June) that he meant that every Greek, including the King, should join with the Greek armed forces in fighting for what is right for their country.
King Constantine was interviewed in his rome villa, after the announcement form Athens that the government had deposed him. he denied involvement in last month's abortive mutiny in the Greek navy. But he said he thought few Greeks would be fooled by the Greek government's promise of free elections by 1974.
A transcript of the interview follows: