7 JUNE 2001
There was a large royal turnout in London today as Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and his wife Marie-Chantal christened their third child, Achileas Andreas. In fact, just about the only royals not present were the British, who turned down the invitation because it was election day.
Queen Sofia of Spain, as Pavlos’ aunt, attended her great-nephew’s big day, as did Ernst of Hanover and his wife Princess Caroline. A brace of Bulgarian princes, Kardam and Kyril, as well as their wives Miriam and Rosario also found the time to welcome little Achileas into the Christian faith. Both sets of proud grandparents, ex-King Constantine of the Hellenes and Queen Anne-Marie, and duty-free tycoon Robert Miller and his wife Chantal, were also present at the ceremony, which was officiated over by the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain.
The christening was held at the Greek Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Bayswater, west London. Little Achileas' godparents are Princess Theodora of Greece, Spain’s Infanta Elena, Alexandre von Furstenberg (who is married to Marie-Chantal’s sister Alex), Prince Kardam and his sister-in-law Princess Rosario of Bulgaria, Princess Guillaume of Luxembourg and Veronica Toub, a family friend from America.
The couple, who have two other children, Maria-Olympia, four, and Constantine Alexios, two years her junior, have made no secret of the fact that they want a large family. “Children are adorable,” said the Crown Prince recently. “My wife and I think our role as parents is so important. We have always dreamt of having a big family.”
Later that evening the guests headed to Syon House, near the world famous Kew Gardens, for dinner. Queen Sofia accompanied Pavlos' parents, King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie in a Daimler car to the beautiful stately home, while the other guests boarded a white coach. They included Elle Macpherson, who is a close friend of the Greek crown prince's younger brother Nikolaus, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and their two children, Freddie and Ella, and the fashion designer Valentino.
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