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Queen Sofia returns to Greek homeland during first official visit

May 19, 2008
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There was a trip down memory lane in store for Queen Sofia of Spain recently as the 69-year-old royal headed to the Greek Island of Rhodes. Though it was her first official visit to Greece as Queen of Spain, it was in fact her second time on the island. She made a trip as a small child with her parents, King Paul and Queen Frederika - who at the time were the ruling sovereigns of the country.

As the Mediterranean sun beat down from above Sofia rode atop a donkey to the highest point of Lindos - a small town and archaeological site on the east coast of Rhodes. There she was shown the magnificent acropolis and fort, parts of which date back to the 7th century BC.

Though Sofia admits to feeling 100 per cent Spanish since marrying the now King Juan Carlos in 1962 and making her home in the country, her ancestral history is rooted in Greece. She was born in Athens, and though her family was exiled from Greece for a time during WWII, she studied archaeology in the capital after they returned in 1946. In 1960, she also represented Greece at the Summer Olympics in sailing.

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Photo: ©
Riding atop a donkey, the Spanish royal made her way to the magnificent acropolis and fort of Lindos, a small town and archaeological site on the east coast of Rhodes Photo: © Rexy
Photo: ©
Sofia, who is the eldest child of the former King and Queen of Greece, was in the country on her first official visit as the Queen of Spain Photo: © Rex

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