Constantine first met Anne-Marie while on a state visit to Denmark in 1959 when the princess was only thirteen years old. Two years later, after their second meeting, Constantine informed his parents, Paul I of Greece and Frederica of Hanover, that he was going to marry Anne-Marie. The couple were officially engaged on 23 January 1963, however they were not allowed to marry until after Anne-Marie’s eighteenth birthday. While Anne-Marie concentrated on finishing her education, Constantine was kept preoccupied with his increasing official duties as his father’s health was failing. In March 1964, Constantine became King Constantine II of the Hellenes after the death of his father, however he would be the last reigning monarch of the country.
Prior to the wedding, Constantine traveled to Denmark to claim his bride and the couple were toasted at a private dinner in Fredensborg, the summer residence of the Danish royal family. Since the wedding would be taking place in Greece, the Danish had to settle for a grand banquet at Christianborg which was attended by over 1000 guests. The following day, the couple were given a civic reception by the City of Copenhagen, and took part in a procession through the streets before making their departure for Greece.
On 18 September 1964, Constantine married Anne-Marie in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens, and it would be one of the last old-style dynastic marriages in Europe. Anne-Marie followed tradition by commissioning her dress from Danish fashion designer Jorgen Bender and it was a relatively simple design with few adornments, however it did have a high waist and three-quarter sleeves. The lace veil, once belonging to Margaret of Connaught, extended over the long train and was anchored in place by the Khedive of Egypt Tiara, a gem that has been worn by all of female descendants of Queen Ingrid on their wedding days and it is still Anne-Marie’s possession.
The orthodox ceremony differed in that the bride and groom did not exchange the vows familiar in western ceremonies, instead they listened as the archbishop intoned the sacrament of matrimony before exchanging rings and taking communion. Queen Olga of Greece, a former grand duchess, introduced the Russian custom of holding crowns over the heads of the bridal couple and since this is a long and tiring process, the crowns are held by a number of people in succession. For Constantine and Anne-Marie, this part of the ceremony was started by the groom’s mother, Frederica, and continued by crown bearers, including: Crown Prince Harald of Norway; Crown Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden; Charles, Prince of Wales; Prince Michael of Greece, and Prince Michael of Kent.
Anne-Marie’s bridesmaids were: Princess Clarissa of Hessen; Princess Anne of the United Kingdom; Princess Christina of Sweden; Princess Irene of Greece, Princess Marguerite of Romania; and, Princess Tatiana Radziwill.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds made their way back to the palace in Athens where they attended a wedding breakfast before leaving for their honeymoon in Corfu.