Chantal Marie of Greece - Biography
One of the famously well-connected and well-married Miller sisters, Marie-Chantal is no stranger to generating column inches in the society pages. The beautiful and elegant wife of Prince Pavlos of Greece has lived a modern-day fairytale, from her upbringing as the daughter of a billionaire to her acceptance into Europe's royal circle.
London, England, UK
Marie-Chantal Claire Miller made her appearance into a gilded world on September 17, 1968, the daughter of American duty-free billionaire Robert W Miller and his beautiful Ecuador-born wife Maria Clara Pesantas. The middle of three sisters, she was raised in Hong Kong until the age of nine, and like her siblings Pia and Alexandra attended the Institut Le Rosey boarding school in Switzerland followed by the Ecole Active Bilingue in Paris. Her love of art and design later led to studies at the New York Academy of Arts and New York University.
The delicate blonde socialite and her two sisters are perhaps best known for their well-connected marriages. While Pia married oil heir Christopher Getty and Alexandra wed Prince Alexandre von Furstenberg - the only son of fashion designer Diane - Marie-Chantal caught the eye of Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece. The couple met at a wedding anniversary party thrown by mutual friends in New Orleans; seated next to each other they instantly hit it off.
"It really was love at first sight," recalled Pavlos, the eldest son of the former King Constantine of Greece, who was deposed in a military coup in 1967. "I was immediately struck by her delicate features and her stunning beauty. Then I soon discovered we had so much in common."
They became engaged in 1995 after a romantic proposal in the Swiss ski resort of Gstaad, and their July 1 wedding that year in London attracted representatives from most of Europe's royal houses. The 1,250 guests included Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the groom's aunts Queen Sofia of Spain and Queen Margrethe of Denmark. Catholic-raised Marie Chantal, then 26, converted to the Greek Orthodox Church before the ceremony at the capital's St Sophia Cathedral.
After the marriage the pair moved to New York where she continued her studies in art history and Pavlos worked as an investment consultant. Their first child, Princess Maria Olympia, was born in 1996 and three sons followed Prince Constantine Alexios in 1998, Prince Achileas Andreas in 2000 and Prince Odysseas Kimon, who arrived in 2004 in London, where the family is now based.
A key figure on glossy magazine best-dressed lists and renowned for her elegant fashion sense, in 2000 Marie-Chantal put her passion for style into founding her eponymous line of luxury children's clothing. Sold in London, New York and Greece it includes Reese Witherspoon and Princess Caroline of Monaco among its clients. She has also written and illustrated several children's books.