- Anniversary Juan Carlos and Sofia, 60 years of a wedding of which there is nothing to celebrate
- History It is 65 years since the first meeting between Don Juan Carlos and Doña Sofía in the 'Agamemnon'
This Sunday, May 14, marked the 61st anniversary of the lavish wedding in Athens of Don Juan Carlos and Doña Sofía, eldest daughter of the Greek monarchs, which was picked up by the world press. Less known is their wedding night aboard a dream sailboat, the Creole, a spectacular schooner owned by the Greek billionaire shipowner Stavros Niarchos, where he spent the first leg of his six-month long honeymoon. They began sailing to Spetsopoula, the tycoon's private island, and then stopped in Corfu, Italy, Estoril, Monaco and Spain.
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Subsequently, they visited India, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan and, finally, the United States, with stops in Hawaii, California, Los Angeles and Washington, where they were received by President Kennedy at the White House.
Their wedding night was not what is said romantic, despite the spectacular cabin they occupied, upholstered with white carpet and deer mats, on whose walls hung works by impressionist masters. There are even doubts that they could consummate that night the "making dynasty" as Queen Federica, mother of Doña Sofía, defined the sexual act between royals.
Don Juan Carlos had broken his left collarbone days before his wedding practicing karate with his brother-in-law, Constantino, and they had to cast his arm. The plaster was removed for the ceremony in the cathedral, then it was put back on, but the plaster had stuck to the skin and Doña Sofía had to tear it off in pieces, causing her great pain.
Nor does it seem that they were right with the choice of the boat. Onassis, Niarchos' other rival Greek shipowner, had offered them his yacht Christina, but they opted for the Creole which, they say, contains a terrible curse. Built in noble woods, with a weight of 700 tons and about to turn one hundred years old, it is 65 meters long, 9.5 meters wide and its sail surface exceeds 1,200 square meters that, when deployed, offer an unprecedented spectacle on the sea. Known as "the most beautiful sailboat in the world", it carries 16 crew members, Italian chef included, and accommodates 11 people in its six cabins.
Eugenia Livanos, died on board in strange circumstances. There were suspicions of murder
Its first owner was the American millionaire Alexander Smith Cochran, who commissioned its construction in 1926 to the Camper & Nicholson shipyards, baptizing it as Vira. He wanted to treat himself before he died, because he suffered from tuberculosis. The day of its launch began its black legend, as it took three attempts to break the bottle of champagne against its hull, something of bad omen.
In addition, its very high masts caused vertigo to its owner, who sailed little on it and decided to sell it.
Its next owner was Maurice Pope, who changed the name to Creole in honor of his New Orleans cook, and in 1937 he sold it to a British nobleman, Sir Connop Guthrie, who only enjoyed it for a couple of years, because in World War II it was requisitioned to use it as a mine deactivator on the Scottish coast. In one of his war missions, he lost the masts, and was stranded, until he caught the attention of the Greek shipowner Stavros Niarchos, who bought and restored it with great luxury, making the Creole an icon of his power.
Many celebrities paraded through their cabins, such as the future Kings of Spain, Juan Carlos and Sofia, who spent their wedding night there. However, in 1970 a tragic event resurrected his curse, because the third wife of the shipowner, Eugenia Livanos, died on board in strange circumstances: according to the official version, by overdose of barbiturates, although there were suspicions of murder. This misfortune marked Niarchos, who did not want to know anything about his yacht, and was sold in 1977 to the Danish government to turn it into a training ship, being also used as a rehabilitation center for young people with addictions.
The current owner of the ship is Alegra, one of the daughters of Maurizio Gucci who was murdered
In 1982, in very bad condition, it was again put up for sale, until another tycoon, in this case of fashion, Maurizio Gucci, heir to the brand, fell in love with it, investing a fortune in restoring it in German and Mallorcan shipyards. Surprisingly, Gucci also starred in another tragedy when he was murdered on March 27, 1995, at the hands of a hitman hired by his ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, nicknamed "the black widow", who was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The current owner of the ship is Alegra, one of Gucci's two daughters, who keeps her property in memory of her father. The sailboat, which spends long periods moored in the Balearic Islands, can be rented, but only a select few can enjoy it, as the price is around 250,000 euros per week. Surely, more than once Doña Sofía has seen him sail the sea from the terrace of Marivent and given the vicissitudes that his marriage has gone through and the current exile of Don Juan Carlos in Abu Dhabi, he has remembered the curse that weighed on the Creole, where his union with the Emeritus was consummated.
- Juan Carlos I
- Queen Sofia
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