Despite looking like a younger, overly bejeweled, more glamorous version of Mamie Eisenhower, Queen Frederica of Greece led a life of surprisingly romantic intrigue. Born a princess of Hanover and a granddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm ll of Germany, she nearly became the Princess of Wales in an Adolf Hitler endorsed arranged marriage in the mid 1930’s. Though that deal fell through, her marital eligibility was left high enough for her parents to marry her off to the heir to the lesser Greek throne. By the early 1950’s, Frederica became entangled in an affair with CIA founder Allen Dulles that, according to investigative journalist Peter Evans, inadvertently led to the eventual assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy.
Author Charles Higham wrote in The Duchess of Windsor, The Secret Life, that Britain’s King George V was far more in favor of warmer relations between his country and Nazi Germany by the mid 1930’s than is generally known. Adolf Hitler, who felt a treaty with Great Britain would give him a free hand to destroy their mutual enemy the Soviet Union, felt the same way and hit upon the idea of solidifying an alliance between the two countries by arranging a marriage between Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales and his distant German cousin Princess Frederica of Hanover. The tomboyish daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick, Frederica was attending boarding school in England at the time. Both sets of parents, who’d remained good friends despite the adversities caused by the First World War, were in favor of the match. The Prince of Wales, however, was already inthralled with Mrs. Simpson by then and his father was apparently not willing to press the issue. The proposed marriage died there, and in 1938 the Duke and Duchess arranged for Frederica to marry Prince Paul, the little brother and heir apparent to the childless King George ll of Greece.
A question mark still hangs over the sexuality of Prince Paul, who succeeded his brother in 1947 as King Paul I. Gore Vidal wrote in his memoir Palimpsest that the opium addicted literary muse Denham Fouts claimed to be King Paul’s lover when they met in the early 50’s. Fouts produced a postcard from the royal palace in Athens reputedly from Paul inviting him for a visit. Even Vidal admitted the evidence of their affair was flimsy at best. Regardless of Paul’s alleged proclivities, he fathered four children with Frederica and both were partners in power if not in the bedroom.
By the early 1950’s Queen Frederica became involved in an affair with CIA founder Allen Dulles. Having been introduced by shipping billionaire Stavros Niarchos on his yacht, Dulles went to extraordinary lengths to cover up their liaison. By 1954 the CIA’s first director was actively trying to destroy Greek shipper Aristotle Onassis’s bid to become the world’s richest man by becoming the exclusive tanker carrier of Saudi Arabian oil. According to Peter Evan’s book Nemesis, Dulles knew that once Onassis found out about the director’s involvement in the plan to wreck the Jiddah Deal, as Onassis’s proposal was popularly known, as well as Dulles’s affair with the Queen, Onassis would blackmail Dulles into letting his business deal proceed. Dulles therefore devised a plan in which all signs pointed to Bobby Kennedy, at that time an attorney with the Justice Department, as the culprit of the destruction of Onassis’s deal. Dulles hated the Kennedys anyway. The plan worked. Onassis not only blamed Bobby Kennedy for the debacle, but vowed revenge. Evans concludes his book by credibly asserting that Onassis was responsible for Kennedy’s 1968 assassination. Regardless of whether one believes this assertion or not, the incontestable fact is that Queen Frederica’s lover protected her from a diplomatic incident.
Another international incident was narrowly avoided in 1958 when Frederica was on a state visit to Washington D.C. with her son, Constantine. At the end of the visit she announced she was staying an additional week. She then met Dulles at the Pentagon for a private assignation at his office. After a prolonged period of time, one of the director’s aides knocked on his door to insure he was fine. After not getting a reply, the aide entered the office to find it empty. Dulles and Frederica then emerged from a private room in a stage of undress that suggested they’d just finished having sex.
The affair apparently ended by the early 60’s. After watching her son lose his throne in 1967, Frederica died in 1981 while having her cataracts removed. Her affair with Dulles wasn’t revealed until many years after her death. What secrets she may’ve learned while being Dulles’s mistress she took to her grave.