Greek police finalize security plan for ex-king’s funeral

Greek media said Saturday that 1,000 police will be deployed for the funeral service and burial of former King Constantine.

Police wouldn’t confirm the reports, but announced that a figure was finalized at a meeting of top security officials on Saturday.

Police said they “will have a presence at vital points (around) the metropolitan cathedral and (the royals’ former summer residence of) Tatoi, as well as the funeral procession’s route and the locations where invited officials stay.”

Constantine, the former and last king of Greece, will be buried as a private citizen on Monday in Tatoi, about 29 kilometers (18 miles) north of Athens, next to his parents and where his ancestors are buried, the government announced Wednesday.

Constantine died in a hospital late Tuesday at the age of 82. Greece’s monarchy was definitively abolished in a referendum in December 1974 and Constantine spent decades in exile before settling in his home country once more in his waning years.

His body will lie in state Monday morning, from 6 am.-10 a.m., at a chapel next to the metropolitan cathedral. The funeral service will take place at noon.

About 200 people were invited to the funeral service, and about 60 will attend the burial in Tatoi. All will attend a memorial dinner at a central Athens hotel later Monday.

Work crews have been busy clearing the burial site of debris and paving the road to the graves with gravel.

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