The Queen’s goddaughter Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark stars on the popular American soap The Bold And The Beautiful
The Queen may not have time to keep up with the most-watched soap opera in the world, but viewers in America have been treated to the sight of her goddaughter, an actress who goes by the stage name Theodora Greece, stalking the offices of the show’s resident baddie Bill Spencer (played by Don Diamont) as his trusted secretary, Alison.
The ups and downs of the Royal Family have often been likened to those of a soap opera; now one of their member has actually gone and joined one.
The daughter of the former King Constantine II of Greece and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, Theodora was born in 1983, ten years after the Greek monarchy was abolished and exiled.
The fourth of five children, she was raised in London and speaks with a perfect English accent. She made headlines as a baby when, after bursting into tears during her christening, Theodora was only quieted when her godmother calmed her down by stroking her forehead.
‘And ever since then she’s been a very hands-on godparent,’ says Theodora. ‘She’s always very interested in what I’m doing and encouraging. She has a great sense of humour too, and is a great personal inspiration to me because she’s such a tireless worker.
The Danish Royal Family and their guests arrive for a Galadinner at Christiansborg Palace
‘I don’t get to see her very much at all, maybe once a year, because I live in LA now and she’s so busy, but she’s very involved and full of good advice. And like all godparents, of course, she always gives great presents!’
Theodora grew up in Hampstead with Princes William and Harry as her playmates. ‘My father is William’s godfather and Princess Diana was my younger brother Philippos’ godmother, so we were all pretty close. We had lots of fun during the summer holidays and I just remember running around Highgrove and playing in the tree houses with them.’
She boarded at the all-girls Woldingham School in Surrey, and it was there that her passion for acting first flourished. ‘I was very shy when I was young,’ she says, ‘and so I started acting in school plays because I thought it might bring me out of my shell.
‘In my first play, I was Bugsy Malone and I loved it, I just never stopped. My parents loved coming to see me in things, especially my dad.’ The Queen, too, has always encouraged Theodora’s acting aspirations, which are coming to fruition after a series of small parts in independent films such as The Lightkeepers, with Gwyneth Paltrow’s mother Blythe Danner.
Pretty, blonde and bubbly, 29-year-old Theodora appears to have wandered in from Hollywood central casting and, given her royal lineage, directors must be falling over themselves to hire her. ‘Well, I’ve always gone to auditions as Theodora Greece, I try to stay anonymous. I’ll sometimes try and pass myself off as American too, just because I want to get parts because of my ability.’
Theodora went for the role of Alison last year thinking it would be a one-off part, ‘but they must have liked me because I’ve been there ever since.
She couldn’t make the Royal Wedding but watched it with her friends until 4am
Bill Spencer is the villain of the show and Alison gets to see what he’s up to. They have a sort of Bond-Moneypenny relationship and his evil ways rub off on Alison, so that’s fun to play.’
Having lived in Los Angeles for the past three years, Theodora missed this year’s Jubilee celebrations, ‘although I watched it all on BBC America’, she says.
But she did get back to watch the Olympics and says, ‘I absolutely loved the Bond sketch with the Queen. I thought it would have been a lookalike actress, so when she turned around I was shocked. She was a good sport and it’s a great example of her sense of humour.’
She only sees her godmother once a year but says she buys great Christmas presents
Of course, the Queen could have ended up as more than just a godmother to Theodora. As royalty (albeit exiled), the young girl was touted as a possible match for Prince William, something which amuses her even now. ‘I grew up knowing him, so I don’t think that was on the cards,’ she says.
‘My parents and elder brother [Crown Prince Pavlos] went to his wedding last year, but because I was in LA I couldn’t go. But I did have one of my best friends over and we sat there at 4am watching it on TV.’
Theodora is currently single, but dating. And sounds far too busy for all that anyway, what with her soap work and an upcoming part in the big screen re-make of the 60s TV series The Big Valley, opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Lee Majors.
‘I was cast about a year and a half ago, so I hope the film finally gets made. I’d love to carry on doing what I’m doing and hopefully move on to making movies and getting leading roles. I may as well admit it,’ she says, ‘I’d love to win an Oscar one day. That’s my ultimate ambition.’
And as busy as she is, no doubt even Princess Theodora’s godmother would stay in to watch that particular event on TV.