The Greek Royals
A blog dedicated to the lovely greek royal family: King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie, Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal, Princess Alexia,Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana,Princess Theodora and Prince Philippos.
Having just moved to Greece I was eager to get to know the true Greeks, the Greeks that everybody told me existed in the corners of society and not just what I was seeing and hearing on the news.
I had seen many glimpses of the Greek spirit of “filoxenia” which can be translated as hospitality and generosity and knew it was still alive and burning. Having also been a witness of the power that women can bring into a distraught world, Ι ventured out in search of the Greek woman; her roles, her strengths, her worries and those that are now looking for a voice.
One of the most fascinating moments in this search took place in Petralona, a runned-down area in the center of Athens, home to countless refugees who have fled to Greece in the years prior to the crisis.
We were trying to find the street number among the abandoned shops, when the vibrant colours of a window struck me. We had found BabyFeat- a centre where mothers bring in children’s items to earn points or “feats”.
The idea for BabyFeat evolved organically. Evita and Dimitra, best friends since childhood, had decided to become stay-at-home mothers after giving birth around the same time. Soon, Evita started to borrow baby clothes from Dimitras’ oldest child. Then they started swapping children’s items between them, then between their friends, and a simple idea became a website. The response was enormous and soon the virtual community found a home, where I was just about to enter.
The centre was filled with young mothers, babies and toddlers; it has become part of their daily lives- a happy, lively place where mothers can find much more than neatly stacked clothing and toys. Upstairs, a play date was taking place, cookies and coffee were offered to all and both children and mothers were forming friendships.
‘Feats’ (or points) are earned and spent instead of Euros. What an inspiring idea: when there is no money to buy basic necessities for your children why not start a “business” that is based on an exchange policy. It goes further than that- if you have no material goods to exchange you can volunteer your time for “feats/points”. This empowers mothers who previously felt helpless and inspires them to get out of the house and take action into their own hands. What they have found is that this has created a domino effect: The happy mothers can support their families and begin to form stronger bonds in the local community.
BabyFeat has inspired out-of-work mothers to find the strength to make a living from their hobbies by giving them a platform on their website and an outlet at the centre. I found beautiful hand-made creams, crafts, jewelry, bags and so much more.
In just two years, the two friends have developed a swapping network into a hub for an entire community. Their goal? To recreate their success by starting up more centers around Greece.
‘Mothers who have lost their jobs stopped feeling sorry for themselves; they got up and started feeling useful’, one of the volunteers explained. ‘The crisis is not just outside, it is within’. So BabyFeat now organize events that will bring the community together: Mums and children making cookies or bracelets outdoors, children painting portraits of their mothers for ‘Mothers’ Day’, story-telling in the park. Forming bonds, bringing smiles back on faces.
With an extraordinary 45,5% of mothers being out of work in 2012*, smiles have been hard to find. In all the encounters I have had during my research on women in Greece -summaries of which I will post on this forum- I have found two reoccurring issues which need to be addressed: the need for strong psychological support and the importance of re-bonding the community.
Evita and Dimitra have yet to make a profit despite their success. However, they still state with a smile: ‘the more you give, the more you will receive’. The extraordinary leap they made from unemployed mums to a nationally recognized organization (with a super App no less) is a great example to follow.
In a time of great economic crisis these women have taken the opportunity to be creative and innovative by using their innate nurturing and caretaking qualities to help rebuild and support a local community. Every community needs their own BABYFEAT.
-Princess Tatiana’s speech at the 1st Women Working for the World Conference
Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie Chantal attended the Creative Emmy Awards
Royals in Tiaras spam
On the evening of December 2, 2013, Her Royal Highness Princess Tatiana of Greece accompanied by her husband, His Royal Highness Prince Nikolaos of Greece arrived at the Palacio de Cibeles in Madrid to attend the 50th anniversary of the Premios Telva Moda (Telva Fashion Awards).
Guests attending last evening gala awards included Spanish supermodel, Ms. Judith Masco, Brazilian supermodel, Ms. Isabeli Fontana, Italian model, Ms. Maria Carla Boscono, and Spanish television host, Ms. Nieves Álvarez to name a few.
During the ceremony Princess Tatiana received the Premio a la Solidardidad for her “…charity work and projects in Greece…” according to the official website for the Premios Telva Moda.
Royal Wedding Cake - Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and Marie-Chantal Miller
The design of the eight-tiered centerpiece by baker Colette Peters was inspired by a china pattern from the Royal Collection. In addition to thei main confection they also served 300 smaller cakes – one per table.