Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Princess Writes About “Eleni”, Milos Island and Life Coming Full Circle

Nick and I met HRH Princess Tatiana of Greece last summer at an event in Las Vegas where everyone was given her book “A Taste of Greece,” which is published in four languages and available in 72 countries, with all profits from the book going to charitable causes.  Born in Caracas, Venezuela, (née Tatiana Blatnik), the tall, glamorous blonde studied in Switzerland, got her BA from Georgetown, and in 2010 married HRH Prince Nikolaos, son of Greece’s former King Constantine, on the island of Spetses, Greece.  She is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, heading organizations that support women leaders around the world, provide food for impoverished children and teenage mothers, and aid to unaccompanied refugee children in Greece.

Just yesterday I saw a blog post on her official website beautifully written essay about her introduction to Greece long ago through reading my husband’s book “Eleni” about his mother’s life and her death to save her children, and then, 14 years later, meeting our daughter, Eleni, her grandmother’s namesake.  I’m going to quote some of the princess’s essay here, but you can read it all and learn more about Tatiana and her good works by clicking on 

Reflecting on Milos, Greece and life coming full circle

In 2003, when Nikolaos and I took our first trip to Greece together, he gave me a book called ELENI by Nick Gage. As we sat on the plane from London to Athens, I began reading it and found that I couldn’t put the book down! Through its pages, I not only learned so much about Greece’s recent history, but moreover I became emotionally involved with its main character, Eleni Gatzoyiannis, and my eyes filled with tears as I read her harrowing, true story…

Last year, this brave woman’s namesake, Eleni Gage, Nicholas’ daughter, asked if she could interview me for a piece she was writing for CondeNast Traveller on the enchanting Greek island of Milos. Naturally, I was more than happy to speak with her; Milos holds a special place in my heart because it is where Nikolaos and I went for our honeymoon. During this meeting with Eleni, she gave me a small thoughtful gift — a lovely, little St. Nicholas icon which I have since carried in my hand luggage whenever I travel.

Fast forward a year and there I was the other day, pulling my hand luggage behind me as Nikolaos and I walked through the airport — yet  again! — when I passed the newsstand and noticed the new issue of CondeNast Traveller, featuring Eleni’s cover story on Milos. Suddenly it hit me: life comes full circle and everything in it is interconnected.

“Isn’t it amazing?” I couldn’t help but remark to Nikolaos. For who would have imagined that 14 years after Nikolaos’ and my first trip to Greece, during which time I’d read Eleni Gatzoyiannis' story, I would be here today, a resident of the country she fought so hard for, having been interviewed by her granddaughter and carrying within my luggage the icon that she’d given me.

No comments: