The curious friendship between Gigi Howard, ex of Felipe de Borbón, and the cousins ​​of King Paul of Greece and Marie-Chantal

Georgetown, mid-90s. Him, in a honey-colored shirt. She, with sunglasses and messy hair. About to finish university, two students were photographed, confident and complicit, on the streets of Washington DC It was about a very young Felipe, heir to the throne of Spain, and his then girlfriend, the model Gigi Howard. Many remember the smile of the son of Don Juan Carlos and Doña Sofía in these images, one of the few that he shares with the model. They were dating for two and a half years, since 1996. When they started, he was 25 years old and she was 21. The Prince of Asturias was regaining his hope after his fallout with Isabel Santorius, his first great love. After that romance marked the United States, each one set out on their own path, although in some way, to this day, they remain connected. You only have to look at Greece to understand it.

It turns out that there are friendships that stand the test of time, and the one that Gigi shares with Pablo from Grecia is one of them. A few days ago, the now businesswoman published an affectionate photograph with the Greek prince, cousin of Felipe VI. The two posed for the Georgian’s followers on her Instagram profile. She was not the typical professionalized snapshot, but quite the opposite: she had the quality of those quick self-portraits shot with the smartphone lens, stretching her arm well and holding her hand. She appeared sticking her head out very close to her companion, on whom she drew a heart before raising the post. Enough. It’s been 30 years since their college adventures, but they’re still in touch. Because yes: before being Felipe’s girlfriend, she was Pablo’s friend, a boy who at that time was dating one of his confidants, whose last name was Miller: Marie Chantal from Greece. She introduced them.

It is unknown if the king of Spain and Giselle, now dedicated to her cosmetics company and the fight against dyslexia, have spoken again. The world is not that big, much less when we talk about high society. She “loves” Spain, but when she visits it she does so to meet up with old friends. At the time she fantasized about becoming queen of Spain., but her desire remained in the walks through Manhattan, the ski days and her only landing with the prince in Madrid. Little else is known about their relationship. And, in fact, their breakup has always been a mystery. “You have to be a very special person to be able to deal with the intensity and invasion of the press, and I was not that person. I am very discreet and that was not for me,” she explained a few years ago. “They have offered me a lot of money to talk about it, but I have never and will never accept anything. I know. It is a question of principles and mine are very solid.”

Be that as it may, this courtship is said to have been brief but intense. And anyone who remembers the robberies in Georgetown will probably also remember the report that revealed the prince’s feelings on the island of St. Martin, when he preferred to enjoy the Caribbean paradise with his girlfriend instead of returning to Spain for Easter. It was strange that the heir did not return home, but the magazine Pronto cleared up doubts about his absence: “The most affectionate photos of Prince Philip and Gigi Howard”read on its cover.

Its protagonists appeared taking a bath on the beach between games and cuddling. It was a good time for that International Relations student who was waiting for new stories to live: first, with the princess Tatiana de Liechtenstein, with whom there were wedding rumors; and, later, with the Norwegian model and publicist Eva Sannum. They broke up in 2001, and a year later he met the journalist with whom he ended up passing through the altar, the current queen consort and mother of her daughters Leonor and Sofía, Doña Letizia.

It should be said that another curious detail arises from here: the strained relationship that the queen consort had with Marie Chantal. In 2018, the princess of Greece spoke out on her social networks about the notorious disagreement that Doña Letizia had with her mother-in-law at the Easter mass, when she refused to let the princess of Asturias and Infanta Sofía take a photograph with her grandmother. “She’s showing her true colors,” she wrote.

From then on, both met occasionally at some public event, but always kept their distance from each other. It was not until the beginning of 2023 when everything changed: the two walked arm in arm in Athens, as part of the funeral of Constantine of Greece. This image showed that the two had made peace. Meanwhile, Gigi Howard was enjoying success in business, away from the noise and delighted to be a single mother. “I was 42 years old, I was not married, I did not have a boyfriend and I wanted to be a mother, so I looked for an anonymous donor and I had a son”.