Without a monarchy in the United States, it is a very rare occurrence to see a real princess in person. But that’s just what happened in Malibu last Sunday when Her Royal Highness Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark came to visit the Malibu Pier.
The princess was in town for a book signing. The 36-year-old beauty is promoting her new book, “A Taste of Greece,” which promotes her adopted country, Greece, where she now lives with her husband, Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark. The book is a compilation of anecdotes and Greek recipes from well-known people of Greek origin such as Arianna Huffington, designers Mary Katrantzou and Diane von Furstenberg, and writer Margaret Atwood. All proceeds of the book will benefit a Greek nonprofit, Boroume. The charity is dedicated to feeding the food insecure in Greece, a country that has experienced a major financial crisis during the past few years, leaving scores of people without enough to eat.
Without a lot of fanfare, Princess Tatiana and a personal assistant walked to the end of the pier to the store, Ranch at the Pier, to sign copies of “A Taste of Greece” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but ended up staying an extra hour for the meet-and-greet. About 50 people showed up to get autographs and buy copies of the book that sold out quickly.
Although, of course, the Princess has been photographed in formal wear including jewels and a tiara, for this occasion — the day before Halloween — Tatiana just wore beautifully tailored street clothes. She was greeted at the Ranch at the Pier by friends and admirers who gifted her with a flower Hawaiian lei, the type that is sold at the well-curated Malibu gift shop.
“Everybody was kind of star struck,” Ranch at the Pier manager Luis Cox told The Malibu Times when asked about the princess’ appearance at the store. “She’s a beautiful person, really down to earth, just lovely all around. She didn’t stand on too much formality.”
Apparently, Princess Tatiana was invited to meet the public at the Ranch at the Pier store by her Malibu friends who own the gift shop. Malibu local Alice Bamford and her partner Ann Eysenring run the store located at the end of the Malibu Pier, as well as One Gun Ranch, the biodynamic Malibu farm that grows organic vegetables for local farmers markets. One Gun Ranch also supplies produce for the store’s own farmers market, held on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the roof of the store.
The crowd that came to see Princess Tatiana mostly found out about her appearance in Malibu through her Instagram account, as well as Bamford’s and Eysenring’s.
“Everyone that came to meet the Princess had great energy and were not only excited to meet the Princess, but also to interact with Alice and Ann,” Cox said.
The Princess, born Tatiana Ellinka Blatnik in Caracas, Venezuela in 1980, gained her title when she married Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark in 2010. Nikolaos is the son of King Constantine II of Greece and Queen Anne-Marie of Denmark. The couple reigned over Greece until the monarchy was abolished in 1973. The family quietly returned to Greece in 2013 after living in exile for many years. Nikolaos and Tatiana soon followed with their move back in the middle of the country’s financial turmoil.
With a high youth unemployment rate and an influx of refugees from the Middle East, there is a growing need to help feed the country’s poor and that is exactly why Princess Tatiana is putting her humanitarian efforts behind the charity Boroume. She has even been seen working in soup kitchens — some people being fed unaware of her title.
When asked about people’s misconceptions of being part of a royal family, Princess Tatiana once replied, “I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think people believe it’s much easier than it really is.”
Ranch at the Pier said they have ordered more copies of “A Taste of Greece” and hope to get them signed by the Princess, if possible.
The store’s next in-person appearance will be celebrity favorite juice bar entrepreneur Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder of Moon Juice, on Nov. 20.