Count Ioannis Palaiologos
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Count Ioannis Palaiologos (1776-1837) was a Greek-born Russian diplomat who was intimately involved in the efforts to free Greece of Ottoman rule. He was widely believed by his countrymen to be the obvious choice to become king of the new country, but that honor was given instead to a younger brother in the Scandinavian royal house.
Many then and since have viewed this as a national disgrace and for over 150 years the Palaiologos family have been considered a House of semi-Pretenders to the Greek crown.
The Palaiologos family had been ennobled as Counts by the Duke of Savoy in 1679. The current Emperor of Greece is a direct descendant of Count Ioannis.