King Michael I of Romania- a national symbol of resistance

Born on October 25, 1921 Michael is one of the few living former heads of Romania during the Second World War. He ruled between July 20, 1927 – June 8, 1930 and September 6, 1940 – December 30, 1947.

Michael is the first King that rule at the age of 6 under a regency.

He is the son of Carol II and Princess Elena of Greece and Denmark and is also the descendant of one the most important royal and imperial families of Europe. Michael I is the great grandson of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and the third cousin of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. He is crowned king in 1927 after the death of his grandfather Ferdinand I, after his father – Carol II – gave up the throne since 1925. He has 6 years old so he is not able to lead a country, in consequence all his royal duties are performed by a regency.

His father Carol II comes back at the throne and Michael receives the created title “Great Voivode of Alba-Iulia”. For a long time, he could see his mother only few week per year. His mother’s exile at Florence deprives him from family affection, but instead, he receives a good education.

The new prime-minister Ion Antonescu obliges the Carol II to abdicate on September 6, 1940 and leaves Romania. Now the throne returns for the second time to Michael I. Under the authoritarian regime of Antonescu, King Michael I has no real power of decision. Furthermore, he is not informed about the fact that Romania enters in the war as side of Nazi Germany. Being in this situation, he decides to save what he can save so he gives a coup at August 23, 1944. He arrests Ion Antonescu and restores the Constitution from 1923.

Without the support of America and Great Britain, King Michael I is required to appoint Petru Groza in government on February 1945. Because he didn’t accept this situation, King Michael I makes a royal strike, refuses to sign the Government’s decrees, but the Government continued its activity.

On December 30, 1947 he is forced to sign the abdication decree and in the same day Romania follows the steps to become a Popular Republic. He leaves the country on January 1948 and tries to plead the cause of his country, but without any success.

On June 1948 Michael marries Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma and moves to Versoix in Switzerland. The royal couple has five daughters: princesses Margareta, Elena, Irina, Sofia and Maria.

In 1997 he receives back his Romanian citizenship and some of his families properties are returned. From that moment the Royal House of Romania makes lobby for Romania at an international level. In 2016, he retires and leaves all the duties of the crown to his daughter – princess Margareta of Romania. 

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Adela Petrus
“At any age, man is a creature that feeds on stories. Therefore, the wealth measured in stories, gathered by the people across the globe, from house to house, from century to century, either spoken or in writing, exceeded any other human wealth” - Rabindranath Tagore

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