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. 

Carol II is a controversial king of Romania that ruled between June 8, 1930 and September 6, 1940. He gives up three times the Romanian throne, although in his rule times Romania had the biggest economic boom from the interwar period.

He is born in October 3, 1893 in Sinaia as the first son of Ferdinand I and his wife Queen Mary. At birth, he acquires the title of Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. From his childhood he learns about the history and the geography of Romania. His big passion remains books and military, and that’s why he attended the Military Academy in Potsdam.

In 1914, his father Ferdinand I becomes the King of Romania and Carol is now as the Crown Prince. In the First World War, Carol II is a Romanian army officer, but in 1918 deserts from the front and gets married with Ioana Lambrino, also known as Zizi. The Royal Family separates Carol II and Zizi and obligate Carol II to go back to the front against Hungarian troops. This context produces the second renunciation of Carol II at the throne; he elaborates two letters, one for Zizi Lambrino on which he accepts that is her husband and the father of his unborn child. The second letter is for his father to make him known about the decision he made.

After the illegal marriage annulment from 1918, King Ferdinand sends Carol II on a trip around the world. He visits: the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, India, Singapore, China, Japan, the United States, Britain, France and Switzerland. As a result of the Prince visits, many countries opened diplomatic relations with Romania.

On March 1921, Carol II marries Her Royal Highness Princess Elena of Greece and Denmark in the city of Athena. Before this dynastic marriage, the engaged couple visit Romania and win the public’s sympathy and popularity. On December 25, 1921 is born his first son, Prince Michael (Romanian: Mihai) in Arbor Castle from Sinaia.

Four years later, on December 28, 1925 Carol II gives up the throne for the third time; he returns in France under the name Carol Caraiman. After the death of King Ferinand in 1927, Michael I takes the throne. Three years later, Carol II is interested again to rule Romania and comes back on June 6, 1930, being proclaimed king two days later. He supports the real values of Romanian culture promoted by his Foundation for Literature and Art “King Charles II”, that publishes important works, give prizes and also scholarships.

During the reign of King Carol II promotes big names of Romanian culture and science such as: Mircea Eliade, Constantin Brancusi, Constantin Noica. Also in his times many industries records an impressive growth. Starting with February, 1938 King Carol II establishes a monarchic authority regime after the example of other European countries. The general disorder from Romania country determines the king to put Ion Antonescu the prime minister with full powers.

On September 6, 1940 King Carol II abdicates and lets his son Michael I to become the Romanian King, for the second time. King Michael I was the last king of Romania. Carol II lives his last years by travelling accompanied by Elena Lupescu. He passes away on April 3, 1953 in Lisbon, Portugal. In 2003 his remains returns in Romania in the chapel of Curtea de Arges Monastery.

The unifier of the principalities of Romania, Alexandru Ioan Cuza, was forced to abdicate in 1866 and he was replaced with a prince of the German Empire, Charles of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, who quickly changed his name in the Romanian correspondent: Carol.

The new Constitution in June 1866, Carol realized he would have limited prerogatives, which he found hard to accept. In addition to this, Romanians didn’t really like their new prince, as they were skeptical towards foreigners and towards his mistakes that he made in his first years, but Carol’s will gain more sympathy during the Independence War against the Ottomans, as he was greatly involved in the war, and lead the country to independence; an independence after which Romania is proclaimed into a Kingdom with Prince Carol as first King of Romania in 1881.

King Carol had the longest reign in Romania’s history, 48 years in which the greatly secured the image of the country, guaranteeing political stability and development.

In 1889, he appoints his nephew Ferdinand as heir apparent, because Carol and Elizabeth’s, his wife, only child died at the age of 4.

The controversies over whose part should Romania take in the incoming First World War overwhelmed the old Carol. The tragedy of war led Carol to die at 75 years of age, in 1914.

His successor, Ferdinand I, takes Carol’s place in times of trouble. The heads of state along with Carol previously settled Romania’s path of neutrality in the World War I, but the politicians knew they will be forced to join one side. Unlike Carol I, Ferdinand did not insist on joining his country of origin, Germany, as he was rather influenced by his English wife, Mary, who was absolutely sure that the Allied Powers would win. Therefore, Ferdinand joins France, England and Russia hoping it will bring the union with Transylvania. In the end, the regions of Bessarabia, Bucovina and Banat were handed over and finally Transylvania was united with Romania, creating Greater Romania.

Ferdinand lost much of his popularity after his sympathy towards Ion I.C. Bratianu, leader of the National Liberal Party. Ironically, the two died in the same year, 1927, just months apart, leaving the country in front of new challenges.

The throne was meant to go to Carol II, Ferdinand’s eldest son. Carol II was quite a controversial prince, with his many flings and 2 marriages of two “normal” women, outside of the royal cast. After his annulled marriage with Zizi Lambrino, Carol II is pressured to marry Elena of Greece. In 1921, Michael I is born, at the same time Carol begins his second affair with Elena Lupescu.

Carol II renounces the throne and runs away with Lupescu, and as Michael I was heir apparent, he accedes to the throne at the age of 6, in 1927, after the death of Ferdinand. Carol returns to the throne after three years and will have a different reign from those of his predecessors, with his personality cult as the center of Romania. Carol II gives himself more power through replacing the Constitution in 1938.

What put an end to Carol II’s reign is losing Bessarabia, Bucovina, Transylvania and Dobruja in 1940. This fall of Greater Romania forced him to abdicate and the throne went to Michael I, who was then 19 years old.

Young Michael I was again kept away from political affairs, signing off general Antonescu for full powers to govern. The King played an important role in removing the authoritarian and Nazi-oriented Antonescu government, struggling to reinstate democracy. He was heavily confronted by the rising Communist Party and forced to abdicate and exiled in 1947.

Queen Mary is known as “The Soldier Queen” or the “Mother of wounded”, because of her massive implication in helping injured person in the First World War. Maria Alexandra Victoria by Saxa-Coburg and Gotha (aka Queen Mary) is born in Great Britain, on October 29, 1875.

The Queen is the first daughter of Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia and Prince Alfred of Great Britain. At the age of 17, young Mary marries Prince Ferdinand I and becomes the Queen of Romania. Ferdinand I of Romania was King of the Romanians from 10 October 1914 until his death in 1927, after he became his uncle`s heir – Carol I.

In 30 years of marriage, Queen Mary gives birth to Carol II, Princess Elisabeth, Princess Maria, Prince Nicolae and little Mircea.

She is considered one of the most beautiful women from Europe with a big heart. People loved Queen Mary because she became a nurse in the First World War and courageously coped with this role. She crosses the Danube Delta just to see how Romanian soldiers feel, as in the year of 1913, erupts a cholera epidemic. When she came back home she obtains her husband permission to develop a help camp there.

Furthermore, Queen Mary of Romania influences all the decision that her husband, Ferdinand I, takes. Also, she gets involved in social and political actions even if in those times, women had an insignificant role in politics.

From 1930 to her death, Queen Mary lives isolated most of the time in Bran Castle or in the city of Balchik. At Bran Castle she has an active factor in the building of “Queen Heart” Hospital, built at the base of the Bran Castle. This is the place where were she is taking care of all harmed soldiers from war.

In 1938 Queen Mary is diagnosed with an “incurable disease”: liver cancer, and her family hospitalizes her in sanatoriums from Italy and Germany. Because she wants to die in Romania, she asks her son, Carol II – the king of Romania – to send her home by a plane. The relationships between the queen and her son Carol II were not cordials, and he didn’t accept her request. Hitler offers his own private plane for her, but she refuses his offer. Queen Mary took the train, returns home and dies at Pelisor Castle at the age of 63.

Queen Mary deceases on July 18, 1938 at Sinaia, the date being announced by King Carol II. She is buried with splendor and dress in a simple white dress, as she desired. Those who take part to her funeral dress in violet clothes – her favorite color, and brought red flower as a final tribute.  She is the grandmother of the last King of Romanians – Michael I.

In her testament, Queen Mary writes her desire to place her heart in a cassette and deposit it in the Stella Maris Church, near her villa from Balchik city. Because Romania lost this territory in 1940, the cassette is brought to Bran Castle.

From 1971 to 2015 the cassette with Queen’s heart is placed in the National Museum of History from Bucharest. At the end of 2015, the cassette was moved to Pelisor Castle. The event celebrates 140 years since the birth of Queen Mary.

 

Situated in the Rucar – Bran Pass, 30 km far from Brasov city, Bran Castle is one of the most famous castle from Romania.

A document issued by the Hungarian king Ludovic I, in November 1377 gives the right to the Saxons from the area to build another stone fortress. So the Saxons from Brasov area on their own expenses and with their own workers decide to build the Bran Castle, this is why the ownership of the castle will be theirs until 1427.

In 1395, Sigismund from Luxemburg , German Emperor and King of Hungary, used Bran Castle as a strategic base for a foray into the Romanian Country, after which it was removed prince Vlad usurper, the main rival of Mircea the Elder.

In 1407 Sigismund, gives the authority of the castle to Mircea the Elder. Bran remains under the authority of the Romanian Country until 1419.

In 1427 the Hungarian Crown, who made the fortification and extension of the castle, took over the ownership of the castle.

In 1920, Brasov City Council donated the castle to Queen Maria of Romania, as a sign of gratitude for his contribution to the Great Union. In 1938 when the Queen died, the castle was inherited by his favorite daughter, Princess Ileana, who was married to a member of the former Habsburg family.

After 1948, Bran Castle was nationalized and became the property of the Romanian state. The castle was opened to public visits, since 1956 is arranged as a museum of history and feudal art. In 1987, he entered the restoration and the work was completed in 1993. The castle was reopened as a museum.

On 18 May 2006, following a period of legal proceedings, the castle was returned to the legal heirs of the Habsburg family. However, the Romanian state through the Ministry of Culture, will manage the castle over the transitional period and the next three years.

On 1 June 2009, the castle is in full possession of the heirs of Princess Ileana: Archduke Dominic Habsburg, Archduchess Maria Magdalena Holzhausen and Elisabeth Sandhofer Archduchess.

Before the restitution, the Ministry of Culture has ordered the relocation of the collections from Bran belonging to the Romanian state , to Medieval Customs (Vama Medievala ).

To reopen the museum, the Habsburg family refurbished the castle with items from its personal collection.The official reopening of the museum was on 1 June 2009.
Bran Castle is commonly known as Dracula’s Castle. The legend of Dracula was born close to the legendary figure of the Romanian ruler Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impeller 1456 – 1462).

More than anything, the mythical character Dracula is known for his boundless cruelty. Impalement, one of the most horrible way to die, was the preferred method of torture and execution of Vlad the Impaler named Dracula. The cruelty of his punishment for disloyalty and honesty coincide with the name.