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King Michael I of Romania

Discussion in 'WWII Era Obituaries (non-military service)' started by GRW, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "ROMANIA’S former King Michael I twice served as monarch but after being forced to abdicate by the communists in the aftermath of the Second World War he went on to become a chicken farmer, test pilot and stockbroker.
    Despite his decades spent in exile he tried on several occasions, following the collapse of communism, to return to his homeland as king but his efforts were always thwarted by the Romanian government.
    The great-great grandson of Queen Victoria, Michael was born in the mountain resort town of Sinaia, the son of Princess Helen and Carol, the Crown Prince of Romania.
    His father had always enjoyed something of a reputation as a playboy prince but when his family discovered that he was having an affair with a divorcee he was given an ultimatum: his mistress or the throne.
    He chose his lover and fl ed to live in Paris, leaving Michael heir to the kingdom.
    When Carol’s father King Ferdinand I died on July 20, 1927, his five-year-old grandson succeeded him.
    For the next three years Michael relied on a council of advisers to make decisions on his behalf but when his father, tired of flitting around Europe, returned to Bucharest to renounce his renunciation, nine-year-old Michael was delighted at the demotion.
    “I have been terribly tired of wearing long trousers and a stiff hat and going to places I don’t want to go at all,” he said.
    A decade later when his father was ousted by a military government led by the fascist General Ion Antonescu, Michael once again took the throne where he remained for the next seven years until 1947.
    For the first few years of his reign Antonescu treated him as little more than a child and excluded him from strategic decisions, including supporting the Nazis.
    But by his early 20s Michael had had enough of being sidelined and held secret meetings with the Allies and anti-government forces that were gathering strength as Germany began to lose the war.
    In August 1944 he made his move and had Hitler’s puppet Antonescu arrested, broadcasting directly to the Romanian people afterwards to tell them they were no longer at war with the Allies.
    Many historians believe this may have shortened the war by months, saving thousands of lives and as a result he was awarded Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit by President Truman and the Soviet Order of Victory by Joseph Stalin.
    But Romania’s switch gave the Soviets a chance to advance into the country and it was just a matter of time before Michael was forced to give up the throne again.
    In November 1947 he arrived in London for the wedding of his cousin Prince Philip of Greece to Princess Elizabeth, and would subsequently fall in love “at first sight” with his future wife, Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma.
    On his return, he was summoned to Bucharest and presented with a letter of abdication."
    King Michael I obituary - 1921 - 2017: Romanian boy king who sided with Allies
    lwd, JJWilson and Jaap Vermeer MDE like this.
  2. Jaap Vermeer MDE

    Jaap Vermeer MDE Active Member

    Dec 8, 2017
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    Gordon,interesting and thanks for sharing,


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