King Michael I of Romania was “symbol of the unity and dignity of the Romanian people”

Aubonne, Switzerland, December 6, 2017

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The last king of Romania, King Michael I, died on Tuesday at his residence in Aubonne, Switzerland, at the age of 96, the Royal House announced.

King Michael I was born October 25, 1921 and reigned as the king of Romania from July 20, 1927 to June 8, 1930 and from September 6, 1940 until his forced abdication on December 30, 1947. He participated in a successful coup against the Nazi-allied dictator Ion Antonescu in 1944 and subsequently declared an alliance with the Allies. He was pressured to appoint a pro-Soviet government in 1945, the leader of which, Petro Groza, forced his abdication in 1947. Being forced into exile, his properties were also confiscated and his citizenship was stripped. He married Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma in 1948 and eventually settled in Switzerland. Together they had five daughters. He was not allowed to return to Romania until Pascha 1992, where he was greeted by huge crowds. His citizenship was restored in 1997 and several confiscated properties were returned. His illness and retirement from public life were announced on March 2, 2016, with his daughter Crown Princess Margareta assuming the headship of the Royal House.

Fresco of King Michael I on the walls of Sâmbăta Monastery. Photo: Wikipedia Fresco of King Michael I on the walls of Sâmbăta Monastery. Photo: Wikipedia
The Royal House had previously announced on November 8 that King Michael was suffering, and Princess Margareta and Prince Radu were with him at his bedside for his name’s day feast of the Archangel Michael, the Basilica News Agency reports. Several staff of the Royal House as well as nuns from various Romanian monasteries were also with him at that time.

The Royal House also reported on November 20 that Archbishop Iosif of Western Europe had visited and communed the ailing monarch several times.

King Michael’s daughter Princess Margareta and her husband Prince Radu had postponed various official engagements to be with the king, and his daughter Princess Maria had been with him since the evening of November 30. He just turned 96 on October 25.

The Romanian Orthodox Church is offering prayers for the repose of the soul of King Michael, a faithful son of the Orthodox Church.

“I learned with sadness of the passing from this life of His Majesty King Michael I of Romania, news which has brought mourning and grieving to all Romanians both at home and abroad,” His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel stated, in a message posted at the Romanian Church’s Basilica News Agency.

On behalf of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, the clergy, and all the faithful, Pat. Daniel offered sincere condolences to the Romanian Royal House, and noted that King Michael will be prayed for in all parishes and monasteries of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

“An outstanding personality on the international and national level, King Michael I of Romania will go down in history as a symbol of the unity and dignity of the Romanian people everywhere, and an example of courage, wisdom, and devotion to the service of the fatherland and to the Romanian people in difficult times during the Second World War, and in the early period of the communist regime in Romania,” His Beatitude writes.

May his memory be eternal!  


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