- King of Romania
royal_title = King
realm = Romania
type = Constitutional
coatofarms_article = Coat of arms of Romania
incumbent = Mihai I
his/her = His
first_monarch = Carol I
heir_apparent = Princess Margarita
date = 1881
King of the Roumanians (in Romanian: "Regele Românilor") [ [http://www.geocities.com/romaniancoins/100lei1939.html Romanian coins] ] rather than King of Romania (in Romanian: "Regele României") was the official title of the ruler of the
Kingdom of Romaniafrom 1881 until 1947 when Romaniawas proclaimed a republic.
The state had been called the
Principalityof Roumania (in French "Roumanie") since 1862, after the Ottoman vasal states of Wallachiaand Moldaviahad been united in 1859 under Alexander Joan Cuza(Alexandru Ioan Cuza) as Prince of Roumania, or Domnitor. Cuza had become the prince of the separate principalities in 1859. He was deposed in 1866 by the Roumanian parliament which then officially oferred the throne of the United Principalities to the German Prince of the Royal family, Carol (Charles) of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, to become the new Prince of Roumania.
Roumania's independence from the
Ottoman Empirewas recognized in 1878 at the Congress of Berlin; the principality became a sovereign kingdom in 1881, with Prince Carol as King Carol I of Roumania. [http://www.archive.org/stream/reminiscencesofk00kremiala "Reminiscences of the KING OF ROUMANIA", Edited from the original with an Introduction by Sidney Whitman, Authorized edition, Harper& Brothers: New York and London, 1899.]
Romania was a
constitutional monarchyfor most of its existence as a kingdom with the exception of 1938-1944, during the dictatorships of Carol II (1938-1940) and of Marshal Ion Antonescu(1940-1944). On August 23, 1944, King Michael restored the last democratic royal Constitution of 1923. However, during his second reign (1940-1947), King Michael reigned as an unconstitutional king, without an oath on the Constitution and without a vote of the Parliament, initially suspended and reinstated only later, in 1946. Michael was instead crowned [http://www.familiaregala.ro/upload/p0002_FundamentalRules.pdf Fundamental Rules of the Royal Family of Romania] , [http://www.familiaregala.ro/ The Romanian Royal Family website] as retrieved on January 9, 2008] and anointed King by the Orthodox Patriarchof Romania, Nicodim Munteanu, in the Patriarchal Cathedral of Bucharest, on the very day of his second accession, September 6, 1940. [ro icon [http://www.sfaturiortodoxe.ro/bejan2-7.htm "The Joys of Suffering," Volume 2, "Dialogue with a few intellectuals"] , by Rev. Fr. Dimitrie Bejan - [http://www.sfaturiortodoxe.ro/en/index.htm "Orthodox Advices"] website as of June 9, 2007] Michael, thus, reigned the second time as an absolute, unconstitutional King, solely "by the Grace of God", that is by divine right. However, legally, Michael could not exercise much authority besides some prerogatives such as being the Supreme Head of the Army and designating a plenipotentiary Prime-Minister (" Conducător"). [ro icon Ioan Scurtu, Theodora Stănescu-Stanciu, Georgiana Margareta Scurtu, [http://ebooks.unibuc.ro/istorie/istorie1918-1940/13-15.htm "The History of the Romanians between 1918-1940" ("Istoria românilor între anii 1918–1940")"] , page 280.]
In 1927, King Ferdinand I died, and the country was left in the care of of Prince Mihai I despite Carol (II) being his father. Carol (II), unlike King Carol I, in the beginning had no desire to rule Romania, and was frequently out of the country exploring the rest of Europe with his mistress. Prince Mihai's first term of reign would be short lived at a span of only three years, until his father Carol (II) came back to contest the title at the behest of a dissatisfied political faction that staged a sudden 'coup d'etat'(in spite of the fact that only a few years earlier he has renounced in official documents, written and signed in front of his own father, all his future claims to the throne of Roumania).
After a ten years rule, King Carol II gave up his royal title and all accoutrements attached in order to be able to leave Romania and marry his mistress
Elena Lupescu. The couple ultimately settled in Portugal, and the 'playboy king' was never recalled back to Romania.
King Mihai's short years on the throne were about to seem much longer as 1944 brought the Soviet forces close to the East of Romania. Despite being politically aligned with the Allied forces after withdrawing Romania from its alliance with the Nazis (due to the dictator Marshall Ion Antonescu's politics), the Soviet occupation of Romania soon began in 1945. In December 1947 the communists, backed up by the bayonetts and tanks of the Soviet occupying --but called 'liberating'-- armies, announced the abolition of the monarchy, so King Mihai I was forced to abdicate, but was allowed to leave the country.
After the fall of the communist dictatorship in 1989, the former King Mihai I visited Romania to the delight and enthousiastic reception of some of the largest crowds ever recorded in the streets of
List of Kings of the Romanians (1881-1947)
For the list of rulers prior to 1866 see
List of rulers of Wallachia, List of rulers of Moldaviaand List of rulers of Transylvania. See Presidents of Romania for the list of presidents after 1947.
King Michael I of Romaniais not the head of state, he continues to speak out on Romanian affairs.
History of Romania
Lists of Incumbents
Line of succession to the Romanian throne
* [http://www.palatulelisabeta.ro/ Official site of the Romanian Royal Family]
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