Prince Nicholas of Romania

Prince Nicholas of Romania
Prince Nicholas
Spouse Ioana (Joanna) Dumitrescu-Doletti
Thereza Lisboa Figueira de Mello
House House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Father Ferdinand I of Romania
Mother Marie of Edinburgh
Born 3 August 1903(1903-08-03)
Peleş Castle, Sinaia, Romania
Died 9 June 1978(1978-06-09) (aged 74)
Madrid, Spain
Religion Romanian Orthodox

Prince Nicholas of Romania (Romanian: Nicolae de România; also known, after 1937, as Nicolae Brana; 5 August/18 August 1903, Peleş Castle – 9 June 1978, Madrid) was the second son of King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie of Romania.



Born in Peleş Castle, Sinaia, Nicholas was the younger brother of Carol, heir apparent, who renounced his rights of succession on 12 December 1925. When Ferdinand died in 1927, he was succeeded as king by Carol's five year-old son, Michael; Nicholas himself had been proposed as heir-apparent when Carol married the commoner Zizi Lambrino in 1918 (a marriage later annulled). Given Michael's youth, a regency council had to be formed (20 July), and Prince Nicholas was forced to abandon his career in the British Royal Navy in order to return home to serve on the council, alongside Gheorghe Buzdugan and Patriarch Miron Cristea.

Standard of the Regent of Romania (1927-1930)

Although unofficially referred to as "the first-ranking regent", Nicholas resented having to abandon his naval career and had no interest in politics. He tried to continue his father's cooperation with the National Liberals (PNL), and to contain the opposition of the National Peasants' Party (PNŢ) to the regency by appointing a national government under Ion I. C. Brătianu. Refused by Brătianu, he witnessed a change in Carol's stance in mid 1927, when the latter argued that he had been forced to give up his throne. The cooperation between Carol and the PNŢ was successfully neutralized by the PNL, but Brătianu's death in 1927 restored contacts and increased the appeal of the PNŢ. By then, the regency was widely perceived as consisting of figureheads, and, after Constantin Sărăţeanu (an appointee of PNŢ leader Iuliu Maniu) succeeded the deceased Buzdugan in 1929, it was believed to be torn apart by contrasting political ambitions. According to Nicolae Iorga, Miron Cristea himself had said:

"The Regency does not work because it has no head. The Prince smokes his cigarettes, Sărăţeanu looks through his books, and I, as a priest, can only try to reconcile."

House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Kingdom of Romania - Big CoA.svg

Carol I
Queen Consort:
   Princess Maria
Ferdinand I
Queen Consort:
    Prince Carol
    Elisabeth, Queen of Greece
    Maria, Queen of Yugoslavia
    Prince Nicholas
    Ileana, Archduchess of Austria
    Prince Mircea
Carol II
    Prince Michael
Michael I
Queen Consort:
    Princess Margarita
    Princess Elena
    Princess Irina
    Princess Sophie
    Princess Maria

Styles of
Prince Nicholas of Romania
Kingdom of Romania - Big CoA.svg
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

Nicholas was at first delighted when Carol returned home to Romania in 8 June 1930 (becoming King Carol II and thus putting an end to the regency arrangement). He welcomed the Parliament session that voted to repeal the 1926 legislation, and accompanied his newly-arrived brother from Băneasa Airfield to Cotroceni Palace.

However, the cordial relations between Nicholas and Carol were short-lived. Nicholas wanted to marry Ioana (Joanna) Dumitrescu-Doletti, a divorced woman, but was aware that it might be embarrassing for the king to have to authorize such a marriage. Carol himself suggested that the couple should marry without first seeking his consent (even though members of the royal family were required to obtain the king's consent before marrying). Carol had intimated that in these circumstances he would accept the marriage as a fait accompli, but after the wedding Carol promptly used it as an excuse to deprive Nicholas of his royal privileges and titles and to exile him from Romania. He left for Spain, and ultimately settled in Switzerland.

Nicholas was married twice: in Tohani, Romania, on 28 October/7 November 1931 to Ioana (Joanna) Dumitrescu-Doletti (Bucharest, 24 September 1902/1909 (other dates of birth have been named in various sources) – Lausanne, 17 February/19 February 1963), who married firstly on 11 December 1924 to Radu Savianu, and on 13 July 1967 in Lausanne to a Brazilian, Thereza Lisboa Figueira de Mello (Rome, 10 June 1913 – Madrid, 30 March 1997), daughter of Col. Jerónimo de Ávila Figueira de Melo and wife Cândida Ribeiro Lisboa, sister of Francisco Lisboa Figueira de Melo, former ambassador of Portugal in Germany (b. Vienna, 12 March 1912) and married firstly in Caracas on 2 July 1936 to Andrés Boulton Pietri (Caracas 1910-1998); had four children, Roger (1937), Maria Thereza (1939), Andres (1943) and William (1945).


He held the titles of Air Marshal of the Romanian Air Force, honorary Lieutenant of the British Royal Navy, Knight of the Order of Ferdinand I of Romania, Bailiff Grand Cross of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Grand Cross of the Légion d’Honneur, Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold I of Belgium; Order of the White Lion of Czechoslovakia, of Order of the Star of Karađorđe of Yugoslavia, of Holy Saviour of Greece; held the chain or Order of Carol I of Romania, and the Order of the White Eagle of Poland, and many other orders and decorations. He was chief of the Three Regents, July 1927 to June 1930. In 1927 he founded and he was the first President of the Romanian Kennel Club.

He was deprived of his royal rank and prerogatives by decision of the crown Council on 9 April 1937, and received the name of Nicolae Brana. He assumed the surname of Hohenzollern and by Royal Decree on 10 June 1942 was recognised as H.R.H. Prince of Hohenzollern, with his wife as H.R.H. Princess of Hohenzollern on 18 July 1945.


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