King of the Romanians
|King of the Romanians|
|Royal Coat of arms|
|First monarch||Carol I|
|Last monarch||Michael I|
|Official residence||Royal Palace|
|Monarchy began||15 March 1881|
|Monarchy ended||30 December 1947|
|Current pretender(s)||Michael I|
The King of the Romanians (Romanian: Regele Românilor),1 was the sovereign ruler of the Kingdom of Romania from 1881 until 1947, when Romania was proclaimed a People's Republic following Michael I's forced abdication.
The state had been internationally recognized as a Principality since 1862, after the creation of the United Principalities, a personal union between Moldavia and Wallachia, at that time vassal states of the Ottoman Empire. Alexander I became Domnitor (ruling prince) after the official unification of the two formerly separate states, being elected prince of both states in 1859. He was deposed in 1866 by a broad coalition of the main political parties, after which Parliament offered the throne to Karl Hohenzollern who subsequently became the new "Domnitor of Romania" (as Carol I).
Romania's independence from the Ottoman Empire was recognized in 1878 by the Treaty of Berlin. In an expression of full sovereignty, the principality was elevated to a kingdom in 1881, with Carol I becoming King of the Romanians.2
In 1927, Ferdinand I died, and the country was left in the care of a Regency headed by Nicholas Hohenzollern, during the young reign of Michael I (who was only six years old at the time), despite Carol II being his father. Carol II, unlike 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. Michael's first reign would be short lived at 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'état' (in spite of the fact that only a few years earlier he had renounced in official documents, written and signed in front of his own father, all his future claims to the throne of Romania).
After a ten-year rule, Carol II gave up his royal title 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.
The kingdom of Romania was a constitutional monarchy for most of its existence with the exception of 1938–1944, during the dictatorships of Carol II (1938–1940) and Ion Antonescu (1940–1944). On 23 August 1944, Michael I restored the last democratic royal Constitution of 1923. However, during his second reign (1940–1947), Michael I reigned mostly as an unconstitutional king, without a constitutional oath or a parliamentary vote. Parliament was initially suspended and reinstated only later, in 1946. Michael I was instead crowned3 and anointed by the Orthodox Patriarch, Nicodim Munteanu, in the Patriarchal Cathedral of Bucharest, on the day of his second accession, 6 September 1940.4 However, legally, Michael I could not exercise much authority besides some prerogatives such as being the Supreme Head of the Army and designating a plenipotentiary Prime Minister Conducător ("Leader").5
On 23 August 1944, with the Soviet Army already deep inside Romania's territory, Michael I deposed the German-allied dictator Ion Antonescu at the urging of the opposition parties and aligned the country with the Allies. Helped by the presence of Soviet forces, communists gradually took control of the administration. On 30 December 1947 Michael I abdicated and left Romania at the request of the communist-dominated government, while Parliament proclaimed the country a people's republic.
|Carol I||20 April 1839 – 10 October 1914 (aged 75)||15 March 1881||10 October 1914||—||Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen|
|Ferdinand I||24 August 1865 – 20 July 1927 (aged 61)||10 October 1914||20 July 1927||Nephew of Carol I||Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen|
|25 October 1921||20 July 1927||8 June 1930||Grandson of Ferdinand I||Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen|
|Carol II||15 October 1893 – 4 April 1953 (aged 59)||8 June 1930||6 September 1940||Son of Ferdinand I||Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen|
|25 October 1921||6 September 1940||30 December 1947||Son of Carol II||Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen|
|Pretender||Portrait||Lifespan||Pretending from||Pretending until|
|Michael I||25 October 1921 (age 92)||30 December 1947||Current pretender|
- Princess Elisabeth of Wied (wife of King Carol I)
- Princess Marie of Edinburgh (wife of King Ferdinand)
- Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark (wife of King Carol I)
- Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma (wife of King Michael)
- List of Romanian consorts
- List of rulers of Moldavia
- List of rulers of Wallachia
- List of heads of state of Romania
- Steel Crown of Romania
- Romanian Crown Jewels
- "Gold set 1939". Romanian Coins. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009.
- Kremnitz, Mite; Sidney Whitman, Sidney (1899). Reminiscences of the King of Roumania. Harper& Brothers.
- "Fundamental Rules of the Royal Family of Romania". The Romanian Royal Family website.
- "The Joys of Suffering," Volume 2, "Dialogue with a few intellectuals", by Rev. Fr. Dimitrie Bejan – "Orthodox Advices" website as of June 9, 2007 (Romanian)
- Ioan Scurtu, Theodora Stănescu-Stanciu, Georgiana Margareta Scurtu, "The History of the Romanians between 1918-1940" ("Istoria românilor între anii 1918–1940"), p. 280. (Romanian)
- Nicholas Hohenzollern ruling as Prince Regent.
- With Ion Antonescu as Conducător, from 14 September 1940 to 23 August 1944.