Vechnaya Pamyat! (Eternal Memory!)
HM King Michael of Romania!
Condolences to HM Queen Margareta,
Custodian of the Crown of Romania!
The Russian Legitimist notes with sadness and enormous respect the passing in December 2017 at age 96 of His Majesty King Michael of Romania, Orthodox monarch and believer, patriot, courageous anti-fascist, committed anti-communist, and devoted husband and father. His role in European history spanned nearly a century – he first became King in 1927, and he last addressed the Romanian Parliament in October 2011, at the time of his 90th birthday. He was one of the two last living heads of state from World War II, both Orthodox kings, the other being His Majesty King Simeon of Bulgaria.
The close ties between the Romanian Royal House and the Russian Imperial House stretch back generations. Queen Marie of Romania (1875-1938) (born Princess Marie of Edinburgh, Princess of Great Britain and Ireland) was King Michael’s grandmother. As she was a granddaughter of both Emperor Alexander II of Russia and Queen Victoria, Michael’s descent from Queen Marie linked him to both the Russian and British dynasties.
Queen Marie of Romania was closely connected with three successive heads of the Russian dynasty: she was the first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II, the sister-in-law of his successor Grand Duke-Emperor Kirill of Russia, and the beloved aunt of the latter’s son and successor Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia.
Kirill’s consort, Grand Duchess-Empress Victoria Feodorovna (1876-1936) (born Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, Princess of Great Britain and Ireland) was the inseparable lifelong best friend of her sister, Queen Marie. Victoria Feodorovna’s son, Grand Duke Wladimir, Head of the Russian Imperial House from 1938 to 1992, was a first cousin of King Carol II of Romania. Carol II’s son King Michael and Wladimir’s daughter Grand Duchess Maria of Russia were second cousins.
Grand Duchess Maria participated in the joyous 90th birthday celebrations for His Majesty King Michael in Bucharest in 2011. On December 16, 2017, she had the sad duty, as Head of the Russian Imperial House, to be again in Bucharest to attend the funeral of and pay her respects to her recently departed cousin.
Upon the death of King Michael, his eldest daughter Crown Princess Margareta succeeded as head of the Romanian dynasty, with the title and style of Her Majesty Queen Margareta, Custodian of the Crown of Romania. This is in accordance with the revisions to the Romanian dynastic laws implemented by King Michael in 2007. In instituting these new house laws, King Michael was certainly influenced by the example of his great-uncle Kirill, who in 1924 took the successive titles of Guardian of the Throne of Russia and then Emperor of Russia, with the predicate of Majesty. At the same time, Kirill’s chancellery announced that he would only use the imperial title among fellow Russians but would continue to use his grand ducal title among non-Russians.
Eternal Memory! May His Majesty King Michael rest in peace.