We’re convinced a solution will be found in the Elisabeta Palace case. Very promising discussions are ongoing
Andrew Popper, the Head of the Royal House, has stated in an interview for Antena3 that he hopes the law on the statute of the Royal House would be adopted, “promising” discussions with the Government currently taking place in order to find an intermediary solution in what concerns the Royal Family’s continued stay at the Elisabeta Palace. He added that King Mihai I never demanded the Elisabeta Palace because it never personally belonged to him.
“We hope the problem will be resolved in the long term through the adoption of this legislation, and we have all reasons to believe that the legislation concerning the Royal House will be adopted by Parliament. This legislation gives the Royal Family the possibility to stay in this location in which it will continue its activities. We must state that the immense majority of this building’s surface area is being used for public events. It’s not simply a place where the Royal Family lives. (…) At this moment we are engaged in talks with the Government in order to find an intermediary solution and, in recent days, we have seen a great deal of good will on the part of the Government and we hope, and we are almost convinced, that an intermediary solution will be found,” Head of the Royal House Andrew Popper stated, referring to the Elisabeta Palace which the Royal Family is poised to vacate following the death of King Mihai, its direct beneficiary.
Andrew Popper added that the Royal Family’s problem is not that they have nowhere to live, but they are concerned about the state of the Elisabeta Palace, which has a very big historical value.
“They’re not concerned that they have nowhere to live, the issue is not that they have nowhere to spend the night, but that this space is used in the public interest, it’s an immense factory of events. They are preoccupied with the historical value of this building which should be kept as a memorial,” he added.
Popper added that King Mihai I never asked that the Elisabeta Palace become his property. The Head of the Royal House said that the monument did not belong to him but to Princess Elisabeta, and the King’s principle was that he would only lay claim on his personal properties.
“Because it did not personally belong to King Mihai. It belonged to a member of the Royal Family, Princess Elisabeta. (…) The Elisabeta Palace was indeed the property of a member of the Royal Family, and this raises certain issues of a moral order but, legally, this building belonged to Princess Elisabeta. The moment the King returned to the country, he established a very clear principle, which we respected, namely that he will only lay claim on his properties. Everything that the King claimed were his personal properties,” he added.
Likewise, asked what the Royal House will do on February 5, when it should vacate the Elisabeta Palace, Andrew Popper said they will observe the law and talks with the state are ongoing.
“The law gives the possibility of prolonging the stay at the Elisabeta Palce and, based on the talks, this prolongation will take place. Theoretically, it will probably be in return for a sum of money. Very promising talks are ongoing, there is good will on the part of the Government and of the RA-APPS, I’m confident we will reach a solution. This solution is intermediary, short-term, it’s not one satisfactory in the longer term, so the law must be approved for these events taking place at the Palace, for Romania’s image. (…) The law did not appear recently, it was drafted by the Ciolos Government in consultation with the Cotroceni [Presidential] Palace, we’re talking about an initiative from two years ago. We were assured by the main political parties in Romania that they will continue to endorse this law and we hope and trust that this law will be adopted in reasonable time,” the Head of the Royal House said.
He added that the Royal Family is rarely using the palace as a place to stay, the palace being used most of the time for public events.
“The reason for the desire to keep this palace in the use of the Royal House has to do with the public activities taking place here. This building is used only to a small extent as a place to stay and most of it is used to host public events of great importance. There have been dozens of events involving state institutions, members of civil society; royalty and dozens of heads of state have been here,” Popper added.
The Tudose Government had issued a negative opinion on the bill that would have allowed the Royal Family to continue using the Elisabeta Palace. The ex-Premier also opposed the Royal House renting the building.