Queen Anne will be buried on Saturday, at Curtea de Arges in the Archdiocesan and Royal New Cathedral, the necropolis of the Romanian royalties.
For two days, the Romanians have had the opportunity to pay a last homage to Queen Anne whose coffin was laid in the Throne Hall of the Royal Palace in downtown Bucharest’s Calea Victoriei.
On Saturday, the religious royal services will begin around 9:30am in the Throne Hall, when the Royal Family members will arrive at the bier, followed around 10:00am by the members of the foreign Royal Families.
The funeral will be attended by members of the Imperial Families of Russia, Austria and Germany, of the Royal Families of the Netherlands, of Belgium, of Luxembourg, of Baden, of Württemberg and of Bourbon-Parma, as well as of the Princely Families of Ligne, of Hohenberg and of Schaumburg-Lippe, as already announced.
Guarding the bier will be the members of the Royal Family of His Majesty the King, members of the Royal Council (HRH Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Andrew Popper, Anders Lindberg, Royal House Lawyer Adrian Vasiliu), then the Royal Princesses – Crown Princess Margareta, Princess Elena, Princess Sofia and Princess Maria.
Meanwhile, the Romanian state’s officials are expected to arrive at the Royal Palace.
At 10:30am an Orthodox service is scheduled, in the presence of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
The coffin with the body of late Queen Anne will leave the Royal Palace heading to the Palace’s Square in the following order as announced by the Press Office of His Majesty the King: one military bearing the cross, His Eminence Archbishop Ioan Robu, Roman-Catholic Metropolitan of Bucharest, the coffin carried by eight soldiers of the 30th Guard Regiment “Michael the Brave”, a military bearing a wreath of white flowers, a troops with the Queen’s flag, followed by the Crown Princess and Prince Radu.
Meanwhile, the all-around churches will ring their bells.
At 11:00am, the trumpet funeral signal will mark the beginning of the religious ceremony, to be officiated by Archbishop Ioan Robu, alongside Catholic hierarchs and ministers.
The coffin will be surrounded on its four corners by four military of the 30th Guard Regiment “Michael the Brave”, and on its left and on its right sides in the very middle by two Knights of the Order of Malta, bearing two lighted candles, the Royal House specifies.
The closing of the religious ceremony will be announced through a long trumpet sound, then the Representative Orchestra of the National Defence Ministry will commence the funeral music piece that will last until the coffin is laid in the mortuary van.
The van will drive a few metres in slow motion. It will be flanked by 12 gendarmes on horseback (who are to be equally aligned in the front and in the back of the mortuary van), then the convoy will depart. When the horses and the mortuary van will have kicked off, the belfries around will sound their bells.
The cortege of automobiles will cross, according to the schedule, the Royal Palace’s Square, the Magheru Boulevard, the Romana Square. In the Romana Square, the horse-riders will withdraw and the procession will further on at low speed heading to Victoriei Square, the Aviatorilor Boulevard, the Charles de Gaulle Square, the Marshal Prezan Boulevard until the Triumphal Arch. Subsequently, the cortege will head for Curtea de Arges on the Chitila – Gaiesti – Topoloveni – Pitesti – Curtea de Arges route. On the road, the funeral procession will stop no more, but will drive at low speed inside localities, the Royal House announces.
The arrival of the Romanian Royal Family and of the foreign Royal Families is expected at around 2:30pm at the entrance of the Curtea de Arges Monastery’s park, followed by the cortege at 2:45pm.
The coffin will be then transported to the Archdiocesan and Royal New Cathedral and laid on the catafalque. The burial service will be officiated by His Eminence Calinic, Archbishop of Arges and Muscel, together with Orthodox hierarchs and priests.
At 3:30pm, the coffin will be brought to the New Cathedral and a religious burial ceremony will be officiated, in a strictly private manner.
Queen Anne passed away on 1 August, aged 92, in a hospital in Switzerland.
King Mihai I is not attending the funeral of his late wife, Queen Anne, the decision being made after his physicians have strongly recommended against his travelling to Romania.
Heartfelt messages in Queen Anne’s memory signed in condolence book at Royal Palace
Romanians from the country and abroad, guests from the US, the Netherlands and France have left heartfelt messages in Queen Anne’s memory in a condolence book opened at the Royal Palace in Bucharest.
In a trembling or sure hand, in Romanian, English, French and Spanish and even in Arab letters, they wrote messages expressing admiration and respect for the values of Romanian monarchy.
“God, keep this wise, clean and good soul in Your light!” wrote philosopher and essayist Mihai Sora on August 2, while Laurentiu D. Tanase of the National College for the Study of Securitatea Archives wrote, “Queen Anne’s life, a magnificent and impressive destiny distressed by troubled minds of history. May God rest her soul!”
“Monarchy is still alive in our hearts,” wrote the Nicolae and Dumitrescu families from Braila, while Lucia Popescu said, “Had ‘Life’ been ‘Just,’ ROMANIA would have been ‘Different.'” “You’ll be QUEEN IN HEAVEN, where maybe you will put in a good word for the country,” added Popescu, according to Agerpres.
Many children also left behind notes in their yet unformed writing that stands out from the condolence book.
“My name is Munteanu Tudor; I am 8 years old and I knew you from Grandma’s stories,” wrote a boy, adding regrets over not meeting Queen Ana in person. In the same note, Paula Neacsu, 10, says, “Sorry that I did not meet you and that you are no longer alive,” while another 10-year-old girl named Ana says she will be praying for the soul of Her Majesty.
“From my little child heart, I am extending sincere regrets over the irreplaceable loss that Your Excellences, the members of the Royal Family, as well as the entire Romanian people have to face. I am convinced that our love and gratitude will bring His Majesty King Mihai and other members of the Royal Family a bit of comfort. May God forgive and rest in peace Her Majesty Queen Anne of Romania. May she always be remembered!” wrote nine-year-old Alexandru Stefania Ana-Maria.
Constantin Ioana, another nine-year old, says she is proud and she will tell her children and grandchildren that she placed a flower, adding that she “piously bows to the mount of wisdom, Queen Anne.”
Condolence books were opened on Tuesday at Peles Castle in Sinaia, the Royal Palace in Bucharest and Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest, to stay open for 40 days after the Queen’s date of death, August 1.
Romanians keep on lining to pay last respects to Queen Anne
Despite a grim rainy day, Romanians continued to file Friday morning before Queen Anne’s bier set in the Throne Hall of the Royal Palace in Bucharest.
About 400 mourners, mostly elderly, alongside young people and children, had bid farewell to the late Queen by 10:30hrs this morning, including Director of the Institute of Art History Adrian-Silvan Ionescu, painter Stefan Caltia, Director of the National Museum of Contemporary Art Calin Dan, and journalist Sorin Rosca Stanescu.
For war veteran Iorgu Ciocan, now in his nineties, his presence at the Queen’s bier is a sign of deep esteem and respect for the Royal Family.
“Deep esteem and great respect for [King] Mihai in the first place, because I was on the frontline. He visited me in Crimea. I defended him there against some partisans. And for his lady [Queen Anne] – esteem and consideration for having been at the side of such fine a gentleman. I for one would do anything for Mihai. We are of the same age, he is just ten days my senior,” the veteran said.
Members of the Royal Family were expected on Friday to keep vigil at the late Queen’s bier, after Princess Sofia and her daughter Maria Elizabeth Biarneix recollected there on Thursday.
According to the website of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest, a funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Cathedral in Bucharest at 17:00hrs in the presence of the Royal Family.
On Thursday, more than 3,000 people – women and men of all ages, as well as children – silently queued until late at night to pay tribute to Queen Anne.
Flowers and candles were placed in front of the Royal Palace.
Photo: www.romaniaregala.ro, Daniel Angelescu