Lifeless body will be laid in state at Peles Castle and at the Royal Palace’s Throne Room* Burial to take place in Curtea de Arges* Gov’t to support organisation of national funerals in memory of the former sovereign
Romania’s former King Mihai I died on Tuesday at age 96 at his private residence in Switzerland, the Royal House announced.
Princess Maria stood at Mihai I’s bedside until the latter’s death.
Crown Princess Margareta to make statement on ex-King Mihai I’s funeral
Crown Princess Margareta will make a statement to the country on Tuesday at 19:00hrs, and on Wednesday the details of ex-King Mihai I’s funeral will be unveiled, according to the Romanian Royal House.
The body will lay in state in the Peles Castle Hall of Honour, and then in the Hall of the Throne at the Royal Palace in Bucharest on Calea Victoriei, for two days.
The funeral church service will take place at the Patriarchal Cathedral, and the interment at the New Archbishopric and Royal Cathedral in Curtea de Arges. At the wishes of the Crown Custodian, the funeral will follow the tradition of the predecessors.
Starting on Wednesday, condolence books will open simultaneously at the Peles Castle, the Royal Palace on Calea Victoriei and Elisabeta Palace. They will be available to the public for 40 days. Condolence can be submitted online at http://www.familiaregala.ro/mesaje/.
All who want to lay flowers and wreathes are invited to do so, starting on Wednesday at the Royal Palace on Calea Victoriei, at the main entrance.
On November 8, the Royal House had said that King Mihai was in suffering and Princess Margareta and Prince Radu were at his bedside on the occasion of the great Feast of Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Given the circumstances, no event was organized to celebrate the King’s name day. Also present at the residence were Royal House staff deployed to Switzerland and several nuns from Romanian monasteries. The Royal House also said on November 20 that Archbishop Iosif of Western Europe had visited several times and had given Mihai the Holy Communion.
Princess Margareta and Prince Radu postponed various official engagements to be at the bedside of the ailing King, and Princess Maria has been with him since the evening of November 30.
Romanian Crown Custodian: I lost a parent, as you all; a personal loss and for entire Nation
Custodian of the Romanian Crown, Princess Margareta, says that Romania has lost King Mihai I, who for over nine decades had devoted all his powers to the Country, with loyalty and patience.
“Romanians, the Country has lost King Mihai I. For over nine decades, he devoted all his powers to Romania, with loyalty and patience. I have lost a parent, like all of you. A personal loss and a loss for the entire Nation. In these difficult moments, we are united in our suffering. With infinite love and strong principles, King Mihai wrote in the book of the Nation the most valuable page in contemporary history. His kindness and forgiveness overcame all the wrongdoings of the past century. His wisdom ensured the continuity of our identity, during moments of serious deviation from the natural course of the country. Our king was part of the Romanian State’s fiber. Through his entire life, my father continued the liaison of the Royal Family with the Romanian nation. For our tomorrow, he gave us his today,” the Princess says in the Declaration of the new head of the Royal Family of Romania, sent to AGERPRES by His Majesty The King’s Press Office.
According to the Custodian of the Romanian Crown, “a new time for the Royal House of Romania begins.”
“A new time for the Royal House of Romania begins. With the same principles and feelings as my father’s, I will continue to serve the fundamental interests of the Romanian people. So help us God!,” the declaration of the Custodian of the Romanian Crown also shows.
Politicians, personalities from Romania’s public scene deplore the disappearance of the former sovereign
Moment of silence held during President Iohannis’ meeting with EU states ambassadors
President Klaus Iohannis was informed on Tuesday about the death of King Mihai I and, at his request, a moment of silence was held in the memory of the former sovereign of Romania during the President’s meeting with ambassadors of European Union member states, the presidency pointed out.
The President attended a working lunch hosted by Estonia’s Embassy with ambassadors of European Union member states who are accredited in Bucharest.
Iohannis: King Mihai wrote Romania’s history in capital letters; we’ll hold national days of mourning
President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday sent condolences to the members of the Royal House upon the death of King Mihai, pointing out that the latter was one of the greatest figures of Romania and “wrote the country’s history in capital letters.”
“It is a great loss for Romania, for Romanians. Condolences to all members of the Royal House. Romania will organise all ceremonies as required and we’ll definitely have days of national mourning,” Iohannis said after the meeting with ambassador of the EU member states.
“King Mihai served Romania with dignity and responsibility until his last moment”
King Mihai placed his entire life in the service of Romania through everything he did, and served it with dignity and responsibility until his last moment on Earth, President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday.
“Today, our nation is in mourning. A great statesman and a great Romanian left us. I have learned with deep pain and sadness the news about the death of His Majesty King Mihai I. The almost secular journey of the last sovereign of Romania ends here. Through all his deeds, King Mihai put his whole life in the service of Romania and served it with dignity and responsibility until his last moment on Earth. I am urging all of us to gather our strength and wisdom to properly honour Mihai I’s merits. May God rest his soul!,” Iohannis wrote in a Facebook post.
President Iohannis extends condolences to the Romanian Royal Family
President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday sent a letter of condolence to Crown Princess Margareta, showing that he was saddened by the news of the death of ex-King Mihai I.
“The remarkable personality of contemporary Romania, serving his country with much commitment and responsibility, reigning over presumably the most troubled period of the 20th century, the King always knew how to be a model of behaviour and attitude. By acting as the head of Romania, by his courage and dedication, Mihai I transformed the phrase ‘the King and the Motherland’ into one that defined his whole life. With faith and confidence in his mission, Mihai I ruled over times when democracy was hard tried and when respect for human rights was a difficult task. However, his role in Romania getting near to European values is fully known today. He strongly opposed extremism in trying to save his country his people, and that is why he fully deserves our respect and homage,” reads the presidential letter, according to a press statement from the Presidential Administration.
Iohannis points out that King Mihai, the last head of state of a WWII belligerent power and a marshal of the Romanian Army, decisively contributed to the shortening of WWII and the saving of hundreds of thousands of human lives, defending with all his powers and prerogatives Romania’s statehood in the most difficult moments of his reign.
“A historical injustice removed him from the throne and banished him from the country, but that sad event did not prevent him in his bitter exile from continuing to be attached to genuine values and the unreserved faith that Romania will return to its natural status of a democratic European state. Kept away from his country and his people after 1989, the King continued to campaign for Romania’s prosperity. His diplomatic tours and missions for Romania’s accession to NATO and the European Union show us his devotion to stay unconditionally loyal to his nation.”
He points out that the inspiring model proves that for Mihai I to be in the service of the country was a profession of faith.
“Through all that he did, King Mihai placed his entire life at the service of the Romanian nation and served his motherland with abnegation, dignity and responsibility. For these merits, the Romanian Government will organise a state funeral for Mihai I, befitting his rank and merits. This way we will show that we respect our history and that we know how to honour a great statesman,” added President Iohannis.
He voices hope that the Romanian society and its political representatives will not let Mihai I’s legacy go to waste.
“We still need in our public life the continuity of the Royal Family’s actions, which has so often proven its usefulness and sense of duty as well as loyalty to the fundamental interests of the Romanian state,” says Iohannis in his letter of condolence to the Romanian Royal Family.
Gov’t to support organisation of national funerals in memory of King Mihai
The Government will support the organisation of the national funeral to take place in the memory of King Mihai, reads a Government release issued on Tuesday.
“The Government will support the organisation of national funerals to take place in the memory of King Mihai. In this sense, representatives of the governmental organisations involved in organising funeral ceremonies will have a technical meeting at the Victoria Palace today with representatives of the Royal House of Romania to establish the details and the calendar of the national funeral. Romania’s Government is alongside the Royal House during these difficult moments and sends its sincere condolences!,” the release reads.
PM Tudose: The people bids farewell to King Mihai, a model of morality and dignity for Romanians
The people bids farewell with deep sorrow to King Mihai, “a model of morality and dignity for Romanians,” Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said on Tuesday.
“The Romanian people bids farewell with deep sorrow to King Mihai, a model of morality and dignity for Romanians, a personality that has left a significant imprint on Romania’s history. We’ll always feel his passage, so much the more next year, when we celebrate the Centennial of the Greater Union of 1918, a moment with a special significance for our nation. The memory of His Majesty will always stay alive. Condolences to the Royal House of Romania, we are with you and we assure you of our entire support. May God rest him in peace!” Tudose wrote on Facebook.
The PM published a quote from the speech King Mihai I delivered to Parliament in 2011.
“Our foremost duty today is to remember all those who died for our independence and freedoms, in all wars that we had to carry and in the December 1989 events, which demolished the communist dictatorship. We cannot have a future without respecting our past,” King Mihai I told Parliament on that date.
DefMin Fifor: King Mihai, a national symbol of resistance; displayed verticality in times of trial
The Minister of National Defense, Mihai Fifor, has extended condolence to the Romanian Royal House for the “immense loss” left by the death of King Mihai, underlining that the former royal was “the national symbol of resistance” who “displayed great courage in the times of the Romanian nation’s trials.”
“I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of his Majesty Mihai I, the last king of Romania. On my behalf and the behalf of the entire Romanian army, I want to convey to the family and members of the Royal House sincere regrets and condolences for this immense loss. King Mihai I will forever go down in the history of the Romanian nation as the national symbol of resistance, displaying verticality and a great courage in the times of the Romanian nation’s trials. We hope that his firm beliefs and wisdom will strengthen our inner power to contribute from now on toward making the world a better place, as King Michael always wanted. Our hearts and the hearts of all the Romanians who appreciated His Majesty, King Mihai I go out to the Royal House. May God rest his soul!,” Fifor wrote on Tuesday in a Facebook post.
Senate’s Tariceanu: King Mihai remains symbol of patriotism, love for the country and people
King Mihai remains a symbol of patriotism, love for the country and people, President of the Senate Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated on Tuesday, sending his sincere condolences to the Royal Family.
“With deep sorrow and regret in my soul I learned about His Royal Highness King Mihai’s disappearance. Today is a sad day for the Romanian people,” Calin Popescu-Tariceanu wrote on Facebook.
He brought to mind that His Majesty represented the country with dignity and courage during his tenure.
“I had the honor to meet His Majesty King Mihai and feel his warmth, care and love for the country and the Romanian people. His Majesty showed, during his reign in very difficult times, what it means to represent the country with dignity and courage,” Tariceanu underscored.
He mentioned that King Mihai was respected in the country and around the world for the manner in which he devoted himself to serving his people or defending the spirit of freedom and democratic values.
“King Mihai remains a symbol of patriotism, love for the country and people. We will keep his memory alive and miss him. In these hard times, my thoughts go to the Royal Family, whom I sent my sincere condolences to. May God rest his soul in peace!,” Tariceanu also wrote.
Dragnea: I’m profoundly saddened by the news of King Mihai’s death
PSD President Liviu Dragnea wrote on Facebook, on Tuesday, that he is profoundly saddened by the news of King Mihai’s death, stating that the political will of the former monarch is clear and must be followed by everyone, regardless of political convictions.
“His long suffering could not lessen the shock of this news. This is the most palpable proof of King Mihai’s presence in our souls, of his importance to us Romanians. The void he leaves behind is immense. However, also immense is the King’s contribution in the Second World War and in safeguarding the Romanian destiny.
“King Mihai fought for a Romania that is whole, democratic and European, that respects its own tradition and its own national values. His political will is clear and the only thing left for us to do is to follow it, all of us, regardless of political convictions! God rest his soul!”
Firea: King Mihai’s spirit will continue to be guiding light and moral benchmark for future generations
Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea states, in a Facebook posting, that the spirit of King Mihai will continue to be a guiding light and a moral benchmark for future generations.
“He has left us, but the spirit of King Mihai will continue to be guiding light and moral benchmark for future generations… May God have You in his care, Majesty!” Firea wrote on Facebook.
Academician Berindei: King Mihai, a model of balanced and beautiful behaviour of a genuine Romanian
Romanian Academy member Dan Berindei has mourned the death of King Mihai I, saying about the ex-royal that he was “a model of balanced and beautiful behaviour of a genuine Romanian.”
“This is sad news that ends an era, a happy era, because the era of the monarchy in Romania, between 1866 and 1947, was an era of unrest and great successes as well. I do not know when we will witness such an era again. King Mihai is a personality who deserves all the praise for his poise in being truly the ruler of the whole country. His loss will be felt and, as far as I am concerned, I stay with the memory of the speech he addressed to the Romanian Parliament a few years ago, a model of poise and beautiful behaviour of a genuine Romanian,” Berindei told AGERPRES.
Academician Stolnici on King Mihai: He did a great deal of good to Romania
Academician Constantin Balaceanu Stolnici told AGERPRES on Tuesday that late King Mihai did “enormously good” to Romania, adding that he always appreciated the ex-king, whom he calls one of the great political personalities of in Romania’s history.
“What other more natural reaction can I have than to feel very, very sorry, because I lived both my childhood and my youth under his reign, because I always appreciated him for all that he did and because he is one of the great political personalities in Romania’s history. He was the character that did a great deal of good to Romania at the end of WWII and who led this country in extremely difficult moments seeking to maintain a balance,” Stolnici said.
Academician Theodorescu: King Mihai – a tragic character, with a tragic but dignified life
Academician Razvan Theodorescu says King Mihai was a tragic character, with a tragic yet dignified life that left behind the very important thing of having been the decisive factor of the August 23, 1944, when Romania turned the arms against Germany to end WWII.
“A Romanian monarch is dying that is the last Romanian royal. With him, the Romanian monarchy is dying out definitively. He was a tragic character, with a tragic yet dignified life, a worthy personality, a respectable character who, during his second reign, a dramatic one, did a very important thing, being the decisive factor in the act of August 23, 1944, the importance of which we all know. Let us defend his good memory, as we must not forget that in his entire exile he was a worthy person who did not forget his country at all. He is the only exiled monarch who could return to his country exactly where he left, which matters a lot in a nearly centennial history,” Theodorescu told AGERPRES.
Asked why the monarchy is ending in Romania, Theodorescu said that King Mihai “has no successor”.
“To my knowledge, he has no successor, because as far as Nicolae is concerned, he has been done what it is known. So he needed male descendants, and Nicolae having been withdrawn from succession negates the existence of successors for a very unlikely restoration of the monarchy,” the academician said.
Dacian Ciolos: King Mihai – a symbol of dignity, nobility and balance
Former Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos believes King Mihai is a symbol of dignity, nobility and balance, as he always remained loyal to the Romanian people.
“I will always remember King Mihai, as all Romanians will probably remember him, as a symbol of dignity, nobility and balance, due to the manner in which he intertwined his fate with the evolution of modern Romania. The King always remained loyal to the Romanian people and he received with dignity the humiliations he was forced to face for a while, precisely for he did not want to become a stranger to the country where he was born and the people he led for a while,” Dacian Ciolos wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
According to the former PM, King Mihai I was and he remains a source of inspiration for the Romanians who use their energy and skills to promote and defend the democratic values and a model of morality for the political generations of today and tomorrow.
Dacian Ciolos sent his entire compassion to the Royal House of Romania, to all the friends and close companions of King Mihai.
Former PM Ponta: King Mihai was a figure who marked Romania’s history
King Mihai I was a key-figure who marked Romania’s history for almost a century, stated former Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who sent his condolences to the Royal Family.
“Sincere condolences to the Royal Family and to all Romanians for this huge loss! His Majesty King Mihai was a figure who marked Romania’s history for almost a century. I consider myself privileged because I had the opportunity to meet him personally and pay my respect and admiration. May God rest his soul!,” Victor Ponta wrote on his Facebook page.
Spy chief Hellvig: I hope the Royal Family will stay with society in major projects
Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) Eduard Hellvig has conveyed condolences to the Romanian Royal House and expressed his hope that the Royal Family will remain alongside the Romanian society in its major projects as a constant lynchpin of morality and unifying force.
”I have learned with deep sadness about the death of His Majesty King Mihai I of Romania. As the head of the Romanian state and the last major survivor of WWII in Europe, his life in the service of the citizens leaves a deep impression on modern Romania. We have the duty, especially in these moments, to keep alive in the memory of our nation the memory of the examples of patriotism, courage and dignity that His Majesty proved in the crucial moments for Romania in the 20th century. On behalf of me and the Romanian Intelligence Service, I want to convey condolences to the Royal House of Romania and express my hope that the Royal Family will remain alongside the Romanian society in its major projects as a constant lynchpin of morality and unifying force. May God rest his Majesty’s soul!,” Hellvig wrote on a post on the SRI Facebook page.
British Ambassador: King Mihai, an important figure of our common history
The British Ambassador to Romania, Paul Brummell, on Tuesday sent condolences to the Royal Family of Romania, the Romanian Government and people over the death of King Mihai and highlighted that the former sovereign was a very important figure of the common history of the two states.
“Condolences on behalf of the UK Government for the Royal Family of Romania, the Romanian Government and people. King Mihai was a very important figure of our common history. He fought against communism, fascism and he had very close connection with the UK. This is a very sad time for us and we are by Romania’s side,” said Brummell after meeting the Ambassadors of EU member states with President Klaus Iohannis.
French Embassy: King Mihai played crucial role in Romania’s history
King Mihai played a “crucial role” in the history of Romania and he is associated with the Romanian people’s struggle for freedom, reads a message from the French Embassy in Bucharest, sent at the death of the ex-royal.
“The Embassy of France in Romania has learned with sadness about the death of King Mihail I of Romania. King Mihai played a crucial role in the history of Romania and will remain a symbol of the Romanian people’s struggle for freedom. The Embassy of France is extending its condolences to the the Royal Family and the Romanian people,” reads the message posted on the embassy’s Facebook page.
Germany’s Embassy extends condolences to Romanian people and Royal Family
Germany’s Embassy in Bucharest sent its condolences to the Romanian people and the family of formal sovereign King Mihai, the official Facebook page of the diplomatic mission reveals.
“The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany wishes to convey its sincere condolences both to the Royal Family and the Romanian people for the death of the one who was King Mihai I of Romania,” reads the message of the diplomatic mission.
USR: King Mihai I will remain in Romania’s history a symbol of the fight for freedom and democracy
On Tuesday, USR conveyed its condolences to the Royal Family following the announcement of the death of King Mihai I, adding that His Majesty will remain in Romania’s history as a symbol of the fight for freedom and democracy.
“His Majesty King Mihai I of Romania has ended today the story of one of the most complex destinies in our modern history. He was the symbol and hope of a generation, and from now on he takes a place in the legend of our history books. God rest his soul,” reads the message conveyed by USR President Dan Barna, according to a press release.
USR points out that the Romanian people will never forget King Mihai I’s contribution to the safeguarding of national identity and to Romania’s consolidation as an independent and sovereign state, and His Majesty will always be a moral benchmark toward which the Romanian nation will look with respect and appreciation.
“The speech King Mihai I delivered in Parliament, in October 2011, will remain the best and most credible speech on patriotism, which will maintain its echo over the years,” USR adds.
Carmen Dan: His Majesty remains an example of patience and love for the country, a symbol of continuity and sacrifice for the fellow man
Following the announcement of King Mihai I’s death, Interior Minister Carmen Dan stated that His Majesty will remain an example of sacrifice for the fellow man and of love for the country.
“We all have the moral duty to respectfully bow our heads in honour of the one who wrote important pages in the history of our country. We have the obligation to keep our past in a place of honour, because this represents the only guarantee of a future built on solid and sincere bases. His Majesty remains an example of patience and love for the country, a symbol of continuity and sacrifice for the fellow man. In these moments of profound sadness, I convey my condolences to the entire royal family. May God rest his soul in peace and light!” Carmen Dan wrote on her Facebook page.
Nicolae Medforth-Mills: Grandfather, I’ll be missing you and I won’t forget that you thought me about real values, imperishable throughout the time
Nicolae Medforth-Mills, the grandson of King Mihai, said that Romania lost its King and one of Europe’s greatest leaders of the twentieth century, a symbol of the devotion towards his country, adding that he lost his best friend.
“Today, Romania lost its King and one of Europe’s greatest leaders of the 20th century, a symbol of the devotion towards his country. My grandfather was a leader who truly loved his country and people! Today I lost my best friend, my grandfather, but I consider myself a lucky man that I had the privilege to be raised and shaped by him, with the devotion towards the country and the promise that I will always try to make him proud of me. Grandfather, I’ll be missing you and I won’t forget that you thought me about real values, imperishable throughout the time. Rest in peace!,” Nicolae Medforth-Mills wrote on Facebook.
Orban: I received with pain the news that His Majesty is no longer with us; a page in history ends
PNL President Ludovic Orban stated on Tuesday that he received with pain in his heart the news that King Mihai has died, expressing his regret that His Majesty left precisely when Romania is entering the Centennial of the Great Union.
“I received with pain in my soul the news that His Majesty, King Mihai of Romania, is no longer with us. On behalf of PNL, I convey my condolences to the royal family and to all those who loved His Majesty King Mihai, and who believed in his destiny. Unfortunately, His Majesty leaves us right now, when we are entering the year in which we celebrate the Great Union Centennial and, even though he will not be physically by our side, by the side of Romanians, his soul will be with us and will watch over the construction of a great destiny for this nation. A page in history ends, His Majesty is the last head of state who survived the Second World War. A great, dramatic, unfortunately unfulfilled destiny,” Ludovic Orban stated.
The PNL leader added that Romania would have looked far better and would have been entirely different than it is today if His Majesty’s rights had been restored in 1990 and had he become King.
“In this sad moment, when we are suffering an irreparable loss, I call on us to find again our will to unity, for the discord, the conflicts, the pointless battles to cease and for us to no longer confront each other, at least now, to no longer create fractures in Romanian society.
“I conclude by reminding that even though Romanian authorities were unjust with His Majesty, he played a determining role in the process of accession to the European Union and to NATO, doing all these things basically without having any official recognition from Romanian authorities,” Orban added.
PSD renounces holding public rallies during the weekend
PSD has given up on holding the public rallies scheduled this weekend in Bucharest and several counties, according to a press release issued by the party’s press bureau.
“During these sad moments for the whole nation, it is important to think about what unites us, about the desiderata all Romanians aspire to, those living in the country and elsewhere. Consequently, PSD officially announces it will no longer hold the public rallies scheduled for the end of this week. During these days, the most important thing is to honour His Majesty’s honour. Consequently, PSD will suspend all political actions planned for this period, in order to show proper respect,” reads a PSD press release.
Several PSD leaders, including party president Liviu Dragnea, met on Tuesday, at the party headquarters, to talk about the public rallies scheduled for the end of this week, Social Democrat sources told News.ro.
Teodor Melescanu: King Mihai I remains an example of distinction, dignity, generosity and profound loyalty to the Romanian cultural values and to Romania’s interests
“I was deeply saddened to hear about the disappearance of His Majesty, King Mihai I of Romania. Personally, I had the opportunity to see, several times, the appreciation which His Majesty enjoyed in diplomacy, as well as the one showed by the general public from Romania and abroad. The efforts made by His Majesty King Mihai I in the various European capitals to promote Romania’s objectives related to joining European Union and NATO are an integrant part of the commitment and success of the international path of our country” reads the condolences message sent on Tuesday by the Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu. “For the diplomats who had the honor to meet him, King Mihai I remains an example of distinction, dignity, generosity and profound loyalty to the Romanian cultural values and to Romania’s interests. We remember of the exemplary manner in which His Majesty was close to the concerns and problems of the Romanians all over the world, both during the sad years of exile and afterwards”.
“The Centenary’s Romania is also due to the role played by the Royal Family, and His Majesty, by his loyalty to the national interests, both in times of vicissitudes and in the current times, characterized by new challenges, will always be a landmark for the historical path of our country, as well as for the values we have to share with future generations.
We bow to His Majesty, who has put his entire life with dignity in the service of the country.
We convey condolences to the Royal Family in this moments of mourning, together with the expression of our entire appreciation to the personality of His Majesty” also mentions the head of the Romanian diplomacy in the condolences message sent to the Royal House.
Iliescu: King Mihai’s death closes maybe the most tumultuous chapter in the history of modern Romania
On Tuesday, former President Ion Iliescu expressed, on his personal blog, his regret for the death of King Mihai, stating that the King did his duty with honour and took crucial decisions for the future of the country. Iliescu also reminded the fact that his relationship with King Mihai “was not simple” but blamed that on “the agitated times at the start of transition.”
“I received with sadness news of the death of former Romanian sovereign Mihai I. His life, during an agitated century full of violence and dramatic changes, was neither simple nor easy. He did his duty with honour, he took crucial decisions for the future of the country, in some of the most difficult conditions. He proved exemplary patriotism during the difficult years of exile. Returning to the country, after the changes of December 1989, he overcame disappointments and difficult moments and became Romania’s advocate in its effort for European and Euro-Atlantic integration. He was an example of political and civic responsibility,” Ion Iliescu wrote on his blog.
The former president also said he keeps alive the memory of his talks with King Mihai, which took place in the years after 1989 both in Versoix and in Bucharest.
“Our relationship was not simple, during the agitated times of the start of transition. Reason and the sense of serving the public interest, regardless of the position we held, were stronger and, together, we managed to convey to our partners a strong message of undertaking the values of the European community. The disappearance of King Mihai closes maybe the most tumultuous chapter in the history of modern Romania, a complex, often dramatic history but one that ensured our country’s well-deserved place in Europe and in the contemporary world. God rest his soul!” Ion Iliescu concluded the obituary posted on his blog.
Geoana: His inheritance is important, and we must cherish it
Former Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana states that King Mihai I’s death represents the loss “of a model of decency and modesty.”
“King Mihai I’s disappearance represents not only the loss of the last head of state from the times of the Second World War, but of a model of decency and modesty. A statesman who saw fit to love his country wherever he was. I had the honour to chair the Senate meeting in which King Mihai addressed the Legislative for the last time. The inheritance he bequeaths us is important and we must cherish it. God rest his soul!” Geoana wrote on his Facebook page.
Kelemen: King Mihai was a model of human dignity, of verticality. His disappearance closes an important chapter in the country’s history
UDMR President Kelemen Hunor states that King Mihai was a model of human dignity, of verticality, and his disappearance closes an important chapter in the country’s history.
“I received with great sadness news of the death of King Mihai I’s, the last King of Romania. We say farewell to a special man, an important personality of the 20th Century. Throughout his life he went through harsh experiences, leaving his country, then the period of exile. He was a model of human dignity, of verticality. After he returned to the country he permanently backed the values of freedom and democracy. His disappearance closes an important chapter in this country’s history,” Kelemen Hunor states.
On behalf of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, Kelemen Hunor conveyed his sincere condolences to the bereaved family and to all those who were close to the King.
Culture Minister: A King with a life almost as an united Romania; we owe him a profound bow down
Minister of Culture and National Identity Lucian Romascanu pays his respect to King Mihai, “a King with a life almost as an unified Romania,” who departed to his ancestors and whom we owe a profound bow down.”
“The King has passed away … I wasn’t a monarchist, especially starting from the premise that you are born with the chances of becoming whatever you want and can, the monarchy creating through itself an inaccessible position to common people. However … the disruption of our public life over the past 27 years made me often think about ‘what if?’. What Romania managed to do best was possible because there was a balance offered by a king leading the state. What means a King has been revealed to me by my boy, who found out from the kindergarten about King Mihai, came home blushing and full of gentleness, talking about our King ‘who is old, daddy, but isn’t it true that he did a lot for us?’. I don’t believe that he will get the chance, too soon, to have his contemporary heroes whom to talk about … It’s improbable for this thing only to turn me into a monarchist, but it sure makes me to sincerely respect the institution and, yes, to respect King Mihai more. A King with a life almost as an united Romania departed to his ancestors and we owe him a profound reverence. May God rest you in peace Your Majesty!,” Romascanu wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
Russian Embassy in Bucharest: King Mihai enters history as a brave statesman
King Mihai has entered history as a brave statesman, by leading his country in the anti-Hitler alliance, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Bucharest says in a condolence message at the Romanian sovereign’s passing away.
“The Embassy of Russia in Bucharest has learned with regret of the death of the former King of Romania, Mihai I,” the diplomatic mission specifies on its official Facebook page.
According to the message, King Mihai has entered history as a brave statesman who “made it to put an end to the military escapades of the Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu on the Nazi Germany’s side.”
“Joining the anti-Hitler coalition, Romania became the ally of the Soviet Russia and of other United Nations’ members, a fact that allowed the rescue of tens of thousands of lives and the more accelerated post-war reconstruction of the country,” the embassy’s message stresses.
Moreover the message recalls that King Mihai was bestowed a decoration on the Russian president Vladimir Putin’s behalf.
“His wisdom as a statesman has been granted a high appreciation in the USSR and the Romanian monarch was presented with the highest Soviet distinction, the Order of Victory. In 2005 and 2010, the King participated in the Victory Day’s Parade in the Red Square and was decorated by president Vladimir Putin with the jubilee medal in honour of the 60th anniversary of the Victory in the Great War for the Country’s Defence,” the message goes on.
The Embassy of Russia expresses herein “condolence to the Romanian Royal Family and the entire Romanian people in connection with this irreplaceable loss.”
Cardinal Lucian: King Mihai’s figure, worthy example of devotion and sacrifice on Romania’s altar
King Mihai’s figure endures as an example of devotion and sacrifice on dignified Romania’s altar which he served to the very end, Cardinal Lucian stated in his condolences message sent on Tuesday to Crown Princess Margareta, in the name of the Romanian Church united with Rome, Greek-Catholic and in his own personal name.
“The passage to God of Romania’s Sovereign, King Mihai leaves us with sorrowing hearts. the Figure of His Majesty stands for all of us as an example of devotion and sacrifice on dignified Romania’s altar which he served to the very end. He was truly an example for the entire Romanian community and King of all Romanians,” Cardinal Lucian, Major Archbishop of the Romanian Church united with Rome, Greek-Catholic.
In his name and of the Greek-Catholic Church, Cardinal Lucian expressed his sincere condolences “upon this sad occasion” to Her Royal Highness Margareta.
“May God Almighty rest him in peace and set him with all the Romanian kin heroes, into the joy of His eternal dwellings,” Cardinal Lucian further said.
Upon the orders of Cardinal Lucian, in all the churches of Alba-Iulia and Fagaras Archdiocese, mourning bells for King Mihai’s soul repose will be rung starting with Wednesday and to the day of the funeral, at 12:00 hrs.
US Ambassador Hans Klemm: King Mihai, brave patriot striving for freed Romania
Ambassador of the United States to Romania Hans Klemm stated on Wednesday in western Cluj-Napoca that King Mihai was a courageous patriot striving for a freed Romania.
“I would like to express my condolences and sympathy for all those who admired King Mihai of Romania. In the by-gone centuries numerous Romanians have carried out many acts of bravery, however, if we take a deeper look at the 1944-1947 interval, I believe it would have been difficult to have identified a braver, more determined, more patriotic Romanian than King Mihai, for the role he had in August 1944 and his struggle to ensure a free Romania and to set boundaries in the way of the communist consolidation after the end of the 1945 conflict. I could not maintain it was an unique effort but certainly his contribution to that effort was exemplary and many have admired that part of history,” Hans Klemm said.
Moreover, the U.S. Ambassador observed a minute of silence in King Mihai’s memory before participating in the “Preparing for the 21st century threats” debate.
The Dean of the European Studies Faculty, Nicolae Paun proposed, in the opening of the debate, a minute of silence in King Mihai’s memory and all the 150 participants in the event stood up and kept silence for a few seconds.
The Faculty of European Studies with Babes-Bolyai University hosted on Wednesday the debate titled “Preparing for the 21st century threats” organised by the CITADEL Reflection and International Analysis Group, an analysis think-tank in international policy.
PG Augustin Lazar: King Mihai I to endure as benchmark and symbol for Romanian people
Prosecutor General Augustin Lazar sent on Tuesday a message of condolences to the Royal Family of Romania, in which he points out that His Majesty King Mihai I will forever endure as a benchmark and a symbol for the Romanian people.
“We have received with profound regret the news of the passing of His Majesty King Mihai I. His Majesty King Mihai I will forever remain a benchmark and a symbol for the Romanian people. I wish to express, in this trying moments, sincere condolences as well as my compassion for and solidarity with the entire Royal Family of Romania,” reads the message of the Romania’s Prosecutor General, released on Tuesday on the Public Ministry’s Facebook page.
The historical speech of King Mihai I held in Parliament on October 25, 2011: It is only up to us to make a stable, prosperous country that is admired by the whole world
25th of October, 2011 was the moment when King Mihai I held a speech in front of the Romanian Parliament. It was a historical speech, in which the King spoke about fundamental values from which a nation should never abdicate: freedom, identity and dignity.
“It’s been more than sixty years since I spoke the last time to the Romanian nation from the Parliament’s tribune. I received the invitation of the legitimate representatives of the people with joy and hope. Our first duty today is to remember all those who died for our independence and freedoms, in all the wars which we had to face and in the events of December 1989 which demolished the communist dictatorship. We cannot have a future without respecting our past.
The last twenty years have brought democracy, freedoms and the beginning of the prosperity. People are traveling, they are fulfilling their dreams and they are trying to consolidate their family and life, to the benefit of the future generations. Romania has evolved a lot over the last two decades.
The evolution of the European Romania of today relies on the existence of the Parliament. Our irreversible path to the European Union and NATO wouldn’t have been possible without the action of the Romanian Legislature after 1989, towards freedom and democracy.
But politics is a two-edged sword. It guarantees democracy and freedoms if it is done by respecting the law and the institutions. But politics can bring damages to people if it is done by disdaining ethics, by personalizing the power and ignoring the primary purpose of the State institutions.
Many fields of the Romanian life that were competently and freely managed have succeeded to go further, despite of the crisis.
Artists, the military, the diplomats and the public servants are trying to do their job, although they have to ace the serious lack of money and they are institutionally discouraged. Institutions such as the Romanian Academy and the National Bank are fulfilling their duty, although the today’s times don’t have the appropriate respect for the hierarchy of values in the Romanian society.
I am grieved because, after two decades since we returned to democracy, old and sick people are forced to face humiliating situations.
Romania needs infrastructure. The modern highways, ports and airports are part of our force as an independent state. Agriculture is not a field of the historical past, but of the future. School is and will be a cornerstone of the society.
The Queen and I, together with our Family, will continue to do what we’ve always done: we will fight for Romania’s fundamental interests, for our country’s continuity and traditions.
I couldn’t address the nation without talking about the Royal Family and its importance in our country’s life. The Royal Crown is not a symbol of the past, but a unique representation of our independence, sovereignty and unity. The Crown is a reflection of the State, in its historical continuity, and of the Nation in its becoming. The Crown consolidated Romania by loyalty, courage, respect, seriousness and modesty.
Democratic institutions are not governed only by laws, but also by ethics and by the sense of duty. The love for the country and the competence are the main criteria of the public life. Trust in democracy, in the purpose of the institutions and in their rules!
The world of tomorrow cannot exist without morality, faith and memory. Cynicism, petty interest and cowardice must not be part of our lives. Romania went further through the ideals of the great people of our history, served with responsibility and generosity.
Authoritative voices from all over the world supported Romania in 1989. They were added to the sacrifice of the young people in their approach to remove a tyranny with destroying consequences against the nation’s being. Now’s the time, twenty years later, to have a public behavior which is totally different from the habits of the past for good. Demagogy, dissimulation, primitive egoism, clinging to power and our own interest shouldn’t exist in the Romanian institutions of the year 2011. They remind us too much of the years before 1989. We should resist to the present and prepare our future. Let’s continue the effort to be worthy and respected, being united between us and with our neighbors and brothers.
I served the Romanian nation throughout a long life which was full of events; some of them were happy, others were unhappy. After 84 years since I became a King, I can say to the Romanian nation without hesitating:
The most important things to acquire, after freedom and democracy, are the identity and the dignity. This is a great responsibility of the Romanian elite.
Democracy must enrich the art of governance, not to make it poorer. Romania, as all the European countries, needs respected and skilled leaders.
We must never forget Romanians and the Romanian lands that were taken away from us, as a result of dividing Europe in spheres of influence. It is their right to decide if they want to live in our country of if they want to stay separated.
Today’s Europe is a continent in which nations and lands are not changed as a result of the politicians’ decisions. My oath has been made and it continues to be valid for all the Romanians. All of them are part of our nation and they will always be.
It is only up to us to make a stable, prosperous country that is admired by the whole world.
I don’t see the today’s Romania as an inheritance from our parents, but as a country that we borrowed from our children.
So help us God!
King Mihai’s Biography
King Mihai I (1927-1930; 1940-1947) was born on October 25, 1921, in Sinaia, as the son of King Carol II (1930-1940) and Queen Elena, Princess of Greece.
After the death of King Ferdinand (born August 12/24 1865 – dead July 20, 1927), his grandfather, given that Prince Carol, who was supposed to accede to the throne, had officially given up succession, King Mihai I became the King of Romania, aged no more than 6.
Given his age, the prerogatives of the royal dignity have been taken over in 1927 by a Regency (1927-1930), made of his uncle, Prince Nicolae, Patriarch Miron Cristea and Gheorghe Buzdugan, the President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, according to the Website of the royal family: www.familiaregala.ro.
Despite his commitment to never claim the throne again, Carol II returned to the country in 1930 and he proclaimed himself King. In exchange, Mihai received on June 8, 1930 the title of Great Voivode of Alba Iulia. In the same month, Queen Mother Elena took the road of the exile, with King Mihai remaining in his father’s care. He was educated in a school that King Carol II organized at the Palace, alongside children coming from the entire country and belonging to all social categories. Later on, he practiced various sports and began his military training, at the age of 14 becoming NGO in the Romanian Army, as according to the abovementioned Website.
After a controversial reign, Carol II was forced to transfer most of his power prerogatives, on September 5, 1940, into the hands of General Ion Antonescu, and on September 6, 1940 he transmitted the royal prerogatives to his son, Mihai, who returned thus to the throne, according to the volume “The History of Romania in Dates” (2003).
Starting with 1943, the King gathered around him many personalities who formed an opposition against General Antonescu, on the background of the changes seen on the fronts of the World War II.
On August 23, 1944, starting at 22:12, the radio stations aired the Country Proclamation, through which King Mihai announced “our exit from the alliance with the powers of the Axis and the immediate end of the war against the United Nations,” according to the historical work “The History of Romanians under the Four Kings (1866-1947), volume 4 – Mihai I,” by Ioan Scurtu. At the same time, it was announced that a new government of a national union was formed, with its main task to conclude the peace with the United Nations: “we are stopping the fight right now and any act of hostility against the Soviet Army, as well as the war against the UK and the United States.”
After the end of the World War II, the Romanian monarch was awarded, in July 1945, the Pobeda (Victoria) order, which was one of the most important of the Soviet distinctions, “for his bravery and determination in changing Romania’s political orientation through breaking away from Germany and becoming ally of the United Nations,” according to the volume “The History of Romania in Dates” (2003).
After 1944, gradually, the King’s responsibilities were reduced until they become only symbolical, as the result of Moscow’s political strategy. In 1947, in the context of the military occupation by the Soviets and the removal from the Romanian political scene of the traditional political parties, PNT [the National Peasant Party] and PNL [the National Liberal Party], the monarchy became the last obstacle in the way of the subordination of the country to Moscow’s interests.
On December 30, 1947, the communist politicians forced King Mihai I to abdicate and leave the country, which he did in January 1948, together with his family. Soon afterwards, he made statements regarding his forced abdication. The reaction of the communist leadership came immediately: based on a decision of the Council of Ministers of May 22, 1948, the royal family was deprived of the Romanian citizenship and all its assets.
Mihai I married Princess Ana de Bourbon Parma (b. September 18, 1923 – d. August 1, 2016), from the Danish royal family, on June 10, 1948, in Athens. In 1949 King Mihai I and Queen Ana moved to Lausanne and in 1950 to the UK, where they lived until 1956, when they moved to Switzerland, most precisely to Versoix, near Geneva. In 2004 they moved again to Aubonne, Switzerland. King Mihai supervised the activity of the Romanian National Committee, which was conceived as a Romanian government in exile. He remained in touch with the Romanian refugees abroad and sent messages to the country on New Year’s Eve, through Free Europe radio station.
In April 1992, King Mihai, together with his family, celebrated for the first time after 44 years the Easter at the Putna Monastery and visited Bucharest, during a private visit. Moreover, on the occasion of the important Christian holidays and depending on his public engagements, King Mihai and Queen Ana participated in various events that took place at their Castle in Savarsin or the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest.
On February 21, 1997, by the Government Decision no. 29, the Decision of the Council of Minister, of May 22, 1948 has been revoked and Mihai I became a Romanian citizen again.
During a private ceremony on December 30, 2007, King Mihai signed the new Dynastic Statute of the Royal Family of Romania, by which Princess Margareta became his dynastic successor and the next in line to the throne.
Mihai I was a honorary member of the Romanian Academy (December 19, 2007) and he received the titles of Extraordinary Honoris Causa Professor and Senator ad Honorem of the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca (April 12, 2003), Doctor Honoris Causa of the Western University of Timisoara and Honorary Citizen of Timisoara (May 21, 2009), Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (USAMV) of Cluj-Napoca (October 7, 2009), the “Dr. Alexandru Safran” medal from the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania (October 13, 2010), the distinction “The Freedom of the City of London” from the Guild of Freemen of the City of London, for having shortened the World War II “by at least six months” and saved thousands of lives (May 10, 2011), the title of Honorary Citizen of the Czech City Kromeriz, granted in recognition for his role in the World War II, in liberating several cities from the Nazi occupation (October 23, 2011).
On March 2, 2016, the Royal Council announced King Mihai’s withdrawal from public life, after being diagnosed with leukemia and cancer and he suffered surgery, with the Royal House following to be represented in all its public actions by his daughter Margareta. “The Royal Council took note of His Majesty’s health status, as he recently suffered a surgery. The diagnoses given by the medical team were: “metastatic epidermis carcinoma” and “chronic leukemia. His Majesty is getting a complex and tiring treatment, which does not allow him to appear before the public, so that, from now on, he will take some time off to recover,” Andrew Popper, the head of His Majesty’s House announced from Switzerland.
On November 6, 2017, the Royal House announced in a press release that King Mihai’s health was deteriorating and that he is quickly becoming more weak, while adding that Crown Princess Margareta went back to Switzerland, while on November 8, 2017 the King was said to be “suffering” at his home in Switzerland, alongside Princess Margareta and Prince Radu. “Today, November 8, 2017, the great celebration of Saints Mihail and Gavril finds His Majesty King Mihai in deep suffering, at his home in Switzerland, where he is accompanied by His Royal Highnesses Crown Princess Margareta and Prince Radu. Moreover, at His Majesty’s house there also were the employees of the Royal House who were brought to Switzerland and the nuns from the monasteries from Romania who are always by the King’s side,” reads a press release posted on the www.romaniaregala.ro Website. At the same time, the Royal House specified that on November 7, 2017, a representative of His Holiness Iosif – Metropolitan for Western and Eastern Europe, who came to Switzerland to give the king the Holy Communion.