The solemn meeting of the joint plenum of the House and the Senate, dedicated to paying homage to King Mihai, started on Monday with the national anthem and a moment of silence. Chairing the meeting, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced that the speech that King Mihai gave before Parliament in 2011 will be broadcast.
Princess Margareta, President Klaus Iohannis, Patriarch Daniel, Premier Mihai Tudose, as well as parliamentarians and ministers from the Republic of Moldova, were among the guests.
The meeting ended with a fragment from the ‘Romanian Poem’ by George Enescu.
Dragnea: King’s speech in Parliament, in 2011, may be considered his political will
House Speaker Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday, at the solemn meeting of the House and the Senate, dedicated to paying homage to King Mihai, that the speech that His Majesty gave before Parliament, in 2011, may be considered the ex-sovereign’s political will.
“On 25 October 2011, His Majesty gave a speech before Parliament, more than 60 years since he last did so, before the communist regime came to power. From today’s perspective, this speech may be considered King Mihai’s political will,” Dragnea said.
He quoted a fragment from the King’s 2011 speech before the two Houses of Parliament.
“Back then, His Majesty emphasised Parliament’s role in a democracy. I quote: ‘The route of today’s European Romania has the existence of Parliament as foundation. Our irreversible road toward the EU and NATO would not have been possible without the action, in freedom and democracy, of the post-1989 Romanian Legislative,’” Dragnea said.
He added that, back then, King Mihai also invoked the values that must define Romanians, namely freedom, democracy, identity, and dignity.
“The death of King Mihai has profoundly saddened us,” Dragnea emphasised.
Tariceanu: King Mihai will forever remain in our memory a firm moral benchmark
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated on Monday that King Mihai I will remain in the memory of Romanians a source of inspiration, a firm moral benchmark, a permanent inducement to courage and strength of character, stating that he is proud that in 2011 he initiated the overtures to invite him in Parliament.
“Today, for the third time in history, the King is once again in Romania’s Parliament, alongside us and among us. He is present in our thoughts, in our faith in democracy, in the hopes we cherish for the future of our nation. This time, Mihai of Romania will no longer leave Parliament, but will forever remain in our memory as a source of inspiration, as a firm moral benchmark, as a permanent inducement to courage and strength of character. King Mihai was unable to wear the Steel Crown of Romania in official circumstances, or to sit on the royal throne during a solemn ceremony. However, I have the conviction that the King is now wearing on his forehead, in heaven, the crown of the righteous, just as I have the conviction that here, on Romanian land, our collective memory will from now on be the throne on which Mihai I of Romania will forever remain seated,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated during the solemn meeting of the Senate and the House.
He added that Monday is the third time King Mihai I is present in the country’s Parliament.
“The observation is surprising for a constitutional monarch whose authority has stemmed from the national will expressed in Parliament. Usually, as happened here for many decades in the past, kings open the proceedings of Parliament each year and deliver the message of the throne to Parliament, which includes the Programme of the Government for the next year. An unfavourable and violent history did not allow King Mihai to fulfil this constitutional prerogative,” the Senate Speaker added.
He pointed out that the King first went before Parliament in the early winter of 1946, to open the proceedings of the Parliament elected on November 19.
“A harsh historical season was starting back then, which lasted four decades. The elections, no matter how controversial their result, were made possible by the King’s act of courage on 23 August 1944.
“In agreement with the political parties and enjoying the armed forces’ loyalty, King Mihai I put an end back then, with an audacity that won him the admiration of the whole free world, to the authoritarian political regime that had dragged Romania in an absurd war against the liberal democracies. The hope that mobilised the King’s energy back then was that Romania itself would become, after the removal of the dictatorship, a liberal democracy, a country of free and equal citizens. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Foreign occupation, betrayal on a part of the elites, hypocritical propaganda and a ruthless repressive apparatus soon pushed Romania into another dictatorship, brought the country under the sign of totalitarianism. The bitter paradox is that the Parliament elected in 1946, thanks to the King’s ability to gather all the nation’s living forces around himself and around democratic principles, was to be the one that took note of the King’s abdication and, subsequently, proclaimed the republic. A people’s republic, then a socialist republic, in which the republican values of freedom, equality and fraternity were nevertheless not present,” Tariceanu added.
He added that he is proud that he, alongside ex-Senator Puiu Hasotti, initiated the overtures to invite the King in Parliament on 25 October 2011, “the nation’s supreme representative forum.”
“On that occasion, the King delivered a memorable speech, bringing in our times the democratic values he embodied in 1944. However, it was not a retrospective speech but, once again, an expression of hope, a confession of the King’s unflinching faith in the virtues and destiny of the Romanian people,” the Senate Speaker added.
President Iohannis: King Mihai, symbol of a reborn, free Romania the Romanians never ceased to aspire to
King Mihai I was a symbol of a reborn, free Romania the Romanians have never given up aspiring to, and he will remain in the memory of the Romanian people as a great statesman, on Monday said President Klaus Iohannis.
“We honour with deep respect the memory of a great personality of our history – King Mihai I. Loyal to his motherland and to his nation, he wore on his shoulders a tough reign in very difficult moments of our past. Forced to challenge tyranny, through the Act of 23 August 1944, Mihai I served the cause of freedom and democracy, then by daringly opposing the seizure of the country by the communists, he proved courage and sense of duty. His tragic destiny resembles the destiny of the Romanian people last century. During his long exile, the King symbolised the hope of a reborn and free Romania that Romanians have never ceased to aspire to. (…) King Mihai I will forever remain in the memory of the Romanian people as a great statesman,” the head of state assessed in the plenary session of the two chambers of Parliament.
“May the memory of King Mihai forever remain in our hearts!” the president added.
Princess Margareta: Carry on serving Romania’s fundamental interests
Custodian of the Crown of Romania, Princess Margareta stated on Monday during the Parliament’s plenary sitting of the Senate and the Deputies’ Chamber, dedicated to King Mihai I’s homage, that she will carry on serving Romania’s fundamental interests and will dedicate her work to Romanians in all corners of the world.
“This is the beginning of a new era for the Royal House. Sharing the same values and principles as my father, I shall pursue to serve Romania’s fundamental interests. Just as King Mihai, I will dedicate my work to Romanians in all corners of the world. The Crown will continue to do everything possible, together with the state’s fundamental institutions, for the country’s progress, within the European Union and NATO. The King has always believed it is our duty to be an integral part of these efforts. In addition to consolidation works of Romanian communities, besides charitable projects, my family and I will stand by the state’s institutions in promoting Romania’s true face and its interests internationally,” the Princess affirmed.
Princess Margareta considers “the world’s countries need to better acknowledge what Romania has achieved in the past 150 years as a modern state, what it has accomplished in the century passed from the Great Union and what is has built since the downfall of communism.” “Looking back, we can be proud of our nation’s progress,” she added.
At the same time, the Princess pointed out that during the solemn plenary sitting, an homage is brought both to King Mihai and to “the 150 years of modern history, filled with both tragic pages but also uplifting ones.”
“The solemnity in which we participate brings an homage to our King, so loved by the Romanian people and admired in the entire world. But the purpose of today’s distinguished gathering is deeply rooted in 150 years of modern history, filled with tragic pages, but also uplifting ones,” Princess Margareta mentioned.
Bringing an homage to her illustrious parent, Princess Margareta asserted that “for almost a century, King Mihai has been part of the Romanian’s state fiber,” whom “even when far away from the country, Romanians regarded as a shining beacon.”
Premier Mihai Tudose: King Mihai was a leader with the sense of duty toward the country, who had the power to give up personal well-being in favour of the public good
“A leader with the sense of duty toward the country, His Majesty remains in our memory as a depository of national values and a defender of Romania’s authentic interests. Out of love for its people and in their name, he was always ready to sacrifice his personal comfort, proving that a King can always rise above the times. That way, he was able to nobly forgive all the injustices done to him, knowing that, after all, they are but the projection of the fear and weakness of those who carried them out,” Premier Mihai Tudose stated at the joint plenary meeting.
He added that, after 1989, King Mihai understood that Romania’s place is alongside the free and democratic states, that Romania cannot develop outside the European Union, that Romanian society must be based on fundamental values such as democracy and freedom.
“And with his idea, with perseverance, wisdom, and patience, he worked so that Romania would once again find its European and Euro-Atlantic destiny, and Romanian society would evolve alongside the great family of the states of the civilised world. Six years ago, His Majesty King Mihai delivered a speech-cum-will before Parliament. A historic speech which we impart with new meanings today. I, as a politician, understood that responsibility and public interest must stand at the basis of decisions, policies and measures we adopt, I understand you cannot govern without openness toward dialogue, without understanding and accepting arguments, without tolerance. As a Romanian, I understand that moderation is needed both for the politician but also for those who rule,” Mihai Tudose added.
He also deemed that King Mihai remains in history and that Romanians owe him.
“It’s the honorary duty of every good Romanian to know the truth about the statesman that King Mihai was and remains, about the courage and dignity proven at crucial moments in Romania’s recent history, or about the power to see fit to give up your personal well-being in favour of the public good. I’m convinced that His Majesty’s vibrant personality will continue to inspire entire generations of Romanians who will love him sincerely, just like King Michael always loved his people in that unique way in which only a sovereign can,” Premier Mihai Tudose concluded.
Patriarch Daniel: King Mihai I will always be in the memory of the Romanian nation a torch of resurrection in difficult times
Patriarch Daniel stated on Monday, at the solemn meeting of the Parliament, that the abdication and the forced departure of King Mihai from the country was a hard blow not only for Romania, but also for the Church, and the king will always be “in the memory of the Romanian nation a torch of resurrection in difficult times”.
“Today, we render homage to the bright personality of His Majesty, King Mihai I of Romania, for the great difficulties that guided him throughout his life, namely: the faith in God, the love for the Romanian nation, the patience in suffering, the dignity in his behavior and the power to forgive hostile people. Being a great historical personality of his century, a monarch, Marshal of Romania, a veteran of the World War II, a hero in the act of 23rd of August, 1944, King Mihai I of Romania was also a steady believer of the Romanian Orthodox Church. A man with a strong faith, which he never was shy to confess publically, living according to the guiding principle of the Romanian Monarchy, Nihil Sine Deo, Nothing without God” Patriarch Daniel stated.
His Beatitude Daniel also said that King Mihai I’s abdication and departure meant a blow not only to Romania, but also to the Romanian Orthodox Church, through the persecutions to which it was subject due to the communist regime.
“The forced abdication act since 30th of December, 1947 and King Mihai I’s departure from Romania in a long and unfair exile were a hard blow to Romania and also to the Church, since in the following years, the communist regime started a cruel period of persecution against the Church, against those who showed loyalty or admiration towards monarchy. Despite the policy to erase all the traces reminding of the monarchy’s contribution to Romania’s progress, the Church found smart solutions to save the inscriptions in which the King’s name appeared, or the Gothic paintings” he also said.
Patriarch Daniel also highlighted the King’s contribution to Romania’s accession to EU and NATO.
“King Mihai lived has discretely, but intensely lived in his faith in which he was baptized. King Mihai of Romania has intensely militated and helped to Romania’s accession to NATO and EU, because he appreciated a lot freedom and democracy. After these goals were achieved, he urged the Romanian Parliament to cultivate national identity and dignity. Through his personality, his life and his work, King Mihai I will always be in the memory of the Romanian nation a torch of resurrection in difficult times” the Patriarch concluded.