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Queen-Mother Helen of Romania at Savarsin, 1942

Queen Helen of Romania won world wide sympathy in the 1930s for the indignities she suffered at the hands of King Carol II, of which she divorced in 1928. She had to leave Romania after 1931, and see her son only a few weeks in a year.

Allowed to return in the country following the second ascension of King Michael, she became involved in charitable activities, was a Red Cross sustainer, and stood at her son’s side during official occasions. The Queen Mother was a staunch defender of Romania’s Jewish population in the dark years of fascism and the Holocaust, her contribution being recognized by Yad Vashem as a Righteous Among Nations. From January 1948, after the communist takeover, Queen Helen lived in exile in Florence and Lausanne, where she died on 28 November 1982. Diana M