Royalty Digest Quarterly, No 1/2008, 49-52pp
THE NEW FUNDAMENTAL RULES of the ROMANIAN DYNASTY. AN APPRAISAL
By Diana Mandache
During the nearly five decades of communist regime in Romania, King Michael and his family almost lost their hope of coming back to a democratic Romania. After the fall of Ceausescu’s dictatorship, the King tried unsuccessfully on several occasions between in 1990-91 to return to his country. The new authorities, in large part second-generation communist apparatchiks, permitted him to return only for a short private visit in the spring of 1992, on Easter Day. Ion Iliescu, the country’s then president and the government were too scared of the possibility that the monarchy would be restored through popular support. The 1996 elections in Romania brought for the first time to power since King’s abdication a non-communist government. The immediate result a year later was the granting the Romanian citizenship to HM King Michael of which he has abusively stripped in 1948 by the Romanian communists with the approval of the Russian occupiers. The final permission to reside in his home country was granted in 2001, after 12 years since the toppling of the communist regime.
What has happened with King Michael is not unique, the former monarchs of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria were also subjected to similar restrictions by their respective countries authorities, too afraid that the popular support for monarchy would threaten their positions inherited from the communist regimes. In December 1997, on the fiftieth anniversary of his forced abdication, HM King Michael announced a dynastic document that recognised the male primogeniture among the siblings, but also allowed the succession of females to the throne. HM made acknowledged on that occasion that his eldest daughter Margarita (in Romanian Margareta) is the Crown Princess of Romania and his heir apparent. On 30 December 2007, in a ceremony with highly symbolic significance, at the Săvârşin Castle (Romania), HM King Michael signed and presented officially the new Royal House Statute. That took place in the same day and hour with his forced abdication 60 years ago. The document is entitled the ‘Fundamental Rules of the Romanian Royal Family – The Complete Statute of the Dynasty’.