Aviva Directory » Local & Global » Europe » Romania

The southeastern European country of Romania is a sovereign state which is bordered by Bulgaria, Ukraine, Serbia, and Moldova as well as the the Black Sea on the east coast. Its capital is Bucharest, and the official language is Romanian.

Modern Romania was formed in 1859 through a personal union with Moldavia and Wallachia and achieved its independence from Turkey and the Ottoman Empire in 1877, during the Russo-Turkish War. Romania allied itself with Russia and was recognized as an independent state by the Ottomans as stipulated in the Treaty of San Stefano and the Treaty of Berlin, which ended the war.

The Principality of Romania declared itself the Kingdom of Romania in 1881, and Prince Carol who had ruled the Principality became King Carol I of Romania.

In 1914, World War I erupted and Romania declared itself neutral, but they faced constant pressure from the Allied countries, and in August of 1916, Romania joined the Allies and declared war on Austro-Hungary. The Central Powers promptly invaded Romania, killed or captured more than 50% of the army, and conquered two-thirds of the country in just over three months. Beaten, Romania negotiated the Treaty of Bucharest with Germany in May of 1918. But in October, Romania rejoined the war. When the war was over, both the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires had collapsed, and the Kingdom of Romania had won numerous territories and became part of that kingdom in 1918, creating Greater Romania.

Romania was a constitutional monarchy until 1838, at which time, it became a dictatorship after King Carol II abolished the parliament.

King Carol II of Romania, who was quite the playboy, was better known for his romantic entanglements than anything else. In 1918, he was still the Crown Prince carol of Romania, and on August 31 1918, he deserted his army post in order to marry Zizi Lambrino, who was the daughter of Romanian General Constantin Lambrino. His desertion caused a huge uproar. Their marriage was annulled on March 29, 1919, though they continued to live together. Just after his birth, his parents moved to Paris after they were forced to leave Romania with their infant son, Mircea Gregor Carol Lambrino, born on January 8, 1920.

On March 10, 1921, he married his second cousin, the Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark. The fact that he was insanely in love with Carol apparently caused her to ignore his romantic behavior and to believe they would be a serene married couple. The marriage had been arranged in order to help build a dynastic alliance between Romania and Greece. Seven months after the wedding, on October 25, 1921, their only child, Mihai, was born. There were rumors that the baby was out of wedlock. Carol began a chain of extramarital affairs. Carol, it turned out, was attracted to commoners rather than royal women who he believed were too formal and stiff. And so his eye wandered from the Process. Often.

In 1925, Carol began a very public and controversial relationship with Magda Lupescu, a divorcée, and the scandal was long and loud, particularly from members of the majority National Liberal Party, who insisted that he was not qualified to be king. Eventually, on December 28, 1925, King Carol II renounced his right to the throne in favor of his son, Mihai, the Crown Prince of Romania, and he and Magda moved to Paris.

King Ferdinand I, father of Carol II and grandfather of Mihai, died of cancer on July 20, 1927.

the Crown Prince Mihai, who was five years old, became King Michael under a regency of three member.

The Queen Mother Helen divorced Carol in 1928 on the grounds of his infidelity.

Carol returned to Romania in June of 1930. He mounted what is said to be a constitutional coup, renounced his prior renunciation. Parliament voted overwhelmingly the the 1925 renunciation was invalid, and he became king the next day.

Carol ended parliamentary democracy and declared himself dictator in 1938. By the end of 1940, Romania was without allies, and the USSR, Bulgaria, and Hungary had bullied Carol into detrimental territorial deals, and Hitler was looming on the horizon.

In September of 1940, Carol II was out of options and forced to abdicate the throne once again to his son. Within days, Carol and Magda packed all they could and fled on a special train with their trusted aide and no one else. Romania's Prime Minister Ion Antonescu joined forces with Hitler and the Axis.

King Michael, the last king before the monarchy was abolished, was no more than a figurehead until August of 1944 until he overthrew Antonescu and at which time he left the Axis and joined the Allies.

In 1947, Carol and Magda were married in Rio de Janeiro after their 22-year affair.

 

 

Recommended Resources


Search for Romania on Google, Bing, or Yahoo!