Călin Popescu-Tariceanu, Romania’s Senate president and Liviu Dragnea, Chamber of Deputies speaker, have initiated a draft bill that would grant several advantages to Romania’s former Royal House.
The bill proposed that the head of the Royal House will have the same status as that of former heads of states. It will also grant the Royal House the right to use the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest for free for the next 49 years. It will also provide for the Royal House to have an administrative service financed from the state budget. The initiators have stated that the bill was in recognition of the way King Michael, the country’s last sovereign, has severed the country, even after being forced to abdicate.
King Michael of Romania was born in 1921 as the son of Carol II of Romania and Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark. He was King of Romania from 20 July 1927 to 8 June 1930 and again from 6 September 1940 to 30 December 1947. He was forced to abdicate in 1947 by the government controlled by the Communist Party of Romania. As a descendant of Queen Victoria through both his parents, he is a third cousin of Her Majesty The Queen and several other reigning heads of state. He married Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma in 1948, and together they have five daughters. Queen Anne died in 2016.
Despite Romania’s Salic law, preventing women from inheriting the throne, King Michael has stated that should Romania restore the monarchy, they should also abolish the Salic law. He designated his eldest daughter Margareta as Crown Princess. As she and her husband have no children, her second sister’s son Nicholas was designated as ‘Prince of Romania’ in 2007, though this title was taken away in 2015, possibly due to him having fathered an illegitimate child. He was also officially removed from the line of succession, as was his aunt Irina Walker, born Princess Irina of Romania, who was arrested for being part of an illegal cockfighting ring.