Romania’s former royal house has confirmed that Queen Anne of Romania, the wife of Romania’s last monarch, King Michael I, has died today at 1.45 PM at the age of 92. Crown Princess Margareta, Prince Radu, Princess Helen, Princess Sophie and Princess Marie were at the Queen’s bedside.
Queen Anne was born as Princess Anne Antoinette Françoise Charlotte Zita Marquerite of Bourbon-Parma on 18 September 1923 as the only daughter of Prince René of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Margaret of Denmark. She was born in Paris and she and her three brother spent their childhood in France. They were forced to flee during the Second World War and Anne attended the Parsons School of Design in New York from 1940 to 1943. In 1943 she voluntarily served in the French army and was stationed in several countries as an ambulance driver. For her service she received the French Croix de guerre.
She met her future husband in November 1947 in London. King Michael was visiting London for the wedding of the then Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten. She hadn’t planned to meet the King in an official capacity and went alone to the railstation to observe him as he boarded his train to London. She was persuaded by a cousin to also come to London and it was there that she was unexpectedly introduced to him. They were engaged 16 days after their first meeting.
It was an unfortunate timing for an engagement. King Michael was deposed by the communists on 30 December 1947 and he and Anne were not reunited until 30 January 1948. The wedding ceremony was held on 10 June 1948 in Athens, Greece. They went on to have five daughters. On 30 December 2007 King Michael designated his eldest daughter as Crown Princess as previously women could not succeed to the throne.
As Michael had been deposed it would take until 1992 for Anne to visit the country. They visited for three days but were later denied entry from 1993 until 1997.
A detailed program of the funeral will be made available later. Queen Anne will lie in state for a day in the Hall of Honour at Peles Castle and then for a day in the Throne Room at the Royal Palace in Bucharest. She will be buried in the New Cathedral of Curtea de Arges.