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International royalsOtherRomania

King Michael of Romania stepping down from public duties after cancer diagnosis

King Michael of Romania has been diagnosed with cancer and he is currently undergoing a complex and demanding treatment. He is suffering from chronic leukemia and epidermoid carcinoma and he has undergone surgery in Switzerland. This has prevented him from appearing in public and he has a released the following statement concerning his illness:

“In recent weeks we have received news of a serious medical diagnosis. This situation comes in the year when family and country are celebrating 150 years since the founding of the dynasty and the modern Romanian state. My daughter Margarita, the Custodian of the Crown, I am sure will find the wisdom and the strength to represent me and to carry out my public duties. I have asked the Royal Council to continu its mission and provide advise to the Custodian of the Crown. 

Michael R – 1 March 2016″

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.

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 cock fighting ring.

The line of succession according the 2007 Family Statute of Romania is as follows:

(1) Crown Princess Margareta (b. 1949)

(2) Princess Elena (b. 1950)

(3) Elisabeta-Karina de Roumanie Medforth-Mills (b. 1989)

(4) Princess Sophie (b. 1957)

(5) Elisabeta-Maria de Roumanie Biarneix (b. 1999)

(6) Princess Maria (b. 1964)

Photocredit: King Michael I of Romania by Emanuel Stoica via


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