King of Romania
Overview
 
King of the Romanians (in Romanian: Regele Românilor), rather than King of Romania (in Romanian: Regele României), was the official title of the ruler of the Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Romania
The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

 from 1881 until 1947, when Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 was proclaimed a republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

.

The state had been called the Principality
Principality
A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

 of Romania (in French "Roumanie") since 1862, after the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 vassal state
Vassal state
A vassal state is any state that is subordinate to another. The vassal in these cases is the ruler, rather than the state itself. Being a vassal most commonly implies providing military assistance to the dominant state when requested to do so; it sometimes implies paying tribute, but a state which...

s of Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 and Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 had been united in 1859 under Alexander John Cuza
Alexander John Cuza
Alexander John Cuza was a Moldavian-born Romanian politician who ruled as the first Domnitor of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia between 1859 and 1866.-Early life:...

 (Alexandru Ioan Cuza) as Prince of Romania, or Domnitor
Domnitor
Domnitor was the official title of the ruler of the United Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia between 1859 and 1866....

.
Encyclopedia
King of the Romanians (in Romanian: Regele Românilor), rather than King of Romania (in Romanian: Regele României), was the official title of the ruler of the Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Romania
The Kingdom of Romania was the Romanian state based on a form of parliamentary monarchy between 13 March 1881 and 30 December 1947, specified by the first three Constitutions of Romania...

 from 1881 until 1947, when Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 was proclaimed a republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

.

The state had been called the Principality
Principality
A principality is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess, or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince....

 of Romania (in French "Roumanie") since 1862, after the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 vassal state
Vassal state
A vassal state is any state that is subordinate to another. The vassal in these cases is the ruler, rather than the state itself. Being a vassal most commonly implies providing military assistance to the dominant state when requested to do so; it sometimes implies paying tribute, but a state which...

s of Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 and Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 had been united in 1859 under Alexander John Cuza
Alexander John Cuza
Alexander John Cuza was a Moldavian-born Romanian politician who ruled as the first Domnitor of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia between 1859 and 1866.-Early life:...

 (Alexandru Ioan Cuza) as Prince of Romania, or Domnitor
Domnitor
Domnitor was the official title of the ruler of the United Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia between 1859 and 1866....

. Cuza had become the prince of the separate principalities in 1859. He was deposed in 1866 by an ad hoc coalition of the main political parties, which then officially offered the throne of the United Principalities to the German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Prince of the Royal family, Carol (Charles) of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, to become the new Prince of Romania.

Romania's independence from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 was recognized in 1878 at the Congress of Berlin
Congress of Berlin
The Congress of Berlin was a meeting of the European Great Powers' and the Ottoman Empire's leading statesmen in Berlin in 1878. In the wake of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, the meeting's aim was to reorganize the countries of the Balkans...

; the principality became a sovereign kingdom
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 in 1881, with Prince Carol as King Carol I of Romania.

Romania was a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 for most of its existence as a kingdom with the exception of 1938–1944, during the dictatorships of Carol II
Carol II of Romania
Carol II reigned as King of Romania from 8 June 1930 until 6 September 1940. Eldest son of Ferdinand, King of Romania, and his wife, Queen Marie, a daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second eldest son of Queen Victoria...

 (1938–1940) and of Marshal Ion Antonescu
Ion Antonescu
Ion Victor Antonescu was a Romanian soldier, authoritarian politician and convicted war criminal. The Prime Minister and Conducător during most of World War II, he presided over two successive wartime dictatorships...

 (1940–1944). On 23 August 1944, King Michael restored the last democratic royal Constitution of 1923. However, during his second reign (1940–1947), King Michael reigned as an unconstitutional king, without an oath on the Constitution and without a vote of the Parliament, initially suspended and reinstated only later, in 1946. Michael was instead crowned and anointed King by the Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 Patriarch
Patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

 of Romania, Nicodim Munteanu
Nicodim Munteanu
Nicodim Munteanu also known as Patriarch Nicodim was the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church between 1939 and 1948.-Biography:...

, in the Patriarchal Cathedral
Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral
The Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral is located near the palace of the Patriarchate of the Romanian Orthodox Church, on Dealul Mitropoliei, in Bucharest, Romania....

 of Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, on the very day of his second accession, 6 September 1940. Michael, thus, reigned the second time as an absolute, unconstitutional King
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

, solely "by the Grace of God", that is by divine right
Divine Right of Kings
The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

. However, legally, Michael could not exercise much authority besides some prerogatives such as being the Supreme Head of the Army and designating a plenipotentiary Prime-Minister ("Conducător
Conducator
Conducător was the title used officially in two instances by Romanian politicians, and earlier by Carol II.-History:...

").

In 1927, King Ferdinand I died, and the country was left in the care of Michael despite Carol II being his father. Carol II, unlike King Carol I, in the beginning had no desire to rule Romania, and was frequently out of the country exploring the rest of Europe with his mistress. Michael's first term of reign would be short lived at a span of only three years, until his father Carol II came back to contest the title at the behest of a dissatisfied political faction that staged a sudden 'coup d'état'
(in spite of the fact that only a few years earlier he had renounced in official documents, written and signed in front of his own father, all his future claims to the throne of Romania).

After a ten years rule, King Carol II gave up his royal title and all accoutrements attached in order to be able to leave Romania and marry his mistress Elena Lupescu. The couple ultimately settled in Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, and the 'playboy king' was never recalled back to Romania.

In August 1944, with the Soviet troops already deep inside Romania's territory, King Michael deposed the Nazi-allied dictator Ion Antonescu
Ion Antonescu
Ion Victor Antonescu was a Romanian soldier, authoritarian politician and convicted war criminal. The Prime Minister and Conducător during most of World War II, he presided over two successive wartime dictatorships...

 at the urge of the opposition parties, and aligned the country with the Allied forces. Helped by the presence of Soviet forces, Communist gradually took control of the administration. In December 1947 King Michael abdicated and left Romania at the request of the Communist-dominated government, while the Parliament proclaimed the country a republic.

After the Revolution of 1989, the former King Michael visited Romania to an enthusiastic reception of a large crowd in the streets of Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, however the country preserved its republican character.

List of Kings of the Romanians (1881–1947)

For the list of rulers prior to 1866 see List of rulers of Wallachia, List of rulers of Moldavia and List of rulers of Transylvania. See Presidents of Romania for the list of presidents after 1947.
# Picture Name Monarch from Monarch until
1
Carol I of Romania
Carol I of Romania
Carol I , born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was reigning prince and then King of Romania from 1866 to 1914. He was elected prince of Romania on 20 April 1866 following the overthrow of Alexandru Ioan Cuza by a palace coup...

26 March 1881 10 October 1914
2 Ferdinand of Romania 10 October 1914 20 July 1927
3
Michael (1st reign) 20 July 1927 8 June 1930
4 Carol II
Carol II of Romania
Carol II reigned as King of Romania from 8 June 1930 until 6 September 1940. Eldest son of Ferdinand, King of Romania, and his wife, Queen Marie, a daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second eldest son of Queen Victoria...

8 June 1930 6 September 1940
(3)
Michael (2nd reign) 6 September 1940 30 December 1947

Although King Michael I of Romania is not the head of state, he continues to speak out on Romanian affairs.

See also

  • List of Romanian consorts
  • History of Romania
  • Lists of Incumbents
  • Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
    Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
    -Noble jurisdictions:Prince Karl Eitel of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, and descendants of his nephew Ferdinand ruled over the Kingdom of Romania, as Karl Eitel did not have children...

  • Line of succession to the Romanian throne
    Line of succession to the Romanian throne
    The succession order to the throne of Romania depends on the interpretation of the applicable laws, either the Romanian kingdom's last democratic constitution, that of 1923, or the new Statute of the Royal House of Romania, named Fundamental Rules of the Romanian Royal House, privately enacted by...

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