The day we said ‘goodbye, to our king, the great great grandson of Queen Victoria, is a tribute written by Felicia Mirza, about the laying to rest of King Michael 1 of Romania. He lived at Peles Castle, Sinaia, which has links with Thame.
Felicia, who has visited Thame with fellow Romanians, writes:
“December 5 ,2017, the day Romanians lost King Michael I .He died at the age of 96 at his residence in Switzerland.
He was born Prince Michael of Romania at Foisor Castle on the 25th of October 1921. His parents were Crown Prince Carol of Romania and Crown Princess Elena of Greece and Danmark who got married at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Athens on March 10, 1921 . After passing through Constantinopole, at the beginning of May, they reached Bucharest where Queen Maria of Romania had already prepared for them a beautiful apartment at Cotroceni Palace, the royal residence in Bucharest.
They kindly refused the apartmant in Bucharest and went to Sinaia to live in the flat where Carol spent his childhood and which was described by Elena as ”a staircase and three rooms where she could enjoy” complete privacy”
King Carol, built in Sinaia the Peles Castle, at the foot of the Bucegi mountainson The Peles River, which gave the name to the castle. A magic valley, a fascinating landcape which inspired Queen Elisabeth of Romania to write stories and legends for children under the pseudonym of Carmen Silva.
On October 25 the future king of Romania was born and the next day, Princess Elena wrote to her father King Constantine of Greece asking him to be Michael’s godfather.
The child was christened Michael on the afternoon of January 10, 1922 and at the reception, the British Ambassador addressed the king, the queen and the happy parents of the prince the best wishes of wellness and prosperity for the heir to Romanian throne.
Of great importance in King Michael’s education were the formative years.
The professors, carefully chosen by the king from Bucharest or other cities, the elite of education, would teach only at Palatine School and on special holidays, like Christmas and Easter, the king would invite them for a reception and offer them books, pens, cigarettes or cigarette cases.
King Carol II established this Palatine School for Michael, and brought around 40 children from all over the country, two from each county in order to offer Michael a proper environment to study in Romanian and insisted that Michael was to be treated like any other student.
Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Romanian, Geography, History, Religion and later Psychology, Philosophy were fundamental subjects.
Prince Michael first became king on July, 20, 1927. He was just five years and a half, following the death of his grandfather Ferdinand because his father, Carol had renounced his succession rights and settled in exile with Magda Wolff, who later became Lupescu.
In 1930 his father, Prince Carol, returned to Romania and took back the throne on June 8.
In 1940 Carol abdicated and Michael became king for the second time.
On December 30, 1947, King Michael was forced to abdicate and leave the country. For 44 years he lived in exile in Switzeland, Italy, England.
In 1948 King Michael married Pincess Ana de Bourbon-Parma and they had five daughters. They stayed married for 68 years, the longest royal couple in Romania. King Michael and Queen Ana celebrated their diamond anniversary in 2008 in the presence of 14 royal families.
King Michael supported our country to join The European Union and NATO, proving an example of distinction, dignity and love for his country, Romania.
King Michael and Queen Ana (Anne) attended the the Golden Wedding anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Romanian royal couple stayed at Buckingham Palace in 1997. In 2008 King Michael returned to Peles Castle, Sinaia and in 2016 Queen Anne died in Switzerland, at the age of 92. The funeral was held at Curtea de Arges Cathedral, Romania.
King Michael died in Switzerland in December 2017. The coffin with the body of King Michael was brought to Romania on Wednesday, December 13 and in the afternoon was taken to Peles Castle, Sinaia, the place King Michael was born and spent his childhood.
In the evening, the coffin was taken to the Royal Palace in Bucharest where many representatives of state institutions paid their respect.
On December 16 King Michael I of Romania was buried with full state honours at Curtea de Arges beside his wife Queen Anne.