Michael of Romania, the country’s last king, dead at 96

PUBLISHED Tue, December 05, 2017 - 7:32am EST
Credit: Royal House

Former King Michael I of Romania, the country's last monarch and one of the last-surviving leaders from World War II, has died in Switzerland after a lengthy illness, the royal house says. He was 96 years old. (more)

Michael died at his residence in Switzerland at 12 p.m. local time on Tuesday while in the presence of Princess Maria, his youngest child. The former king's health had been deteriorating for weeks as he suffered from leukemia and a form of skin cancer.

Princess Margareta, the former king's eldest daughter, is expected to address the country at 7 p.m. local time in Romania. She was designated by Michael as the heir presumptive to the throne, although the act was never recognized by the Romanian government.

Michael's body will be taken to Peleș Castle in Romania and lie in repose for two days at the former royal palace in the capital Bucharest. A funeral service will take place at the Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest and details will be released on Wednesday, the royal house added.

Michael I, a cousin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, reigned as a young child from 1927 until 1930, and again from 1940 until December 1947, when he was forced to abdicate by the Communist Party-controlled government. He lived in exile for decades before his return to Romania in 1992.

Michael was the last surviving head of state from the Interwar period and one of three surviving heads of state from World War II, during which he shared company with figures such as German Führer Adolf Hitler, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Although there is little demand for monarchy to be restored, both Michael and his wife Anne were widely respected by Romanians. Anne married Michael in 1948, a year after his forced abdication, but was still often referred to as a queen. She died in August 2016.






Happening Now

U.S. FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules

WATCH LIVE:  FCC expected to vote on repealing its net neutrality rules

Democrat Doug Jones wins U.S. Senate election in Alabama

Strong earthquake hits near Kerman in southeast Iran

Suspect in New York subway bombing acted on behalf of ISIS


Listen to "BNO News - Breaking News Radio" on Spreaker.


Just want the important news? Sign up now for the fastest email alerts from BNO News. Click here to get started!


U.S. FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules

Democrat Doug Jones wins U.S. Senate election in Alabama

Strong earthquake hits near Kerman in southeast Iran

Small plane crash into home in San Diego, at least 2 injured

Massive fire erupts in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood


Large explosion in China’s port city of Ningbo kills at least 2

Mount Agung erupts on Indonesia’s Bali island, some flights canceled

Woman in Italy rescued after being held captive for 10 years

False alarm causes mass panic on London’s Oxford Street

Militants attack mosque in Egypt’s Sinai, killing at least 235