King Michael Breaks Romanian Ties with Hohenzollerns
King Michael I, the 89-year-old former sovereign of the Balkan State of Romania, issued a decree this morning announcing the breaking of all the “historic and dynastic links” with the Princely House of Hohenzollern, the German dynasty that produced the first Prince, and later King, of Romania.
The decree was issued on a symbolic date: 145 years ago, on 10 May 1866, Prince Karl Eitel of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen entered Bucharest and was crowned as Prince Carol I of Romania. Romania had emerged as a nation only four years earlier, when Prince Alexander Cuza unified Wallachia and Moldavia. Later, in 1881, the Romanian Constitution was amended and Carol became King of the Romanians; however, he never renounced to his Hohenzollern titles, and the Romanian Royal House continued to keep Hohenzollern as family name.
Carol I died in 1914 without living issue, and he was succeeded by his nephew Prince Ferdinand of Hohenzollern, who took the regnal name of Ferdinand I, King of the Romanians. In 1921 Ferdinand decided to change the family name of his House to the Royal House of Romania. As explained in today’s decree, Ferdinand’s decision was taken in order to give a “national character” to the Royal House and Dynasty, and this forms the basis for King Michael’s decree. However, Ferdinand didn’t renounce his belonging to the House of Hohenzollern, and kept Hohenzollern as an additional family name.
King Michael’s decree consists of three articles:
Article 1 states in its first part that as of today, 10 May 2011, all the dynastic links between the Royal House of Romania and the Princely House of Hohenzollern are taken over; and in its second part that, in accordance with King Ferdinand’s 1921 decision, since 10 May 2011 the Royal House will be only known as Royal House of Romania, and no longer as House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.
Article 2 decrees that as of today the members of the Romanian Royal Family are no longer entitled to carry and use any title conferred them by any of the Heads of the Princely House of Hohenzollern; it also restates that the Head of the Royal House of Romania remains the sole authority entitled to approve or accept any title or award bestowed on the members of the Royal House.
Finally, article 3 provides for an amendment of the Fundamental Rules of the Royal Family of Romania (issued by King Michael in December 2007 to establish a male-preference primogeniture succession, thus allowing his eldest daughter to succeed him); in particular, all the referrals to the House of Hohenzollern and the Hohenzollern titles of the Princes of Romania will be removed from the Fundamental Rules.
So, with this decree all the links between the two Houses are now broken.
The decree is also said to be due to the strains between the Romanian Royal Family and the Princely House of Hohenzollern; these strains have been caused by the usage of the title “Prince of Hohenzollern-Veringen” by Michael’s son-in-law Radu Duda (the husband of Princess Margarita, the King’s eldest daughter) and by the friendly relationships between the Prince of Hohenzollern and Paul al României, who is King Michael’s half-nephew and a pretender to the Romanian throne in opposition to the former King.
Paul has already declared his opposition to Michael’s decree, calling it “a big mistake” because they “have very good relations with the Hohenzollerns.” No comments have been issued by the Princely House yet.
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