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King Michael of Romania
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    (October 25, 1921-December 5, 2017)
    Born in Sinaia, Romania
    King of Romania (1927-30,1940-47)
    Abdicated when the Communist government abolished the monarchy
    Went into exile in Britain and Switzerland
    Romanian citizenship officially restored (1997)
    He was the great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria through both his father and his mother.
    He was put on the throne during WWII by a pro-German coup that overthrew his father (1940).
    He served as a figurehead for the next four years.
    According to the Soviets, he abdicated the throne after negotiating to have a pension paid to him while in exile.
    He organized a coup to overthrow the pro-fascist government of Marshall Ion Antonescu (August 23, 1944) and tried to bring Romania in on the Allied side. (Unfortunately for him, it did not stop the Soviets from occupying the country.)
    According to his account, he abdicated after the Communist government threatened to execute a thousand students if he did not go quietly.
    He became a commercial pilot while in exile.
    His return to the capital of Bucharest following the fall of Communism attracted a crowd of over a million people (1992).
    He has been married to Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma for over 60 years.
    He said his advice for another monarch would be, 'The king is head of state, but he is also the first servant of the people. Never forget that.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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