Monarchy Day in Romania

11:10 13.05.2013

Although monarchy in Romania was abolished in 1947 with the coming to power of the communists, it still has an echo in the minds and souls of Romanians who celebrate Monarchy Day each year on May 10th. This is a day of nostalgia for a time that many see as having had a positive influence on Romania’s destiny and remembrance of a very complicated era in the country’s history.

Monarchy started in Romania on May 10th 1866, during a time infighting for power that had undermined the country’s political life. It was against this backdrop that Prince Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen became ruler of Romania. In 1881 he became King Carol I of Romania and founder of the local Royal House.

His coming to power was the result of a compromise made by political parties in an attempt to lend a new dimension to the country’s foreign policy. It was believed necessary to change Romania’s image among western chancelleries at a time when the great powers would not recognise the 1859 Union of the Romanian Principalities.

Given the reputation enjoyed by the Hohenzollern dynasty across Europe, the benefits of installing Carol I as king of Romania were not hard to imagine. After Carol I, Romania had three more kings of the same dynasty until 1947, namely Ferdinand I, Carol II and Michael I. During this time, Romania won the war against the Ottoman Empire and declared its independence in 1877, achieved the union of all Romanian Principalities in 1918 and entered the two world wars.

In 1947, when the country, practically under the Soviet military occupation, was forced to install a communist government, King Michael I was forced to abdicate and go into exile. After the fall of Communism in 1989, he wanted to return to Romania but the then Romanian authorities, made up mostly of former Communist officials, obstinately denied the King’s return to Romania.

In 1997, however, the members of the Royal House were granted Romanian citizenship and started to become more involved in pleading Romania’s case to join NATO and the European Union. On Sunday, Radio Romania will be proud to receive the Nihil Sine Deo royal distinction on the occasion of its 85th anniversary. The distinction is awarded for the services brought by the Romanian public radio to Romanians all over the world.

Adapted from: Radio Romania International