Thursday, March 4, 2010
I'm still king, says Michael
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March 4, 1948
King Michael of Roumania broke his silence today and said that his abdication "had been imposed upon him by force and he did not consider himself bound by it."
The New York Times reports that Michael issued his statement during the three hours he spent in London before taking the boat train to Southampton. He will sail on the Queen Elizabeth for New York tomorrow.
Until today's carefully prepared move, "the official Bucharest version of the Communist-dominated" government's statement on the abdication "had to stand.
Reporters were summoned to Michael's suite at Claridge's Hotel. This was not a "real press conference," as Michael would not answer any questions after he read his statement.
"At the present moment, it is no longer necessary to insist on the circumstances and causes of certain political events. The motives of the profound political changes imposed on the small states of eastern Europe are already too well known.
"As far as Rumania is concerned, I want to avail myself of the first possibility to confirm the facts as they happened.
"On the morning of Dec.30, 1947, Petru Groz and Gheorghiu-Dej, members of the Rumanian Cabinet, presented to me the text of the Act of Abdication, urging me to sign it at once.
"Both of them came to the Royal Palace after it had been surrounded by armed detachments, informing me that they would hold me responsible for the bloodshed which would follow as the consequence of the instructions already issued by them in case I should not sign within the time limit.
"This act was imposed on me by force by a government installed and maintained in power by a foreign country, a government utterly unrepresentative of the will of the Rumanian people. This government had violated international pledges binding them to respect the political freedom of the Rumanian people, had falsified the elections and annihilated the democratic political leaders who enjoyed the confidence of the country.
"The removal of the monarchy constitutes a new act of violence in the policy for the enslavement of Rumania. In these conditions, I do not consider myself bound in any way by this act imposed upon me.
"With unshaken faith in our future, and animated by the same devotion and will to work, I will continue to serve the Rumanian people, with whom my destiny is inexorably bound."
Earlier today, Michael and his mother, Queen Helen, had lunch at Buckingham Palace with members of the British Royal Family.
In his cabin tonight aboard the Queen Elizabeth, Michael said he was "very hopeful" of returning to Roumania some day. He also announced that he and Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma planned to be married in Denmark "in the near future."
He added that he had always wanted to visit the United States, but "there is nothing very special about the visit and no definite program has been arranged. I am interested in the industrial side and I want to see some of their factors." He said there was no truth to the reports that he planned to write his memoirs while he was in the States.