Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Cheers for Helen as she returns to Romania

September 15, 1940

Romania's new "totalitarian Iron Guard state, formed by decree of General Ion Antonescu, "offered prayer and cheers as young King Michael brought back his mother, Princess Helen, from exile, to Bucharest, a week after his father, King Carol II went into exile.

General Antonescu arranged for the return of Helen, who Romanians are now called Queen mother Helen.  It was the "climax of the transformation of the State along Nazi lines."

King Michael and his mother rode together in "an open coach drawn by six white horses through the flower-strewn streets."  Antonescu followed in another coach.

Helen's "triumphant entry into the capital at the side of her smiling son" was a two hour pageant for Bucharest.  There were crowds along the entire four-mile route from the railroad station to the Orthodox cathedral and the Palace.

King Michael, wearing his general's uniform, escorted his mother from the railway, where they had spent the night, and helped her into the carriage.   He answered "the cheers with brief salutes.

Radio carried the service in the Cathedral were all Romanians were asked to "kneel with Michael and his mother and General Antonescu in prayer for the nation."

There was more kneeling when the priest read General Antonescu's statement:  "Let struggles cease among our Rumanian brothers.  I have picked my Cabinet from men with unshmirched pasts."

The "entire diplomatic corps awaited the royal palace" at the palace and thousands cheered when King Michael and Queen Helen appeared on the balcony.

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