Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ferdinand is dead, succeeded by five-year-grandson, Michael

July 20, 1927

The New York Times is reporting the death of King Ferdinand of Romania, who succumbed earlier today, "after many months of painful illness," at 2:15 a.m.  He died in the arms of his consort, Queen Marie,  to whom he uttered his last words:  "I feel very tired," the king said quietly before closing his eyes, and "dropping off to sleep."  He died several minutes later, "so quietly" that the new King and every other member of the Royal family, with the exception of exiled former Crown Prince Carol, "failed to recognize its coming."

The King's doctors soon "became aware Ferdinand's enfeebled heart had ceased to beat."  He had been in a coma for several hours, but recovered consciousness for a few minutes before his death."  He managed to "bade farewell" to each of his three daughters, Elizabeth, Marie and Ileana, "in a weak voice."  As he kissed his young grandson, Michael, for the last time, the little boy "broke into loud weeping."

Five-year-old Michael now succeeds Ferdinand as king, "under a pre-arranged Regency."  By command of the Bratiano government, the borders are closed to Michael's father, former Crown Prince Carol. who remains in Paris.

King Ferdinand's final act was to confirm the "outcome of the national election," where Ion Bratiano remains Premier.

The King died at Sinaia. His body will be transported by royal train to the Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest at 6 p.m., tomorrow, and will lie in state until the funeral on Saturday.  Burial will take place in the royal vault at Curtea Argea, where the king's remains will be placed beside his uncle, King Carol I, and his consort, Queen Elisabeth.

Young King Michael was proclaimed King before the National Assembly this afternoon.   The "fair-haired little son" of Crown Prince Carol, drove through the crowded streets of Bucharest in an open automobile with his mother, Princess Helen, and his grandmother, Dowager Queen Marie. 

The new king and his mother and grandmother also attended a brief religious service in the Cathedral before he was "escorted to the Royal Tribune in the National Legislature.  He sat in a "huge-throne like chair between his mother and Queen Marie." Although both women were dressed in mourning,  Michael wore a white sailor suit, which was as "conspicuous as a fleck of sunshine amidst dark shadows."   The Regency, which includes Carol's younger brother, Prince Nicholas, was also sworn in, and all took the "solemn oath of allegiance to their new ruler."

The military garrisons also swore loyalty to the new king.  By evening, King Michael and his mother returned to Cotroceni palace, where they will live.

Funeral arrangements are not complete.   The late King's three daughters, Queen Elisabeth of Greece, Queen Marie of Yugoslavia and Princess Ileana will return to Bucharest tomorrow.  King Alexander of Yugoslavia is with his wife.  King George II of Greece has already arrived in Bucharest.    It is not known if any other "crown heads" will attend the funeral.

The new king's father, Carol, will not be present for the funeral.

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