Monday, January 1, 2018

Michael readying departure

January 1, 1948

Former King Michael, Queen Mother Helen and a "small party of friends" are expected to leave Romania tomorrow for Switzerland, reports United Press. The report is based on "reliable palace sources."

Michael will spend the night at a "small hunting lodge" near Savarsin.  The royal party arrived yesterday at the lodge, built by King Michael several years ago, to celebrate the New Year.

The Associated Press is reporting that Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma, who spent the holidays with family in Denmark, has given an interview, stating that she is "completely in love with Michael" and "wherever he goes, I will follow him.

Princess Anne is staying with her uncle, Prince Axel of Denmark, who lives in a Copenhagen suburb as she awaits word from Michael.  She said the "abdication was a complete surprise."

"Michael and I met for the first time in London at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth.  It was love at first sight -- I did not think it could happen to me."

"When Michael and I parted in Lausanne, we had no definite plans for the future.  It seemed so uncertain, but I hoped to see him again in April.

"After leaving Lausanne, I had plans to go to America.  But, now I could not go after I have heard news of Michael's abdication.

"King Michael's abdication was a complete surprise to me, although we knew the situation was serious.  I heard the news over the radio when I was having dinner.

"I have had no word from Michael and I do not know anything about the future. It seems, however, that he intends to go to Switzerland-- but wherever he goes, I will follow him. But I will not leave Copenhagen until I have heard from him."

Princess Anne's family is not wealthy,.   She is an heir to a "small fortune" left to her mother, Princess Margaretha, who inherited $60,000 last summer from the late Danish millionaire William Wessel, one of the leading shareholders in a major Copenhagen department store.

Wessel left a large share of his fortune and four villas in Villefranche, France, to Princess Margaretha.

Anne's father, Princess Rene of Bourbon-Parma has "represented foreign automobile firms" in Copenhagen and Paris for some years.

King Michael's assets are also limited.  He has had a private income from his timber estate in Romania, recently estimated at $33,000 this year.  This will be in addition to any money that the new Romania government will settle on him

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