Sunday, March 24, 2024

Prince Nicholas of Romania to reburied at Curtea de Arges

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Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian throne, has announced that the remains of her great-uncle, Prince Nicholas of Romania and his first wife, Ioana,  will be brought from Switzerland and reburied in Royal Archbishopric Cathedral in Curtea des Arges.

Prince Nicholas of Romania was the fourth child and second son of King Ferdinand of Romania and Princess Marie of Edinburgh, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  He was born at Pelesch Castle in Sinaia on August 3, 1903.   Nicholas was named for his mother's first cousin, Emperor Nicholas II of Russia. 

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His first marriage to Ioana Dumitrescu-Doletti (1910-1963) caused a great scandal within the Romanian royal house as she was divorced.  She was the "girl of his dreams," according to Carol's biographer, Paul D. Quinlan.   Nicholas had supported Carol's return to the country and assumed his brother would consent to the marriage.

Queen Marie wrote in her diary: "I believe Nicky ... asked ... permission.  This, of course, Carol had to refuse.  Unfortunately, Carol last year in the pride of his return had almost promised  Nicky to allow this." 

Although Carol acknowledged that he understood "how it is to be hypnotized by a woman," he would not give permission for Nicholas to marry. It was "inadmissible to allow into the family a person of her stature," the king said.

Carol had a "lengthy discussion" with his younger brother.  If Nicholas went through with the marriage, he would "lose  his rights as a prince of the House of Hohenzollern and a member of the royal family, including all his ranks, his commissions, and titles."

The king promised his younger brother he "would respect his decision, be it for or against me. Every man is free to cut off his head."

Nicholas and Ioana were married on November 7, 1931, in Tohani, Romania.  Retribution was swift.  When Carol was informed about the marriage, he stated it should be kept secret. He also ordered for the marriage to be struck from the official records.  

Prince Nicholas would not remain silent.  He did not care if "the whole world knew he was married."  Moreover, he had a copy of the marriage license, proving his marriage was legitimate.  Carol, however, consulted several legal experts, as he wanted the marriage annulled.   On December 7, 1931, in a Bucharest county court,  Nicholas' marriage was "in violation of rules and regulations of the royal family and the Romanian Constitution."

Nicholas did not accept the court's decision to void his marriage.  The battles between Nicholas and King Carol II continued for several years as Nicholas refused to renounce his marriage.  In 1937,  Nicholas officially "ceased to be a member of the member of the royal family and forfeits all his rights prerogatives respectively." The King provided Nicholas with a monthly allowance after Nicholas left the country.

In July 1942,   King Michael gave his uncle the title, Prince Nicholas of Hohenzollern.

In July 1938, Prince Nicholas was permitted to return to attend his mother's funeral. 

Prince Nicholas was the only immediate member of his family to attend Carol's funeral in Estoril, Portugal on April 7, 1953.  He said: "I came because I felt it was my duty. Although I hated Carol more than I ever hated anyone in my life, he was my brother and my King."

 He and his wife, Ioana settled in Lausanne, Switzerland, where Ioana died on February 19. 1963. Four months later, on June 16, 1963, Nicholas, baptized in the Romanian Orthodox church, converted to the Roman Catholic faith.

Nicholas married Maria Thereza Lisboa Figueira de Mello (1913-1997), a Brazilian, in Lausanne on July 13, 1967.  They spent their final years together in Madrid, Spain, where Prince Nicholas died on June 9, 1978.   He was buried next to his first wife, Ioana, in the Cimetière Chrétien (Christian cemetery) in Prilly, Switzerland.

The reburial will take place on March 29.  Prince Nicholas will be interred next to his older brother, King Carol II.

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