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Thursday, October 7, 2010


Royal titles are birthrights of any member of the monarchy, thus, after the abolition of monarchy in their respective homelands, these rulers remained Kings and still carry the perks, privileges and trappings of royalty. Interestingly, these Kings descended from the family tree of Queen Victoria of England, hence, the relatives of all current European crown heads.

Constantine II (King of Greece from 1964 until the abolition of monarchy in 1973)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - APRIL 29:  King Constantine II of Greece arrives for H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf?s private dinner to celebrate his 60th Birthday at Drottningholm Palace on April 29, 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

King Constantine II of Greece. He is Prince of Denmark too in his own right. 

King Constantine II (Born: June 2, 1940) was the last King of Greece. He reigned under the Royal House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg  from 1964 until the abolition of the monarchy in 1973. He is the only son of King Paul of Greece and his German wife, Princess Frederica. Constantine has two sisters, Queen Sofia (wife of King Juan Carlos of Spain) and Princess Irene. He married Princess Anne Marie of Denmark (sister of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark) in 1964 and has five children.

When he took over the throne in 1964, Greece was already reeling with political instabilities. The situation soon worsened with many coup attempts most famously in Colonels’ coup of April 21, 1967.

Determined to avoid bloodshed, King Constantine II allowed junta to share power but privately planned to launch a countercoup with his loyal military supporters. On December 1967, the King and his family went to Northern Greece where junta was dominant and organized a countercoup with some royalists, however, the King’s principle to prevent bloodshed and his failure to entrust everything to his loyal commanders, his secret plan was detected and junta officers arrested the king’s supporters. Now commanding the remaining units of the King, junta officers planned to arrest the King, watching the counter-coup had failed, he fled Greece.

The King was forced to flee the country in December 13, 1967, boarding a royal plane with his family and his prime minister, they landed in Rome and Greece was under military rule. Monarchy was abolished in June 1, 1973 and declared republic. Constantine and his family were not allowed to enter Greece until February 1981 on the death of his mother, Queen Frederica. In 1994, the socialist government of Andrea Papandreou stripped Constantine of his property in Greece and his citizenship. He is now carrying a diplomatic passport issued by Denmark. However, he freely travels to Greece and has a house on the coastal resort of Saronida, outside Athens. He and his family reside at Hampstead in London where he manages his own business. He is the closest cousin and best friend of Prince Charles of Wales, his second cousin through Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

MICHAEL II (King of Romania from 1927 to 1930 and 1940 to 1947)

He is the third oldest surviving great great grandson of Queen Victoria of Great Britain after the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Carl Johan of Sweden (died in 2011 at the age of 95).

King Michael II (Born: October 25, 1921) is one of the fallen monarchs in Europe at the close of World War II. He is the son of King Carol II of Romania (great grandson of Queen Victoria of England) and Princess Helena of Greece, daughter of King George I of Greece. His father temporarily left the country to be with his mistress so when his grandfather died in 1927 he was proclaimed King at the age of five, three regents ruled under his name, but in 1930 his father returned to the country and  reclaimed the Kingdom. In 1940 a coup d’etat against his father was staged by Prime Minister Marshal Antonescu, a pro-Nazi, forcing Carol II to abdicate in favour of his 18-year-old son. Michael was crowned King of Romania on September 6, 1940.

During World War II, sensing the terrible rule of Nazi, the King joined the pro-Allied politicians in organizing a coup against his Prime Minister and delivered him to the Red Army of USSR on September 1944. But the Red Army became notorious, capturing more than 100,000 Romanian soldiers transported to the Soviet Union and many were perished in prison camps. The armistice was signed on September 12, 1994 recognizing the country’s defeat against USSR. This time King Michael II’s role was no more than a figurehead and the entire government was under the rule of Romanian Communist Party. Although the King tried to oppose the communist government he was unsuccessful until political pressures stopped him from insisting his demands.

In November 1947, he traveled to London to attend the royal wedding of his closest first cousin once removed, Prince Philip, and his third cousin Princess Elizabeth, the future British monarch, during this time Romanian government was unstable but King Michael II insisted to return to Romania.

On December 1947, the King was forced to abdicate at gun point by Communist leaders, the King reportedly hesitated but when the communist threatened to kill more than 1,000 students in prison and put the country in blood, the King relented, the People’s Republic of Romania was then established. Against his will, he proclaimed his own abdication later that day and was forced to leave the country on the following month and lived in exile almost in poverty.

In June 1948, he married Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma. They settled in Switzerland and have five daughters. King Michael became a commercial pilot and worked for an aircraft equipment company. In 1992, Romania became a republic and the new government allowed King Michael to return to the country. In 1997 the Romanian government restored his citizenship and returned the Savarsin Castle and Elisabeta Palace.

At the end of World War II, US President Harry Truman awarded the King with the highest degree of the Legion of Merit and Order of Victory given by Joseph Stalin for his courageous act of the radical change in Romania’s political affair. He took part in the Victory parade in Moscow in 2010 as the only living Supreme Commander-in-Chief of a European State in World War II.

Simeon II (Bulgarian monarch from 1943 to 1946)

387907 01: Exiled Bulgarian king Tsar Simeon attends Easter mass April 15, 2001 at Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria. The king, who was forced into exile when communists gained control of Bulgaria after World War II, has formed a political party called the Simeon National Movement which has gained huge popular support and will participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections in June 2001. (Photo by Kael Alford/Newsmakers)

Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria 

He is the only living person who still carries the imperial title of Tsar and the only monarch in world history who won a Premier set in his country through a general election.

Simeon II ascended the Bulgarian throne when he was only six years old on the death of his father, Boris III in 1943. But because he was still a minor, three regents were assigned to rule the country under his name. Three years later, the red army of USSR invaded Bulgaria and executed the three regents. Simeon II was forced to abdicate and lived in exile in Egypt with his mother and sister joining his maternal grandfather, King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy.

His family moved to Spain in 1951, he then studied Law and Business Administration he also studied at Valley Forge Military Academy in the United States. Simeon II continued using his imperial title of Tsar as royal titles are lifetime titles. He became a successful businessman and adviser of several banks, hotel and electronics. He married Margarita Gomez-Acebo, a Spanish aristocrat in 1962 and has five children.

In 1990’s after the collapse of communism in Bulgaria, Simeon II returned to Bulgaria and regained some of his family assets. In 2001 he formed a political party, the National Movement Simeon II for reforms and political integrity in Bulgaria. He won through a landslide victory as Prime Minister, he won through a landslide victory and serving Bulgaria as Head of the government from 2001 to 2005. However, during his term as Prime Minister, the Tsar had consistently declined to restore the Bulgarian monarchy, insisting to rule the country under republican constitution.

Simeon II descended from the Royal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, where the thrones of Great Britain and Belgium also directly descended. As a descendant of Queen Victoria of England, like the other two fallen Kings, Simeon II is currently listed in the line of succession to the British throne.

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