Saturday, 9 December 2017

Living Ex-Kings

King Michael I of Romania, who became king of Romania 90 years ago, and played a significant part in switching Romania from the Nazis to the Allied party in the Second World War, died this week aged 96.  He was a close relation of Prince Philip, and more distantly related to the Queen.  Together with Simeon II of Bulgaria, and the Dalai Lama, he was one of the last heads of state from the Second World War.

There are now only two monarchs left alive from the former monarchies of Europe:

  • Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria, who was, extraordinarily, elected as Prime Minister of Bulgaria in 2001.  He served as Simeon Sxe-Coburg-Gotha, being of the same line as our own royals.  He was Tsar from 1943, being deposed aged nine in 1946.
  • Constantine II of Greece, who was deposed in 1973.  He won a gold medal in sailing at the 1960 Olympics.

There are, of course, some former monarchs in Europe who abdicated: Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, Albert II of Belgium, Beatrix of the Netherlands, Juan Carlos of Spain, and Pope Ex-Benedict.

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