Prince Nicholas of Romania
Prince Nicholas of Romania (Romanian: Nicolae de România; also known, after 1937, as Nicolae Brana; 5 August/18 August 1903, Peleş Castle – 9 June 1978, Madrid) was the second son of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Romania.
Born in Peleş Castle, Sinaia, Nicholas was the younger brother of Carol, heir apparent, who renounced his rights of succession on 12 December 1925. When Ferdinand died in 1927, he was succeeded as king by Carol's five year-old son, Michael; Nicholas himself had been proposed as heir-apparent when Carol married the commoner Zizi Lambrino in 1918 (a marriage later annulled). Given Michael's youth, a regency council had to be formed (20 July), and Prince Nicholas was forced to abandon his career in the British Royal Navy in order to return home to serve on the council, alongside Gheorghe Buzdugan and Patriarch Miron Cristea.
Although unofficially referred to as "the first-ranking regent", Nicholas resented having to abandon his naval career and had no interest in politics. He tried to continue his father's cooperation with the National Liberals (PNL), and to contain the opposition of the National Peasants' Party (PNŢ) to the regency by appointing a national government under Ion I. C. Brătianu. Refused by Brătianu, he witnessed a change in Carol's stance in mid 1927, when the latter argued that he had been forced to give up his throne. The cooperation between Carol and the PNŢ was successfully neutralized by the PNL, but Brătianu's death in 1927 restored contacts and increased the appeal of the PNŢ. By then, the regency was widely perceived as consisting of figureheads, and, after Constantin Sărăţeanu (an appointee of PNŢ leader Iuliu Maniu) succeeded the deceased Buzdugan in 1929, it was believed to be torn apart by contrasting political ambitions. According to Nicolae Iorga, Miron Cristea himself had said:
Nicholas was at first delighted when Carol returned home to Romania in 8 June 1930 (becoming King Carol II and thus putting an end to the regency arrangement). He welcomed the Parliament session that voted to repeal the 1926 legislation, and accompanied his newly arrived brother from Băneasa Airfield to Cotroceni Palace.
However, the cordial relations between Nicholas and Carol were short-lived. Nicholas wanted to marry Ioana (Joanna) Dumitrescu-Doletti, a divorced woman, but was aware that it might be embarrassing for the king to have to authorize such a marriage. Carol himself suggested that the couple should marry without first seeking his consent (even though members of the royal family were required to obtain the king's consent before marrying). Carol had intimated that in these circumstances he would accept the marriage as a fait accompli, but after the wedding Carol promptly used it as an excuse to deprive Nicholas of his royal privileges and titles and to exile him from Romania. He left for Spain, and ultimately settled in Switzerland.
Nicholas was married twice. His first marriage took place in Tohani, Romania, on 7 November 1931, the bride being Ioana (Joanna) Dumitrescu-Doletti (Bucharest, 24 September 1902/1909 (other dates of birth have been named in various sources) – Lausanne, 17 February/19 February 1963). Dumitrescu-Doletti's first husband had been Radu Savianu, whom she married on 11 December 1924. Nicholas' second marriage took place on 13 July 1967 in Lausanne. His second wife was a Brazilian, Thereza Lisboa Figueira de Mello (Rome, 10 June 1913 – Madrid, 30 March 1997), the daughter of Col. Jerónimo de Ávila Figueira de Melo and his wife Cândida Ribeiro Lisboa, and the sister of Francisco Lisboa Figueira de Melo, former ambassador of Portugal to Germany (b. Vienna, 12 March 1912). Figueira de Mello's first husband was Andrés Boulton Pietri (Caracas, 1910-1998), whom she married in Caracas on 2 July 1936, a union that produced four children: Roger (1937), Maria Thereza (1939), Andres (1943) and William (1945).
He held the titles of Air Marshal of the Romanian Air Force, honorary Lieutenant of the British Royal Navy, Knight of the Order of Ferdinand I of Romania, Bailiff Grand Cross of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Grand Cross of the Légion d’Honneur, Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold (Belgium); Order of the White Lion of Czechoslovakia, of Order of the Star of Karađorđe of Yugoslavia, of Holy Saviour of Greece; held the chain or Order of Carol I of Romania, and the Order of the White Eagle of Poland, and many other orders and decorations. He was chief of the Three Regents, July 1927 to June 1930. In 1927 he founded and he was the first President of the Romanian Kennel Club.
He was deprived of his royal rank and prerogatives by decision of the crown Council on 9 April 1937, and received the name of Nicolae Brana. He assumed the surname of Hohenzollern and by Royal Decree on 10 June 1942 was recognised as H.R.H. Prince of Hohenzollern, with his wife as H.R.H. Princess of Hohenzollern on 18 July 1945.