Princess Margareta of Romania

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Crown Princess of Romania,
Custodian of the Romanian Crown
Princess Margarita of Romania.JPG
Spouse Radu Duda
House House of Romania
Father Michael I of Romania
Mother Anne of Bourbon-Parma
Born (1949-03-26) 26 March 1949 (age 66)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Religion Romanian Orthodox

Princess Margareta of Romania, now using the style Crown Princess Margareta of Romania, Custodian of the Romanian Crown,[1][2] former Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen[3][4] (born 26 March 1949, Lausanne, Switzerlan]), is the eldest daughter of former King Michael I of Romania and his wife Queen Anne.[5][6] Princess Margareta's father named her the heiress presumptive to Romania's abolished throne in 1997.

Margareta has no children. Her heir is her next sister, Princess Elena of Romania. According to the defunct last democratic royal Constitution, that of 1923, which established succession by salic law, Margareta and her sisters cannot succeed to the throne of Romania (see also "Line of succession to the Romanian throne").

On 30 December 2007,[7][8] King Michael designated Princess Margareta as heiress presumptive to the throne with the titles "Crown Princess of Romania" and "Custodian of the Romanian Crown" by an act which is not recognized by the Romanian Republic and lacks legal validity without approval by Romania's Parliament.[9][10] On the same occasion, Michael also requested that, should the Romanian Parliament consider restoring the monarchy, the Salic law of succession not be applicable. According to the new statute of the Romanian Royal House no illegitimate descendants or collateral lines may claim dynastic privileges, titles or rank and any such are excluded from the Royal House of Romania and from the line of succession to the throne.[11]

Private life[edit]

As a child, Margareta spent time with her relatives in Greece, Italy, Denmark and Luxembourg. Her playmates included the children of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom during her family's 1953 visit to Balmoral Castle.[12]

On 21 September 1996 in Lausanne Margareta married Radu Duda, accorded first the style "Radu, Prince of Hohenzollern-Veringen" on 1 January 1999,[13] and now called HRH Radu, Prince of Romania[7] in 30 December 2007, future Prince Consort of Romania,[7] who, either in her company or more often alone,[14] represents the former Royal Family publicly on various occasions. The couple met in 1994 through the work of the Princess Margarita Foundation: Radu Duda was working as an art therapist in orphanages and met when the Princess visited the program. They live in the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest.[15]

In her youth at the University of Edinburgh, Margareta was involved in a romantic relationship with Gordon Brown, who would serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010. Margareta said about it: "It was a very solid and romantic story. I never stopped loving him but one day it didn't seem right any more, it was politics, politics, politics, and I needed nurturing."[16] In his biography of Brown, Paul Routledge quotes an unnamed friend of those years: "She was sweet and gentle and obviously cut out to make somebody a very good wife. She was bright, too, though not like him, but they seemed made for each other."[verification needed]

By contrast, Princess Margarita, as a great-great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was 81st in line to the British throne and a goddaughter of Prince Philip - something she did not broadcast widely. Her childhood had been peripatetic. Early on, after her family's expulsion from Romania, her father had supported the family in the Hertfordshire village of Ayot St Lawrence by farming chickens and growing vegetables.[17]

She is a second cousin to King Felipe VI of Spain, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, former King Constantine II of the Hellenes, ex-King Simeon II of Bulgaria and former Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, as well as Archduke Karl of Austria and Carlos, Duke of Parma.

Education and work[edit]

Romanian Royal Family
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Romania (1881-1947)

HM The King
HM The Queen

* titled according to private family rules
Royal Standard

Her teenage years were spent under banishment in Switzerland; by then her father had, living in exile, become a test pilot.

"I did my baccalaureate in Switzerland, got my driving licence the next day and I left very fast," remembers the princess. "I really didn't enjoy the baccalaureate, I didn't enjoy school, I didn't enjoy Switzerland."[citation needed]

However, rather than heading straight for Paris and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, her preferred destination, she was persuaded to spend a year with her grandmother, Queen Mother Helen of Romania in Florence. Dreams of art school were, to Queen Helen's relief, quickly replaced by a determination to go to university. A supporter of the Romanian cause offered to pay for her fees and the British consul was summoned.[citation needed]

After graduation from the University of Edinburgh, she worked in a number of British universities, specialising in medical sociology and public health policy, later on participating in an international research program coordinated by the World Health Organisation, focused on developing health policy recommendations and preventive pilot projects. In 1983 she moved to Rome and joined the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UN), where, as a member the World Food Day project team, she worked on the public awareness campaign concerning agricultural programs, nutrition, and poverty alleviation. Three years later she joined the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

In the autumn of 1989 she gave up her UN career and moved to Geneva to work with her father, devoting herself entirely to charity work for Romania."Getting on the plane was quite emotional. We didn't know what was going to happen to us," she recalls. "It was so strange to look out of the plane window and see the fields; they were huge...We stayed for a few days and found that villages had been knocked down and 150,000 children were living in orphanages. Ceausescu had wanted to boost the population. Family planning was forbidden, abortion was forbidden, women were compelled to have four children but they had nowhere to bring them up and had to give them to the state. A lot of children had AIDS. It was a shock to the eyes and to the soul."[citation needed]

While she was visiting one orphanage, a child in a filthy cot died in front of her. It spurred her to establish the Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation in 1990.[18] a non-profit organisation that has contributed to the development of civil society in Romania. "I just didn't want this ever to happen again," she says.[citation needed]

Operating in Romania, United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Belgium and the United States, the Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation develops programs that:

  • improve the living conditions of children and young people, families at risk and the elderly;
  • stimulate intergenerational solidarity and create bridges of communication between the young and the elderly;
  • contribute to the institutional development of NGOs working with children and seniors;
  • foster local creativity and talent.

The foundation has collected more than 5 million Euro, through which it has contributed to the development of the Romanian civil society.[19]


BAE Systems,[20] one of the donors to her charity, and its representatives, have been involved in a corruption scandal regarding the purchase by the Romanian government of two decommissioned UK Royal Navy frigates refurbished by BAE, for which an alleged £7 million bribe was paid,[21] some of which, it is also alleged,[22] ended up in the pockets of the royal family of Hohenzollern to which Margarita belongs. The "Gardianul" newspaper,[23][24] noting that both Princess Margarita and her husband, as Special Representative of the Government, had met a number of times with the BAE Systems representatives before and after the signing of the governmental contract, inquired whether the royal family was involved in any lobbying on behalf of the company. In an official communique sent to the newspaper,[24] Prince Radu denied any such lobbying activities, stating that as patron of the British-Romanian Chamber of Commerce in which BAE Systems is a member, he met with this as well as other British companies' representatives.

Political support[edit]

The main pro-monarchist party PNŢCD, currently extra-parliamentarian, is ambiguous in its support for Princess Margareta. In 2002, it rejected any role for her or her husband in a restored monarchy,[25][26] while in 2003 the Cluj branch of PNŢCD officially invited her to be its electoral candidate to the Senate of the Republic[27][28] in the upcoming elections.

King Michael has not given up the hope for himself or his family of restoration to the throne: "We are trying to make people understand what Romanian monarchy was and what it can still do."[29]

In a July 2013 survey about a potential restoration of monarchy in Romania, 19% of respondents gave Princess Margareta as their favorite, while 29.9% supported her father. 48.1% said they did not know or did not answer.[30]

Titles, styles, honours and awards[edit]

Styles of
Crown Princess Margareta of Romania
Royal Monogram of Princess Margarita Of Romania.svg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am

Since June 2005, School no. 114 in Bucharest has been named after her.[31]

  • 26 March 1949 – 30 December 2007: Her Royal Highness Princess Margareta of Romania, Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen[1]
  • 30 December 2007 – Present: Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Margareta of Romania[1]
National honours
Foreign Honours
National awards
Foreign awards


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^
  3. ^ (Romanian) King Michael I announces the severance of all historical and dynastic ties to the House of Hohenzollern, Adevarul, 11 May 2011
  4. ^ (Romanian) The history of the conflicts between the Royal House of Romania and the Princely House of Hohenzollern, Adevarul, 11 May 2011
  5. ^ "Compression," Time, 12 January 1948
  6. ^ "Milestones," Time, 21 June 1948
  7. ^ a b c Fundamental Rules of the Royal Family of Romania
  8. ^ (Romanian) "Princess Margarita, heir to the throne of Romania," Evenimentul Zilei, 30 December 2007
  9. ^ (Romanian) "The King and Margareta – On The "Day of the Republic" The King Designated His Successor", Jurnalul National, 2 January 2008
  10. ^ (Romanian) "The Actor Duda in The Role of A Lifetime: Prince Consort of Romania," Cotidianul, 3 January 2008
  11. ^ Romanian:
  12. ^
  13. ^ (Romanian) "The Prime Minister proposed Radu Duda a seat as a Senator of the Democrat Social Party (ruling party in Romania)," MEDIAFAX AGENCY, 6 August 2004
  14. ^ (Romanian) "10 May – Sad Destiny, Memorable Date", Dilema Veche, 12 May 2006
  15. ^ Official biography PMRT website
  16. ^ "Gordon Brown profiled", The Guardian, 6 March 2001
  17. ^
  18. ^ Princess Margaret of Romania Trust website
  19. ^ (Romanian) 2006 Annual Report, The Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation website
  20. ^ "Blair hit by Saudi 'bribery' threat," The Sunday Times, 19 November 2006
  21. ^ "Bribery inquiry may force £7m refund to Romania", The Guardian, 15 June 2006
  22. ^ (Romanian) Zeamă de dude, "Mulberry Juice", Gândul, 21 June 2006
  23. ^ (Romanian) BAE – sponsor regal, "BAE: Royal Sponsor", Gardianul, 16 June 2006
  24. ^ a b (Romanian) Principele Duda, coleg la Colegiul de Apărare cu semnatarul contractului cu BAE, "Prince Duda, Classmate at The National Defence University with The Signer of The BAE Contract", Gardianul, 17 June 2006
  25. ^ (Romanian) PNŢCD gândeşte revenirea la monarhie prin Prinţul Nicolae, "PNŢCD Plans The Restoration of Monarchy through Prince Nicholas", Ziua, 1 March 2002
  26. ^ (Romanian) PNŢCD caută un Rege, "PNŢCD Is Looking for A King", Evenimentul Zilei, 1 March 2002
  27. ^ (Romanian) Principesa Margareta invitată să candideze, "Princess Margarita Invited to Run for Office" , Ziarul Financiar, 24 July 2003
  28. ^ (Romanian) "The Princess in The Senate", Evenimentul Zilei, 25 July 2003
  29. ^ "King Mihai I Turns 85", Ziua, 25 October 2006
  30. ^ 41% dintre romani ar vota pentru mentinerea republicii, 27,2% ar alege monarhia - INSCOP. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  31. ^ Speaker biography
  32. ^ Ordine si medalii
  33. ^
  34. ^ Ordine si medalii
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^�-i-Principelui-Radu/
  39. ^ The Royal Forums
  40. ^
  41. ^ Royal Family of Romania visits Roma
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^ Order of Saint Isabel
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^ a b

External links[edit]

Princess Margareta of Romania
Born: 26 March 1949
Romanian royalty
Line of succession to the former Romanian throne
according to the 2007 Statute
Succeeded by
Princess Elena