Princess Margareta of Romania

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Princess Margareta
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 65)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Religion Romanian Orthodox

Princess Margareta of Romania (born 26 March 1949, Lausanne, Switzerland), also styled as Crown Princess of Romania, Custodian of the Romanian Crown, former[1][2] Princess of Hohenzollern, is the eldest daughter of former King Michael I,[3][4] and of his wife, Anne of Bourbon-Parma. She is a great-great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and a goddaughter of Prince Philip. Princess Margareta's father named her the heir presumptive to the pretending royal family in 1997. She is also second cousin to King Felipe VI of Spain, ex-King Simeon II of Bulgaria, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Archduke Karl of Austria, Carlos, Duke of Parma, Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.

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,[5][6] King Michael designated Princess Margareta as heir presumptive to the throne with the titles of "Crown Princess of Romania" and "Custodian of the Romanian Crown" through an act which, during the republican form of government and in the absence of its approval by the Parliament, would be considered null and void.[7][8] On the same occasion, Michael also asked the Romanian Parliament that, should it consider restoring the Monarchy, it should also abolish the salic law of succession.

Private life[edit]

On 21 September 1996 in Lausanne Margareta married Radu Duda, created first Radu, Prince of Hohenzollern-Veringen in 1 January 1999,[9] and now called HRH Radu, Prince of Romania[5] in 30 December 2007, future Prince Consort of Romania,[5] who either in her company or most often alone,[10] represents the 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.[11]

In her youth at the University of Edinburgh, Margareta was involved in a romantic relationship with Gordon Brown, who was later to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2007–2010). 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."[12] Like Gordon Brown, Princess Margarita will say very little about her private life.[citation needed] 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.[13]

Education and work[edit]

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

HM The King
HM The Queen

* titled accordingly in private family rules
Royal Standard

Her teenage years were spent in Switzerland; by then her father had become a test pilot, spending leisure hours tinkering with his collection of Second World War jeeps. "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." 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, a cousin of Prince Philip, 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.

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." This was the first intimation of Ceausescu's collectivist policies that had destroyed rural communities. 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."

While she was visiting one orphanage, a child in a filthy cot died in front of her. It spurred her on to establish the Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation. "I just didn't want this ever to happen again," she says. In 1990 Princess Margareta founded The Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation,[14] a non-profit organisation that has contributed to the development of civil society in Romania.

Currently active in 6 countries (Romania, United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Belgium and the US) 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.

During its existence, The Princess Margareta Foundation has collected more than 5 million Euro, through which it has contributed to the development of the Romanian civil society.[15]

Since June 2005, School no. 114 in Bucharest has been named after her.[16]

On the 18th and 19th of January 2015 the Crown Princess, along with her husband Prince Radu, younger sisters Princess Maria ,Princess Sophie and nephew Prince Nicholas celebrated 25 years, since her return to Romania, and also of the 'Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation' at the Romanian Athenaeum[17] followed by a dinner at the CEC Palace; invitees included: Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, President of the Romanian Senate Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, former Romanian President Emil Constantinescu, members of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania, Mayor of Chișinău Dorin Chirtoacă, the President of the Romanian Academy and 500 other delegates[18]

Romanian royal tiara[edit]

It's one of the last grand jewels of the exiled Romanian Royal Family, but it was owned for the first time by Princess Victoria Melita, who was the daughter of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, son of Britain's Queen Victoria. Ducky, as her family called her, became Grand Duchess Viktoria Feodorovna after her second marriage to Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich of Russia. Her husband had a Romanov's appreciation of jewelry and this tiara is said to have been among the gems he presented her with. In exile after the revolution destroyed Russia's monarchy, the jewels had to go to make ends meet. Luckily for Ducky, her sister Queen Marie of Romania, grand-grand-mother of Crown Princess Margarita, was in the jewel market.[19]

Her Majesty Queen Marie of Romania, sent some of her own jewel stash to Russia for safekeeping before the revolution, and that because in the time of Great War, a big part of The Kingdom of Romania was occupied by German powers . Unfortunately, when it was all said and done, the Bolsheviks refused to give her back her jewels. So she purchased jewels to supplement her collection, including some from her sister - a mutually beneficial arrangement. This flexible tiara of Greek key designs separated by bars and depicted in diamonds and platinum was apparently included in the transactions, and was subsequently presented to Helen, the bride of Queen Marie's oldest son Carol, Crown Prince of Romania. It was a particularly fitting gift, considering the bride's roots: Helen was Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark, daughter of King Constantine I and Queen Sophie of Greece. The tiara depicts a meander, or Greek key, motif common in architecture and art in ancient Greece and beyond. Unlike many Greek key tiaras, which often incorporate a floral or wreath motif alongside the twisting lines of the meander, this is strictly linear. Helen, who became crown princess after her marriage to the future Carol II of Romania in 1921 - wore it often, starting on her wedding day and continuing through her marriage and into her time as Queen Mother of Romania. [20] It is today worn by Crown Princess Margarita, who usually represents the family at international royal events.


BAE Systems,[21] 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,[22] some of which, it is also alleged,[23] ended up in the pockets of the royal family of Hohenzollern to which Margarita belongs. The "Gardianul" newspaper,[24][25] 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,[25] 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,[26][27] while in 2003 the Cluj branch of PNŢCD officially invited her to be its electoral candidate to the Senate of the Republic[28][29] in the upcoming elections.

King Michael has not given up the hope for himself or his family of returning on the throne: "We are trying to make people understand what Romanian monarchy was and what it can still do."[30]

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.[31]

May 10 is celebrated as Royal Day, with Crown Princess Margareta and Princess Maria laying flowers at King Carol I’s statue in the Royal Palace Square,[32] followed by a garden party at Elisabeta Palace.[33]

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
  • 26 March 1949 – 30 December 2007: Her Royal Highness Princess Margareta of Romania, Princess of Hohenzollern[34]
  • 30 December 2007 - Present: Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Margareta of Romania[35]
National honours
Foreign Honours


See also[edit]


  1. ^ (Romanian) King Michael I announces the severance of all historical and dynastic ties to the House of Hohenzollern, Adevarul, 11 May 2011
  2. ^ (Romanian) The history of the conflicts between the Royal House of Romania and the Princely House of Hohenzollern, Adevarul, 11 May 2011
  3. ^ "Compression," Time, 12 January 1948
  4. ^ "Milestones," Time, 21 June 1948
  5. ^ a b c Fundamental Rules of the Royal Family of Romania
  6. ^ (Romanian) "Princess Margarita, heir to the throne of Romania," Evenimentul Zilei, 30 December 2007
  7. ^ (Romanian) "The King and Margareta – On The "Day of the Republic" The King Designated His Successor", Jurnalul National, 2 January 2008
  8. ^ (Romanian) "The Actor Duda in The Role of A Lifetime: Prince Consort of Romania," Cotidianul, 3 January 2008
  9. ^ (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
  10. ^ (Romanian) "10 May – Sad Destiny, Memorable Date", Dilema Veche, 12 May 2006
  11. ^ Official biography PMRT website
  12. ^ "Gordon Brown profiled", The Guardian, 6 March 2001
  13. ^
  14. ^ Princess Margaret of Romania Trust website
  15. ^ (Romanian) 2006 Annual Report, The Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation website
  16. ^ Speaker biography
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Blair hit by Saudi 'bribery' threat," The Sunday Times, 19 November 2006
  22. ^ "Bribery inquiry may force £7m refund to Romania", The Guardian, 15 June 2006
  23. ^ (Romanian) Zeamă de dude, "Mulberry Juice", Gândul, 21 June 2006
  24. ^ (Romanian) BAE – sponsor regal, "BAE: Royal Sponsor", Gardianul, 16 June 2006
  25. ^ 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
  26. ^ (Romanian) PNŢCD gândeşte revenirea la monarhie prin Prinţul Nicolae, "PNŢCD Plans The Restoration of Monarchy through Prince Nicholas", Ziua, 1 March 2002
  27. ^ (Romanian) PNŢCD caută un Rege, "PNŢCD Is Looking for A King", Evenimentul Zilei, 1 March 2002
  28. ^ (Romanian) Principesa Margareta invitată să candideze, "Princess Margarita Invited to Run for Office" , Ziarul Financiar, 24 July 2003
  29. ^ (Romanian) "The Princess in The Senate", Evenimentul Zilei, 25 July 2003
  30. ^ "King Mihai I Turns 85", Ziua, 25 October 2006
  31. ^ 41% dintre romani ar vota pentru mentinerea republicii, 27,2% ar alege monarhia - INSCOP. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
  32. ^ Turton, Shawn (12 May 2014). "Royal Day celebrated in Romania". Romania Insider. 
  33. ^ "Romanian Princesses Host Garden Party". Royal Hats. 
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^ Mad Hattery, Wedding of Albert II of Monaco & Charlène , Photo of Margarita & Radu
  37. ^ Ordine si medalii
  38. ^�-i-Principelui-Radu/
  39. ^ The Royal Forums
  40. ^ Royal Family of Romania visits Roma
  41. ^
  42. ^ Order of Saint Isabel
  43. ^
  44. ^

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