Princess Margareta of Romania
|Crown Princess of Romania
Custodian of the Romanian Crown
|House||House of Romania|
|Mother||Anne of Bourbon-Parma|
26 March 1949 |
Princess Margareta of Romania
|Reference style||Her Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
Princess Margareta of Romania (born 26 March 1949, Lausanne, Switzerland), also styled as Crown Princess of Romania, Custodian of the Romanian Crown, former Princess of Hohenzollern, is the eldest daughter of former King Michael I, 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 heiress-presumptive to the private royal family in 1997.
Margareta has no children. Her heiress-presumptive 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, Margarita and her sisters cannot succeed to the throne of Romania (see also "Line of succession to the Romanian throne").
On 30 December 2007, King Michael designated Princess Margareta as heiress-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. 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.
On 21 September 1996 in Lausanne Margareta married Radu Duda, created first Radu, Prince of Hohenzollern-Veringen in 1 January 1999, and now called HRH Radu, Prince of Romania in 30 December 2007, future Prince Consort of Romania, who either in her company or most often alone, 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.
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."  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.
Education and work
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, 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.
Since June 2005, School no. 114 in Bucharest has been named after her.
BAE Systems, 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, some of which, it is also alleged, ended up in the pockets of the royal family of Hohenzollern to which Margarita belongs. The "Gardianul" newspaper, 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, 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.
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, while in 2003 the Cluj branch of PNŢCD officially invited her to be its electoral candidate to the Senate of the Republic 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."
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.
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, followed by a garden party at Elisabeta Palace.
- National honours
- Foreign Honours
- Portugal : Honorary Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Isabel
- France : Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour
- SMOM: Sovereign Military Order of Malta
- : H.M King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden 50th Birthday Commemorative Badge
- (Romanian) King Michael I announces the severance of all historical and dynastic ties to the House of Hohenzollern, Adevarul, 11 May 2011
- (Romanian) The history of the conflicts between the Royal House of Romania and the Princely House of Hohenzollern, Adevarul, 11 May 2011
- "Compression," Time, 12 January 1948
- "Milestones," Time, 21 June 1948
- Fundamental Rules of the Royal Family of Romania
- (Romanian) "Princess Margarita, heiress to the throne of Romania," Evenimentul Zilei, 30 December 2007
- (Romanian) "The King and Margareta – On The "Day of the Republic" The King Designated His Successor", Jurnalul National, 2 January 2008
- (Romanian) "The Actor Duda in The Role of A Lifetime: Prince Consort of Romania," Cotidianul, 3 January 2008
- (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
- (Romanian) "10 May – Sad Destiny, Memorable Date", Dilema Veche, 12 May 2006
- Official biography PMRT website http://www.fpmr.ro/index.php?page=hrh-the-princess-margarita
- "Gordon Brown profiled", The Guardian, 6 March 2001
- Princess Margaret of Romania Trust website http://www.pmrt.co.uk/
- (Romanian) 2006 Annual Report, The Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation website
- Speaker biography http://www.microsoft.com/romania/diversity/wlc/speakers.aspx
- "Blair hit by Saudi 'bribery' threat," The Sunday Times, 19 November 2006
- "Bribery inquiry may force £7m refund to Romania", The Guardian, 15 June 2006
- (Romanian) Zeamă de dude, "Mulberry Juice", Gândul, 21 June 2006
- (Romanian) BAE – sponsor regal, "BAE: Royal Sponsor", Gardianul, 16 June 2006
- (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
- (Romanian) PNŢCD gândeşte revenirea la monarhie prin Prinţul Nicolae, "PNŢCD Plans The Restoration of Monarchy through Prince Nicholas", Ziua, 1 March 2002
- (Romanian) PNŢCD caută un Rege, "PNŢCD Is Looking for A King", Evenimentul Zilei, 1 March 2002
- (Romanian) Principesa Margareta invitată să candideze, "Princess Margarita Invited to Run for Office" , Ziarul Financiar, 24 July 2003
- (Romanian) "The Princess in The Senate", Evenimentul Zilei, 25 July 2003
- "King Mihai I Turns 85", Ziua, 25 October 2006
- 41% dintre romani ar vota pentru mentinerea republicii, 27,2% ar alege monarhia - INSCOP. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
- Turton, Shawn (12 May 2014). "Royal Day celebrated in Romania". Romania Insider.
- "Romanian Princesses Host Garden Party". Royal Hats.
- Mad Hattery, Wedding of Albert II of Monaco & Charlène , Photo of Margarita & Radu
- The Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation website
- The official website of The Romanian Royal Family
Princess Margareta of RomaniaBorn: 26 March 1949
||Line of succession to the former Romanian throne
according to the 2007 Statute