Elisabeta Palace

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Elisabeta Palace
Palatul Elisabeta
Elisabeta Palace front1.jpg
General information
Architectural styleMoorish and Brâncovenesc style
Address26 Kiseleff Road
Sector 1
Town or cityBucharest
Country Romania
Coordinates44°16′53″N 26°26′49″E / 44.2815°N 26.447°E / 44.2815; 26.447
Current tenantsOfficial Romanian Residence of the Romanian Royal Family
Construction started1930
Completed1936
Inaugurated19 December 1937
ClientPrincess Elisabeth of Romania
Design and construction
ArchitectDuiliu Marcu

Elisabeta Palace (Romanian: Palatul Elisabeta) is a palace on Kiseleff Road in Bucharest, Romania. Built in 1936, it is the official residence in Romania of Margareta of Romania, her husband Prince Radu, and her sister Princess Maria.

The Palace was designed in 1930 by the architect Duiliu Marcu and built in 1936 for Princess Elisabeth, the daughter of King Ferdinand I and his wife Queen Marie, and also the aunt of King Michael I, who was forced to abdicate on December 30, 1947.

In 2001, the Romanian Senate passed a bill which states that the Palace would be awarded to the former king for use as a residence during his lifetime.[1] Since then, members of the former Royal Family have been living there. Foreign heads of state, royalty and politicians are received there, as well as Romanian political, cultural, economic and academic figures when special events are conducted.[2]

History[edit]

In July 1935, Princess Elisabeth, former Queen Consort of Greece, divorced her second cousin, the deposed King George II of Greece. After her divorce, she moved to Romania, where she stayed at Banloc Castle.

In 1930, the plans for Elisabeta Palace were made by Romanian architect Duiliu Marcu, who had designed Victoria Palace as well as many other buildings, but all building plans were brought to a halt in the early 1930s due to the Great Depression. Construction finally started in 1936, with the edifice inaugurated in December 1937.

For Elisabeth, the Palace was the achievement of a long elusive dream, heightened during the dearth years spent in Greece. In her memoirs, she wrote: "Perhaps the only thing that I really want is a house of my own something that I can call mine. It has always been my greatest longing since the age of 17. My house to create, to improve, to make perfect and love, offering hospitality to and rejoicing with all those who would love it too. I think the possession of a house would really make me happy. I lived on that hope when I came back to Romania".[citation needed]

The Palace was the official residence of Princess Elisabeth until 1944, when King Michael I performed his coup and overthrew the Nazi-supporting government. After the coup, he left Cotroceni Palace, the official royal residence of the King of the Romanians, and moved into Elisabeta Palace with his mother to be directly in the centre of the capital; Princess Elisabeth had moved to Copăceni Castle.

On the evening of 30 December 1947, King Michael abdicated. Much later, he claimed that he was forced to do it at gunpoint, with the Palace surrounded by troops from the Tudor Vladimirescu Division, an army unit completely loyal to the Communists.[3]

Following King Michael's abdication and throughout the period of the "Socialist Republic of Romania", the Palace fell into disuse until 2001, when the former Royal Family returned to Romania after nearly five decades of exile. At that time, they were given official use of the Palace by a bill signed by Traian Băsescu, 4th President of Romania, and approved by the Romanian Senate.[4]

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Coordinates: 44°28′15″N 26°04′47″E / 44.4708°N 26.07965°E / 44.4708; 26.07965