Irina Walker

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Irina Walker
Irina, Principesa â Romaniei Oregon.jpeg
Born (1953-02-28) 28 February 1953 (age 63)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Spouse John Kreuger
(m. 1983; div. 2003)
John Wesley Walker
(m. 2007)
Issue Michael de Roumanie Kreuger
Angelica de Roumanie Kreuger
House Romania
Father King Michael I of Romania
Mother Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma
Religion Romanian Orthodox

Irina Walker (born Princess Irina of Romania and former Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen,[1][2] 28 February 1953) is the third daughter of former King Michael I of Romania and his wife Queen Anne. She is a former Princess of Romania following her arrest for illegal cockfighting at Irrigon, Oregon in 2013.[3][4][5]

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.


Irina was born in exile on 28 February 1953 at a birth clinic in Lausanne, Switzerland, the third daughter and child of King Michael I and Queen Anne.[6][7] She was baptised in the Orthodox faith; her godmother and namesake was her father's maternal aunt Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark, Duchess of Aosta.[citation needed]

Irina spent her childhood at her family homes in Lausanne, Switzerland and in the United Kingdom at Ayot House, St Lawrence, Hertfordshire;[8] During holidays she and her sisters spent time with their grandparents, Helen, Queen Mother in Florence, Italy at Villa Sparta and in Denmark with Princess Margaret and Prince Rene.[9] She and her sisters were told "fascinating tales of a homeland they couldn't visit" by their father.[10]

Her teenage years were spent in Europe with her family, where she and her sisters received primary and secondary education.[11]

In her mid-twenties, as her two elder and two younger sisters went away to work and study, Irina stayed with her parents at their family home in Switzerland[10] and later moved to the United States to work.[11]

In Romania[edit]

After 50 years of exile of the Romanian royal family from Romania, in 1990 Irina's eldest sister Crown Princess Margareta and younger Princess Sophie visited Romania for the first time following the Romanian revolution and overthrow of the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu in December 1989; Irina along with the Royal family were involved to help the Romanians.[10]

After the upheaval of the revolution had calmed down, Irina with her 2 children Michael and Angelica visited Romania along with the rest of the entire royal family to spend Christmas in 1997[12] and back again with King Michael I, Queen Anne, Crown Princess Margareta and her husband Prince Radu in 1998.[13][14][15]

Unlike her other sisters, Irina hadn't taken over many tasks of performing official engagements for the royal house, except for a visit at the Romanian Academy with Princess Maria,[16] an investiture ceremony,[17] the 60th birthday celebration of the Crown Princess in 2009[18] and the 90th birthday celebration of King Michael I in 2011.[19]

In 2013 for her 60th birthday, King Michael and Queen Anne hosted a party at Elisabeta Palace, attendees included: members of the royal family, John Walker, Michael de Roumanie Kreuger, Angelica de Roumanie Kreuger, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Prince Michael of Kent and Irina's friends.[20]

In 2004 Irina's ex-husband John Kreuger donated the 16th century painting Madonna with the infant by Francesco Raibolini to the National Museum of Art of Romania;[21] the painting was given to the couple as a wedding present which John kept after their divorce and later donated.[citation needed]

Marriages, divorce and family[edit]

On 4 October 1983 Irina married John Kreuger (born in Solna, Sweden, 3 August 1945) son of Torsten Kreuger and wife Diana Blanchefleur Hedberg (née Beve).[22] in Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States in a civil ceremony and on 11 February 1984 in a religious ceremony at Holy Trinity Church in Phoenix,[23] the ceremony was attended by the Royal family including her grand-aunt Princess Ileana, John's parents and family and also friends of the couple.[24] On 24 November 2003 the couple divorced after 20 years of marriage.[23] Irina and John have 2 children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law and three grandchildren

  • Michael Torsten (born 1985),[7] married to Tara Littlefield[25][26]
    • Kohen (born 2012)[27]
  • Angelica Margaretta Bianca (born 1987),[7] married to Richard Robert Knight[28]
    • Courtney Bianca (born 2007)[29]
    • Diana (born 2011)[27]

On 10 November 2007 Irina married secondly to John Wesley Walker (b. 30 December 1945 in Douglas, Missouri) at the Heart of Reno Chapel, Reno, Nevada.[30]

In an interview with her daughter Angelica, she had said that Irina was part of the close family but since her marriage to Walker she became isolated from the family.[31]


On 15 August 2013, Irina and her husband were controversially arrested for being part of an illegal cockfighting ring, being charged also for operating an illegal gambling business on their ranch near Irrigon, Oregon.[32][33] The news had made headlines over nearly all news channels and papers around the world.[34][35][36] According to the indictment, 10 different cockfighting derbies were organized at their ranch between April 2012 and April 2013, which brought up to $2000/day, from admission fees, food and drinks and gambling.[32] Federal prosecutors announced that they will seek the forfeiture of their ranch.[32][33] She and her husband were freed, but they were required to wear GPS bracelets and turn over their US passports. They awaited a two-week jury trial, which was set for 15 October 2014.[37]

In October 2014, Irina was given three years probation, she and her husband pleaded guilty to operating an illegal gambling business; as part of the plea deal, the couple decided to sell real estate and pay $200,000 to the government. "I'm very sorry about my involvement in this business, It was not my intention to go against the law." - Irina told a federal judge before she was given the probation.[38]

On 29 October 2014, Irina's father altered the line of succession, stripping Irina of her royal titles and removing her and her two children from the line of succession.[39][40]

Titles and honours[edit]

  • 28 February 1953 – 30 December 2007: Her Royal Highness Princess Irina of Romania, Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
  • 30 December 2007 – 29 October 2014: Her Royal Highness Princess Irina of Romania
  • 29 October 2014 – present: Mrs Irina Walker



  1. ^ "King Michael's Younger Daughters: Elena, Irina, Sofia & Maria - Page 10 - The Royal Forums". 
  2. ^ "Regele Mihai I a rupt legăturile istorice şi dinastice cu Casa de Hohenzollern". 
  3. ^ "Ex-Romanian princess Irina on Oregon cockfighting charges". BBC News. 
  4. ^ "Romanian princess accused of running cockfights on her Oregon ranch with retired sheriff husband pleads guilty to illegal gambling". Mail Online. 
  5. ^ "Romanian Princess 'Sorry' Over Cockfighting". Sky News. 
  6. ^ Marlene Eilers Koenig. "Royal Musings". 
  7. ^ a b c "Familia Regala - Irina Walker". 
  8. ^ "King Michael of Romania & his Family". Diana Mandache Historian & Author. 
  9. ^ "FPMR". 
  10. ^ a b c "Romania's Exiled King Longs to Take His Family Home鈥攁fter 42 Years鈥攁nd Reclaim His Throne". 
  11. ^ a b "Romanian Princess Irina Walker Sentenced For Cockfighting". The Huffington Post. 
  12. ^ "Principesa Irina a României, 60 de ani". 
  16. ^ "A patra zi a Jubileului 90". 
  17. ^ "Cine este Principesa Irina, arestată în SUA pentru organizarea de lupte ilegale cu cocoşi". 
  18. ^ "Regele Mihai, Regina Ana, Principesa Mostenitoare, Principesa Elena, Principesa Irina, Palatul Elisabeta, martie 2009 - Familia Regală a României / Royal Family of Romania". 
  19. ^ "În anul 2011". 
  20. ^ Marlene Eilers Koenig. "Royal Musings". 
  21. ^ Archived 8 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Marlene A. Eilers, Queen Victoria's Descendants (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987), page 190
  23. ^ a b "King Michael's Younger Daughters: Elena, Irina, Sofia & Maria - The Royal Forums". 
  24. ^ "Wedding Photos of the Royal House of Roumania". 
  25. ^ "Tara & Michael's Engagement Shoot in the Woods". Bow Ties & Bliss // Wedding Inspiration from the Pacific Northwest. 
  26. ^ "Wedding Dress - Tara & Michael , son of Princess Irina of Romania _ 2012 - myroyalty's blog -". 
  27. ^ a b "Descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark". 
  28. ^ "Angelica Margaretta Bianca Kreuger". The Peerage. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  29. ^ "Courtney Bianca Knight". The Peerage. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Angelica Kreuger about her mother Princess Irina of Romania". Diana Mandache Historian & Author. 
  32. ^ a b c DuBois, Steven (15 August 2013). "Romanian princess among cockfighting arrests". USA Today. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  33. ^ a b Denson, Bryan (16 August 2013). "Romanian princess, Oregon husband arrested in bust of suspected two-state cockfighting ring". Oregonian. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  34. ^ "Romanian princess among 18 charged in Oregon over cockfighting". 
  35. ^ "Romanian princess, Oregon husband to be freed while facing cockfighting charges". 
  36. ^ "Romania libera - stiri iesite din tipar - actualitate, investigatii, politica, cultura, diaspora, video, anunturi de mica publicitate". Romania Libera. 
  37. ^ "Romanian princess, Oregon husband to be freed while facing cockfighting charges". Oregonian. 16 August 2013. 
  38. ^ "Romanian princess Irina Walker, husband sentenced to probation for roles in cockfighting ring". 
  39. ^ "Familia Regala - Linia de succesiune". 
  40. ^ Marlene Eilers Koenig. "Royal Musings". 

External links[edit]

Irina Walker
Born: 28 February 1953
Romanian royalty
Preceded by
Elisabeta-Karina de Roumanie Medforth-Mills
Line of succession to the British throne
descended from Alfred, son of Victoria
Succeeded by
Michael de Roumanie Kreuger