Carol II of Romania (1893-1953)

Carol II of Romania

1893 On the 15th of October, Carol II, King of Romania, Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was born. He was King of Romania from the 8th of June 1930 to the 6th of September, 1940, when he gave up to his royal prerogatives in his son Michael’s favour. Also known as Carol Caraiman, name chosen by his father, Ferdinand, and used by Carol after he had been disowned and removed from the Royal House by Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (1925-1930). Carol was the eldest son of King Ferdinand of Romania and of his wife, Queen Maria.

Carol was famous more because of his romantic experiences than for his abilities like a national leader.

1918 Carol married for the first time at Odessa, Ukraine, on the 31st of August, in contradiction with the royal status, to Ioana Maria Valentina Lambrino (“Zizi” Lambrino), the daughter of a Romanian general. 

1919 The marriage was cancelled by the decision of Ilfov Court, but the relation between them continued after that and then a son was born, a boy considered illegitimate, Mircea Gregor Carol Lambrino.

1921 Carol married, at Athenes, Greece, on the 10th of March to Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark. Within this marriage Prince Michael was born in October, 25th. This marriage deteriorated in a short time because of king’s adventure with Helen Lupescu (known as “Magda Lupescu”), the daughter of Nicolas Grunberg, a Jewish chemist, baptized Christian Orthodox and took the name of Nicholas Lupescu. Helen Lupescu was firstly the wife of army officer Ion Tampeanu.

1928 Carol and Queen Mother, Helen divorced. Carol had also a son with an unknown woman, Maria Martini. For all these adventures historians surnamed him playboy king. Witnesses said even that he would have had an adventure with a famous prostitute, Black Hunger, from a neighbourhood in Bucharest, Stone Cross. The episode is taken over by Petru Dumitriu within the novel “Family Chronicles”

1930 Coming back in the country, on June, 6th, due to negotiations with Iuliu Maniu (who he had promised to break the relationship with Elena Lupescu), Carol was proclaimed king two days later. He banished Queen Mother, Elena, and brought Elena Lupescu to Bucharest. Next decade, his reign was under camarilla’s sign, a group of influence implied in corruption facts, the famous being Skoda Affair.

1938 During this period, Carol tried to influence Romanian political life, firstly by manipulating National Liberal and National Peasants parties and some anti-Semitic groups and starting from January 1938 by choosing the ministers. On the 10th of February he abolished the parties, fact that ensured him the supreme power. In 1938 he initiated an administrative reform of fascist inspiration, by which he shared Romania’s territory in ten lands.

1940 Two years later, forced by political pressure of Soviet Union, Nazy Germany, Bulgaria and Hortyst Hungary to give parts of Complete Romania’s territory, Carol must have abdicate in behalf of pro-German administration of general Ion Antonescu, in the favour of his son Michael, and moved to Portugal.

1947 Carol and Elena Lupescu married at Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, on the 3rd of June, making her Princess Elena of Hohenzollern.

Carol spent all his life in exile. It seems that both during the World War II and during the post-war period, Carol tried to recover his throne, but he did not have any internal or external political support.

1953 Carol died in Portugal and was buried in Portugal Kings’ Chapel in Estoril.

2003 His remains were brought to Romania and were reburied at Curtea de Arges Monastery out of the church were the Kings of Romania rest. King Michael did not take part in the ceremony; he was represented by Princess Margaret and Prince Radu.[1]