“Though relatively unknown to the broader public in the West, King Michael’s life was nothing short of extraordinary,” says Mihail Neamtu in this week’s Acton Commentary.
In 1927, his father left the throne to pursue a Romantic adventure with a larger than life mistress, Elena Lupescu (1895-1977). The royal families in Europe sanctioned this betrayal of the marriage vows, which the astute and yet amoral Prince Carol II had spoken before the youthful Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark (1896-1982). Those were the days when ordinary people saw the open practice of adultery as unacceptable for a sovereign exercising the highest office in the country. As a consequence, Carol II resigned and Michael was made King of Romania at the age of six. While still very young, he saw his mother exiled to Italy, after his father made a shameless return to power through a coup d’état.