Queen Anne of Romania
Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma, also known as Queen Anne of Romania (Anne Antoinette Françoise Charlotte Zita Marguerite of Bourbon-Parma, 18 September 1923 – 1 August 2016), was the wife of former king Michael I of Romania.
|Anne of Bourbon-Parma|
|Queen of Romania|
Anne at the Romanian French Community gala in Paris, 1991
|Born||18 September 1923|
|Died||1 August 2016 (aged 92)|
|Spouse||Michael I of Romania (1948-2016)|
|Issue||Crown Princess Margareta|
|Father||Prince René of Bourbon-Parma|
|Mother||Princess Margaret of Denmark|
Anne was born in Paris, France, the only daughter of Prince René of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Margaret of Denmark. Anne was the younger sister of Prince Jacques of Bourbon-Parma and elder sister to Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma who married Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (eldest child of King Umberto II of Italy and Queen Marie José), and Prince André of Bourbon-Parma. As a granddaughter of Robert I, Duke of Parma she was first cousin to: King Boris III of Bulgaria; Robert Hugo, Duke of Parma; Princess Alicia, Dowager Duchess of Calabria; Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma; Crown Prince Otto of Austria; and Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg.
In 1939 Anne's family fled from the Nazi Germans and escaped to Spain, then to Portugal finally to the United States. She attended the Parsons School of Design in New York City from 1940 to 1943. She also worked as a sales assistant at Macy's department store. In 1943 she joined the French Army as an ambulance driver. She served in Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Luxembourg and Germany. She received the French Croix de guerre for her wartime service.
In November 1947, Anne met King Michael I of Romania who was visiting London for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh. They met several times in London, always with her mother or brother. Michael asked her to marry him. Michael returned to Romania, where he was told by the prime minister it was not the right tine to announce the wedding. A few days later, the government said the wedding was the reason for Michael's sudden "abdication". In fact the king was deposed by the Communists on 30 December.
Anne was a Catholic and under their rules, she needed the church's permission to marry Michael who was not a Catholic. This permission could be given if Michael agreed to allow their future children to be raised as Catholics. Michael refused to do this, as it was against the laws of Romania, and it would make it impossible for him to regain his position as king. The Holy See refused to grant permission for the wedding. The two families decided to take their case to the Vatican. In early March, the couple's mothers met with Pope Pius XII who also refused permission for Anne to marry Michael.
Anne and Michael decided to marry without church permission. Anne's paternal uncle, Xavier, Duke of Parma, said he objected to the marriage that did not have the Pope's permission. He also told Anne's parents not to attend the wedding. Anne's family was represented at the ceremony by her maternal uncle, Prince Eric of Denmark.
The wedding ceremony was held on 10 June 1948 in Athens, Greece, in the throne room of the Royal Palace. The ceremony was performed by Archbishop Damaskinos. Guests at the wedding included: Helen, Queen Mother of Romania, Michael's aunts Queen Frederica, Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark, Duchess of Aosta, Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark; his cousins Alexandra, Queen Consort of Yugoslavia, Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, King Paul of Greece, Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark, Crown Prince Constantine of Greece and Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark, the three youngest ones serving as bridesmaids and pageboys; Anne's maternal uncle Prince Eric of Denmark; Princess Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, Prince George William of Hanover and many others.
After their wedding in 1948, Anne and Michael lived in Hertfordshire for four years. They became market gardeners and farmed poultry. In 1956 they moved to Versoix on Lake Geneva, and raised five daughters there. In 1992 Anne and Michael visited Romania for three days; it was Anne's first visit to the country. From 1993 to 1997, Michael was refused entry to Romania by the Romanian government. Anne visited the country a number of times representing her husband. After 1997, there were no restrictions on Anne and Michael's entry into Romania. Elisabeta Palace was made available for them to use, and they recovered some properties from the state, including Săvârşin Castle and Peleş Castle.
In June 2008, Anne and Michael celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary, with three days of events in Romania. Events included a concert by the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra at the Romanian Athenaeum, an official reception at Athenee Palace in Bucharest, and book launch at the National Museum of Romanian History.
Anne died on 1 August 2016 in a hospital in Morges, Switzerland, at the age of 92. The family refused a posthumous military medal. Romania's President Klaus Iohannis said "Her Majesty Queen Ana of Romania will remain forever in memory and in our hearts as one of the most important symbols of wisdom, dignity and, especially, as a model of moral conduct." The government made 13 August 2016 a national day of mourning. The Romanian flag was flown at half-mast on all buildings. Television and radio broadcasts were told to make their programs suitable for the memory of Anne of Romania. The funeral was held at the Curtea de Argeș Cathedral. The government of Moldova also held a national day of mourning on 13 August in memory of Queen Anne, asking for everyone to observe a moment of silence at 10 am on that day.
- House of Romania: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Carol I
- House of Romania: Royal Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown
- Austrian Imperial and Royal Family: Dame of the Imperial and Royal Order of the Starry Cross, 1st Class
- Greek Royal Family: Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Olga and Sophia
- Radu, Prince of Hohenzollern-Veringen, Anne of Romania: A War, an Exile, a Life, Bucharest: The Romanian Cultural Foundation Publishing House, Bucharest, 2002 ISBN 973-577-338-4. (A quasi-official biography by her son-in-law, originally published in Romanian as Un război, un exil, o viaţă, Bucharest, 2000).
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