Princess Margarita of Romania Must Bring Unity to Her Family or Face Failure as the Head of the Royal House.
By Seth B. Leonard
The Custodian of the Romanian Crown does not appear to have extended an invitation to all of her sisters, nieces, and nephews to be present to bid farewell to the last Romanian Queen, who was born a Princess of Bourbon-Parma. To illustrate this point, Anne's granddaughter Angelica Kreuger again weighed in on the situation: "I'm sure in this horrible time Irina and her children will likely not attend to spare and [add] more stress to the family. [This is] due to past issues, since grief can make unresolved issues come to light. Right now, people need to realize that this woman wasn't just a Queen, she was a mother and grandmother. While the country grieves for their loss of a Queen the family grieves for the family. Anne's loss will be felt in everyone who knew her. A little light has dimmed in the world, but it is our duty as people to keep her light bright and remember what she stood for. Especially in this world, we live to make it brighter, not darker." Given this commentary, it should not come as a surprise that neither Princess Irina nor her two children were guests at the funeral of Queen Anne of Romania on 13 August 2016 at Bucharest.
Aged ninety-six, King Michael of Romania died on 5 December 2017 at Aubonne, Switzerland. His funeral was held in Bucharest on 16 December. All five of his daughters were in attendance: the Princesses Margarita, Helen, Irina, Sophie, and Marie. Of his five grandchildren, only two were present: Nicholas of Romania with his wife, Alina-Maria, as well as his sister Karina. The Custodian of the Crown again made a public point of sidelining her family. When King Michael's coffin was transported from Bucharest to Curtea de Argeş aboard the Royal Train, Margarita did not allow her nephew and his wife to be onboard the train with the rest of the family. However, the princess managed to make space for her brother-in-law, Dr. Dan Duda.
The first signs of turbulence arrived on 29 October 2014, when Princess Irina of Romania and her two children were unceremoniously stripped of their place in the line of succession. In January 2015, Princess Marie of Romania relocated from her home in the United States to her father's country, and she eventually began public engagements. On 10 August 2015, Prince Nicholas of Romania was suddenly stripped of his position. The royal house thus lost its most popular and viable hope for the future. In the fall of 2018, Princess Sophie of Romania and her daughter Elisabeta left their home in France so that Sophie could take up a supporting role in Casa Regala. By the end of 2019, anonymous sources confirmed that Princess Marie had stepped back from her role as an active member of the royal house. At this point, the Custodian of the Crown has whittled down the royal house to one other member, her Princess Sophie. Yet, even Sophie's position is not without difficulty, as sources have alleged that her daughter Elisabeta is having difficulties adjusting to life in Romania. Last, but not least, Princess Helen of Romania has always maintained her residence in the United Kingdom, and there has been no indication that Helen ever intends to be a part of Romanian public life. Despite being Margarita's direct heiress, Helen only appears in the country for certain family events and, otherwise, rarely travels to Romania.
Many might think that 2020 has been another annus horribilis for the British royal family. Arguably, 2020 could prove to be the ultimate horrible year for the Romanian royals. If Princess Margarita finds herself incapable of unifying her family, then she is likely to go down in royal history as an abject failure as a Head of a Royal House. It is the duty of the Custodian of the Romanian Crown to guarantee the future of the dynasty. In the spirit of Christian reconciliation, it is her responsibility to bring together her sisters, her nephews, and her nieces, in order that they can all strive to perpetuate the legacy of the Kings and Queen of Romania into future generations. Margarita of Romania must embrace the maxim, "Duty first, self second." If the Margarita is unable to adapt her behaviour, then her tenure as Head of the Romanian Royal House will not be looked upon kindly by history.