Queen Anne of Romania – An Obituary

  August 2, 2016 at 7:36 am by

The sad news announced yesterday of the death of Queen Anne of Romania has been met with many messages of condolences and sadness amongst so many royal watchers and followers of the Royal Family of Romania.

View the full image at the Romanian Royal website

View the full image at the Romanian Royal website

She was a great and admirable lady, related to many royals throughout Europe, yet she enjoyed the simple things in life, was never showy or grand nor did she act in any way other than with humility, modesty and utter devotion to her husband, King Michael, and to the people of Romania.

Born on 18th of September 1923, the very year that England’s then Duke of York married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Princess Anne Antoinette Françoise Charlotte Bourbon-Parma started her life in Paris as the only daughter of Prince René of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Margarethe of Denmark.

Growing up, the young princess holidayed in Italy and Denmark spending time with relatives such as the Dowager Duchess of Parma and Prince Waldemar of Denmark, not to mention her great-aunts Queen Alexandra of Great Britain, the Csarina Maria Feodorovna of Russia and Duchess Thyra of Brunswick.

During the Second World War, Princess Anne and her family went to New York and lived a life that belied their royal ancestry and connections. Princess Anne worked as a shop assistance in Macy’s and Bloomingdales then later on, enlisted as an ambulance driver in the Free French Army and found herself working in Morocco and Italy before returning to France where she received the Croix de Guerre.

During her time in Morocco, Princess Anne was filmed for just a few moments during a recording being carried out by the news service to be shown later in cinemas back home in Allied countries. It was in Romania that King Michael saw the footage and fell in love with the princess, asking the film operator to convert some of the frames into photographs for him to keep.

It was only after the war – in fact at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip of Greece in London – that Anne and Michael were introduced. After just a few days, King Michael proposed to Anne but only after spending more time with him in Switzerland that she accepted the marriage proposal.

Many obstacles stood in the couple’s way, including their religious differences and not least of all the political situation in Romania that forced Michael to abdicate. Yet it was on 10th June 1948 that they were married in the Royal Palace in Athens followed by a honeymoon in Greece and later Italy.

The first years of their marriage, the exiled King and Queen lived in England followed by Switzerland where they would reman throughout their lives.

Queen Anne ran a relaxed and modest household in comparison to other royals with little in the way of royal grandeur and avoided unnecessary and expensive protocols – but she did it well and became for all intents and purposes a devoted mother and housewife, away from the public eye and media scrutiny that many of her peers were to live with.

After the revolution in Romania in 1989, Queen Anne’s life changed and she embraced the idea of returning to her husband’s country from exile with great dignity. Her first visit to Romania took place in 1992, and even during the mid-1990s when King Michael was refused entry into the country he loved, Queen Anne visited on his behalf.


In 2008, the King and Queen’s diamond wedding anniversary was celebrated there over the course of three days of festivities, attended not only by other royals, but also by members of the Romanian government and the diplomatic corps.

Over time, many properties that had been confiscated during the communist era were returned to the Royal Family and the relationship between the royal family and the people of Romania was consolidated further by the government becoming more accepting of the important role that the King and Queen and other members of the royal family can play in the life of Romania.

But the simple and peaceful life in Switzerland that the King and Queen had lived for many years seems always to have always been there in the background – perhaps especially so for Queen Anne. The frailty and health issues that come with advancing age resulted in their spending more time away from Romania.

View the full image at Moldova.org

View the full image at Moldova.org

During the last week of her life, King Michael visited his wife every day in hospital in spite of his own frail health and his on-going recovery from cancer earlier this year. The devotion between the couple never waned.

Yesterday, 1st August 2016 at 1.45pm, surrounded by Crown Princess Margarita, Prince Radu, Princess Elena, Princess Sophia and Princess Marie, Her Majesty Queen Anne of Romania died peacefully, the last rites having been administered by Father Charlemagne of the Catholic Parish of Morges.

More details of Queen Anne’s funeral will be announced today, but for further news and discussion of this sad event, please click here.

For news, information and photos published by the Royal Family of Romania, please click here.

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