Romania: Reverting to a monarchy?

Strong denials to the contrary, as King Michael I is set to address parliament in Bucharest.

Long out of fashion, yet deemed by some as nation-binding, monarchy has slipped off the radar in these egaliatarian times. However, Michael I of Romania is to be given a throne-like chair to sit on as he addresses parliamentarians in his capital. His citizenship had been stripped from him by Communists, after he was forced to abdicate to prevent the slaughter of his subjects. And into exile he went for half a century until Communist statism was replaced by democracy.

Could Romanians revert to a constitutional monarchy, in spite of Michael's advanced years? He was 90 on his last birthday.

The address will be delivered in an atmosphere of respect for a man of historic significance, Senator Crin Antonescu, National Liberal Party president explained to the BBC.

But what of Romanians themselves, would they like to see a reinstatement of the throne? It appears not, as by 2008 polls indicated that less than 20% of Romanians favoured a restoration of the monarchy. But Michael's raised profile may change his family's standing.

One hiccup would be the succession, as Michael and his wife Anne of Bourbon-Palma only ever bore girls, five in all. The now defunct 1923 Constitution provided for male heirs. A clause in a revised version of the current constitution to permit ascendency by female offspring, would have to be made. But then, this is mere conjecture...

No such succession would be required of course until Michael were, for the third time in his life, to be offered the crown. And that seems highly improbable.

But encouraging an old man to speak in the Parlamentul României, without any prospect for his future in sight? Weird.

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