Romania′s former Queen Anne dies, aged 92 | News | DW | 01.08.2016
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Romania's former Queen Anne dies, aged 92

The last queen of Romania has died at the age of 92. Anne of Bourbon-Parma and her husband Michael - the country's last monarch - lived for many years in exile, but remain popular with many in Romania.

A statement from the Romanian royal house said Anne had died surrounded by her family on Monday at a hospital in Morges, Switzerland.

Half-French and half-Danish, she was born Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma and met her husband Michael, Romania's last monarch, in London in 1947 - at the wedding of future Queen Elizabeth II of England to Prince Philip.

Michael, a cousin of the English queen and a descendent of Germany's Hohenzollern dynasty, was forced to abdicate by communists a month afterwards, and moved into exile.

Paris-born Anne studied painting in New York and, during World War II, volunteered for the French Army.

Anne and Michael on a return visit to Romania

On visits, the pair enjoyed a warm welcome from many Romanians

The couple married in an Orthodox ceremony in Athens in 1948, after Anne was refused a dispensation to marry a non-Catholic by Pope Pius XII. They had another ceremony, in a Catholic church, in Monaco in 1966.

Historic figureheads

The pair lived in exile for decades, and returned to Romania in 1992 after the fall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. They again moved away, to Switzerland in 2004, but visited Romania regularly for holidays and official events.

Although there is little demand for a restoration of the former Soviet satellite's royal family, many Romanians respect Michael and Anne as historic figureheads for the country. President Klaus Iohannis called her one of the "most important symbols of wisdom, dignity and a beacon of moral conduit."

Her body will be flown from Switzerland to Romania on Thursday. It will lie in state in the resort of Sinaia where Michael, who survives his wife along with five daughters, was born.

Anne will be buried alongside other members of Romania's royal family at the Curtea de Arges cemetery on August 13 in central Romania.

rc/kms (AP, Reuters)