Today In History
December 30 has not been a good day for kings.
In 1944, Greece’s George II, faced with a Communist (and, ergo, viciously anti-monarchist) government, appointed a regent, Archbishop Damaskinos, and agreed to let a referendum decide the fate of the King of the Hellenes. Eventually, said referendum restored the monarchy, but it was all for naught. George II, by the way, was the cousin of Prince Philip, now the consort to Queen Elizabeth.
In 1947, also on December 30, King Michael I of Romania, was forced to abdicate by the Soviet-backed regime in his country. Michael, by the way, is still alive, splitting his time between Switzerland and Romania (his citizenship was restored after the fall of Communism). He does not agitate for restoration of the monarchy, believing that such a move must come from the people, though he is wildly popular in his home country and has acted for his nation, advocating for Romania’s entry into NATO, for example. He is also the last surviving commander-in-chief of an European Allied nation from World War II, the only surviving monarch from the Interbellum and one of only three heads of state still alive from World War II (King Simeon of Bulgaria and Tibet’s Dalai Lama are the other two).
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