Carol II of Romania

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Carol II (15 October/16 October 1893 – 4 April 1953) reigned as King of Romania from 8 June 1930 until 6 September 1940. Eldest son of Ferdinand I, King of Romania, and his wife, Queen Marie, a daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second eldest son of Queen Victoria. He was the first of the Romanian royal family who was baptized in the Orthodox rite.[1]


Early life

Carol was born in Peleş Castle. In November 1914, Carol joined the Romanian Senate, as the 1866 Constitution guaranteed him a seat there upon reaching majority.[2] Known more for his romantic misadventures than for any leadership skills, Carol (Romanian for "Charles") was first married in the Cathedral Church of Odessa, Ukraine, 31 August 1918, in contravention of royal law, to Joanna Marie Valentina Lambrino (1898–1953), known as "Zizi", the daughter of a Romanian general. They had one son, Mircea Gregor Carol Lambrino, and the marriage was annulled by decision of the Ilfov Tribunal in 1919.

He next married, in Athens, Greece, on 10 March 1921, Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark (who was known in Romania as Crown Princess Elena), but the marriage soon collapsed in the wake of Carol's affair with Elena "Magda" Lupescu (1895?–1977), the Roman Catholic daughter of a Jewish pharmacist and his Roman Catholic wife. Magda Lupescu had formerly been the wife of Army officer Ion Tâmpenu.

As a result of the scandal, he renounced his right to the throne on 28 December 1925 in favour of his son by Crown Princess Helen, Michael (Mihai), who became King in July 1927. Helena divorced Carol in 1928. Carol also had a son and a daughter by his mistress Maria Martini, a high-school student.

1930 Uruguay FIFA World Cup controversy

The apocryphal influence of King Carol on the selection of the first team is disputed. FIFA accept that "a decree from King Carol gave the players three months off from their jobs and a guarantee that they [would] be re-employed on their return. The king himself [was] also active as coach ..." [9] But there is nothing to substantiate such claims and the King, absent from the nation since 1925 only returned to Romania on June 8, 1930.

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