Carol II (1893-1953) was born Charles Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen at Sinaia, Romania. His father was Ferdinand, King of Romania and his mother Mary Saxe-Coburg. I don't have a great deal of information on Carol. The family was of German origin, the Hohenzollern were the Prussian ruling house and the ruling family of the new German Empire. Presumably the clothes selected for the children reflected the styles commonly worn in Germany. The boys in the Romanian ruling family appear to have worn dresses at least at 3 years of age, perhaps longer. One available image from 1906-07 shows Prince Nicolas, Carol's little brother, in a frilly dress just like his sister (figure 1). Presumably Carol was dressed similarly. The same image shows Prince Carol in sailor suit with a white middy blouse and black pants. Carol mairred three times. The first was in 1918 at age 25 to Joanna Labrina, age 20. The second was in 1921 at age 27 to Helen Oldenburg, age 25. The third was in 1947 at age 54 to Helena Lupescu, age 51. He had two children: with Joanna Labrina --Carol Hohenzollern and with Helen Oldenburg--Michael, King of Romania. After abdicating for a second time in 1940, he died at the age of 59, exiled in Portugal.
Carol's father was Ferdinand, King of Romania and his mother Mary Saxe-Coburg (Marie of Edinburgh). The family was of German origin, the Hohenzollern were the Prussian ruling house and the ruling family of the new German Empire. Through his mother Mry he ws related to the British royal family. Queen Marie was a daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (1844-1900). Alfred was Queen Victoria's second son.
Carol II (1893-1953) was born Charles Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen at Peleş Castle--Sinaia, Romania. We don't have a great deal of information on Carol's childhood. He was the member of the royal family to be baptized in the Orthodox rite, the primry religion in Romnia.
Presumably the clothes selected for the children reflected the styles commonly worn in Germany. The boys in the Romanian ruling family appear to have worn dresses at least at 3 years of age, perhaps longer. One available image from 1906-07 shows Prince Nicolas, Carol's little brother, in a frilly dress just like his sister (figure 1). Presumably Carol was dressed similarly. The same image shows Prince Carol in sailor suit with a white middy blouse and black pants.
Carol became a senator. The 1866 Constitution guaranteed him a senatorial seat there upon reaching his majority.
Carol married three times. The first was in 1918 at age 25 to Joanna Labrina, age 20. This marriage had political consequences aftecting the morchy. The second was in 1921 at age 27 to Helen Oldenburg, age 25. The third was in 1947 at age 54 to Helena Lupescu, age 51. He had two children: with Joanna Labrina --Carol Hohenzollern and with Helen Oldenburg--Michael, King of Romania.
The first was in 1918 at age 25 to Joanna Labrina, age 20. This marriage had political consequences aftecting the monarchy. They married in the Cathedral Church of Odessa, Ukraine (August 31, 1918). At the time Carol was in exile in Russia. The Central Powers had defeated and overun Romania. Joanna Marie Valentina Lambrino, ("Zizi" Lambrino) (1898–1953) was the commer daughter of a Romanian general. This violated Romanian royal law. The marriage was annulled by the Ilfov Tribunal (1919). Before this occurred, they had one son, Mircea Gregor Carol Lambrino Hohenzollern. As the marriage violated Romanian royalty law, Prince Mircea did not qualify to inherit the crown.
Carol's second marriage occurred after World War I and the restoration of the monarchy in a reconstituted Romania. He married Helen Oldenburg, age 25 (1921). He was 27 yeas old. They married in Athens, Greece.
Helen was Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark, known in Romania as Crown Princess Elena. The marriage was undone by Carol's affair with Elena "Magda" Lupescu (1895?–1977), the Roman Catholic daughter of a Jewish pharmacist and his Roman Catholic wife. As a result of the ensung scandal, the then Prince Carol renounced his right to the throne (December 28, 1925) in favour of his son by Crown Princess Helen, Michael (Mihai). A very young Michael became King when his grandfather died (July 1927). Helena divorced Carol (1928).
Carol also had a son and a daughter by his next mistress Maria Martini, a high-school student.
Carol married again after the War. His third marriage was in 1947 at age 54 to Helena (Elena) "Magda" Lupescu, age 51. The two had had a torrid love affair in the 1920s. Magda Lupescu had formerly been the wife of Army officer Ion Tâmpenu.
The period between the two World Wars was a progressive era . In 1923 a new, and probably the most democratic, constitution replaced the old one (1866). Industry starts playing a more important role in the economical life, cultural events marked the social life, architecture developed in new ways based on the Romanian culture and traditions. Bucharest (capital of the country) become known in Europe as the "Little Paris" with beautiful monuments or buildings (Arch of Triumph). The natural resources made the Romanian efforts to build a stronger economy succesfull, therefore Romania became one of the most important economical powers in Eastern Europe. Romania was also affected by the international economic crisis which began in 1929. The resulting world wide depression wasn't as severe in Romania as in other countries.
King Carol appears to have been the very embodiment of a playboy prince. As aresult of his marriages and many mistressses, he became widely known as a playboy king. He was a man of enormous sexual appetites. In addition to proven information, many rumors developed of unknon veracity. One of the most starteling was that he was endowed with huge genitalia and several women he coinsorted with died from ruptures after intercourse. Another rumor suggests that he used the services of a famous prostitute, Foamea Neagră, from the Crucea de piatră district. A fictionalized version of the relationship episode appears in Petru Dumitriu's Cronică de familie. Thus Crol is known for these advdentures and not as his fole leading Romania.
Carol returned to Romania with no advanced word (1930). He renounced his renunciation and was proclaimed King the following day. He attemoted to lead the country duing the difficult 1930s. The Depression had begun to affect the country when Carol returned. He attempted to work with the rival rival Peasant and Liberal parties. During this time anti-Semitic became increasingly prominant in the country, coiniding with the rise of the NAZIs in Germany. He attempted to use the expanding Iron Guard to shore up his position.
He then attempted to build up a kind of personality cult to counter the growing influence of the Iron Guard. He then founded a paramilitary youth organization--the Straja Ţării (1935).
King Carol finally set up his own government--the National Renaissance Front (January 1938). He issued a new constitution (February 27). The new constitution greatly enlarged royal power. Earlier he had given some support to the pro-NAZI Iron Guard. After seizing control of the government, he banned the Iron Guard. King Carol abdicated for a second time in 1940.
The NAZIs invaded Poland launching World War II (September 1939). This was made possible by the NAZI-Soviet Non-Agression Pact . A secret codicel of that agreement essentially divided eastern and central Europe between themselves. The problem was that it was not specific and he countries differed on their respective zones of cntrol. One of their primary points of disagreements was Romania. Stalin saw the Balkans as an area of Soviet interest. Hitler was not prepared to allow this to happen, especially because the major source of oil for the Reich was the Ploesti oil fields in Romania. Without Romnian oil, the NAZIs could not wage war beause sea imports were blocked by the Royal Navy. Ironically, the only other important source of oil was the Soviet Union under the terms of the exchanges agreed to as part of the Non-Agression Pact.
Although neutral, the outbreak War had terrible consequences for Romania. Stalin after invading Poland moved against the countries granted to him by Hitler (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania). He also moved against Romania, seizing two provinces, one of which had been part of the Tsarist Empire. Next came the Axis. Both Hungary and Bulgaria had lost territory to Romania in the Wold War I peace settlement. They now wanted their territory back. Htler in the Vienna Settlement, awarded territory to both of the old Central Powers. The award of Transylvanis to Hungary was particularly devestating. Much of this was blamed on King Carol who had seized control of the Govrnment (1938). Public demonstratins called for his ouster. He was outmaneuvered by the pro-NAZI nationalist, Marshal Ion Antonescu. King Carol was forced to abdicated in favour of his son Michael and seentinto exile.
King Carol finally settled in Portugal. Carol and Magda Lupescu married in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1947). Magda asumed the title of Princess Elena von Hohenzollern. King Carol remained in exile for the remainder of his life. He was also never to see his son, King Michael, again. Michael refused to sse his father after the War. King Carol died at the age of 59, exiled in Portugal.
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