HRH Prince Paul of Romania

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Home News HRH Prince Paul’s Supreme Court Victory

HRH Prince Paul’s Supreme Court Victory

Legal ruling that has changed a chapter in Romania's Royal Family's History

Prince Paul of Romania won an historical victory, after 21 years, in the Romanian Supreme Court against his uncle, ex-King Michael of Romania.  The facts are that ex-King Michael had recognized an earlier victory, won 55 years ago in Portugal by Prince Paul’s father, HRH Prince Carol Mircea of Romania. Then Michael recognized his older brother in 1955 and divided equally the estate of their father, HM King Carol II of Romania. The marriage was found to not have been morganatic, (see 1918 Synopsis reference); Prince Carol Mircea should have been king but was exiled as a child, due to two serious attempts on his life and the political pressures and manipulations against the Royal Family, etc.  Simply stated, the Romanian Supreme Court agreed with the rulings of the Portuguese Supreme Court.  It named Prince Carol Mircea the legitimate first born son of then Crown Prince Carol and Crown Princess Ioana Valentina, from a legal marriage that had been illegally annulled.  Religious marriages were the only form of marriage in that era.  A proper religious marriage could not be annulled nor terminated by a Civil Court ruling. The Portuguese victory also found that the Crown Prince and Princess had been denied their Constitutional Rights on two issues.  Firstly, after the Orthodox Church, and, later, the Bucharest Courts and Romanian Lawyers’ Bar Association refused the Prime Minister’s demand to annul the marriage, the case was clandestinely heard in a village courthouse that barred the attendance of the defendants, the royal couple.  Secondly, the husband and wife were denied their rights to appeal the illegal ruling.

- The 1955 Portuguese decision was historic as it recognized that King Carol II’s first born son was Prince Carol Mircea with all The Rights of Succession and the right to participate in the division of The Royal Estate in Portugal.

- The Romanian decision was also historic as it repaired an injustice in Romanian history.  Prince Carol Mircea was the first born son of King Carol II and should have normally been crowned the king.  Note that the then Crown Prince Carol (later King Carol II) married Ioana Valentina Lambrino, a direct descendant of two Imperial Byzantine Emperors, in an Orthodox religious ceremony, in Odessa, in 1918.  It could only be annulled by His Holiness, The Patriarch of Russia.  Crown Princess Ioana’s family lawyer, respected legal scholar, Prince Cantacuzino, warned her that the anti- Carol Prime Minster Bratianu was determined to crush the Crown Prince by ruining his marriage.  Sadly, he succeeded. Note the obituary of Bratianu in the “New York Times” entitled “Dictator Bratianu, Arch Enemy of King Carol II, Dies”.

- As Salic Laws were (and still are) valid in the last Royal Constitution 1938, voted via Plesbicite by 8 million citizens also confirmed that any Family Laws could not be changed by the King but only by a ratification of ¾ of the Parliament.  Thus, the Supreme Court decision confirms that Prince Paul’s father, Prince Carol Mircea is the direct descendant, the first in the only male line of King Carol II, King Ferdinand and King Carol I. In the possible eventuality of a national referendum on monarchy, the male line, the senior line, will be the rightful heirs.  Romania cannot have a Crown Princess because it is against the Salic Law.  Theoretically, if Romania became a monarchy, Prince Paul as the first born (1948) of the sole Male Line would be the only choice.  Additionally, the eldest of the five daughters of Michael, Margareta (1949) was not the first born.

- Note that The Royal Constitution 1938 was the last and is still seen as the working viable edition.  It also declared that all members of the Royal Family must respect and recognize any decision of the Supreme Court of Romania.  At the time, then Crown Prince Michael was photographed as he witnessed, agreed to and signed this Constitution.

- In 1947, HM King Michael abdicated for himself and his descendants after having negotiated conditions, for two weeks, with the Communist Prime Minister Petru Groza.

Michael left Sinaia Station with a 7 boxcar train, a sum of 750,000 pounds (equivalent of 70 million euros today) for compensation of Crown Properties, a yearly pension from the Soviets (from 1948 – 1985) and 42 Old Master paintings.


A Synopsis of the History and Court Decisions of the Royal Family

1918 - HM King Carol II, then Crown Prince Carol of Romania marries aristocrat Ioana Valentina Rangabe Lambrino in the Orthodox religion, in Odessa, at that time, a Russian city.  The marriage, in recent years, was mistakenly referred to as a morganatic marriage.  It was definitely not because her ancestors outranked the Prince of Hohenzollern of Romanian line.  She was a direct descendant of Rangabe-Lambrino dynasty which included 2 Byzantine Emperors, a Patriarch, a saint and a heroic, highly decorated General.

1919 - The marriage is illegally annulled (from political manipulation upon the Royal Family) in a small suburban civil court of Ilfov, outside Bucharest.  The Romanian Orthodox Church refused to annul the marriage.  The Bucharest Court and the Romanian Lawyers’ Bar Association refused to annul this legal marriage. The marriage of HRH Crown Prince Carol, was never annulled by the Orthodox Church.  The marriage was a religious ceremony (civil marriages did not exist at that time in Russia or Romania).

1920 - Prince Carol Mircea is born in Bucharest, within the legal time frame after the forced, illegal annulment.

1926 - Princess Ioana, under involuntary exile, with her son, lived in Paris, at the Ritz Hotel.

1953 - King Carol II died in Estoril, Portugal, leaving a widow, Princess Elena (born Lupescu) and two adult sons.  A Process of Succession was opened.

1955 - Prince Carol Mircea won the court case.  He was declared the first born legal son and heir of King Carol II, Michael recognized his older brother and the Estate was divided, equally between them, 37 ½% each and 25% for the widow.

1957 - Prince Carol Mircea wins against his younger brother, Michael in the French Tribunal de la Seine.  It agreed with the Portuguese decision that, simply stated, ruled that he had all the royal and legal rights, divided, equally, the French Estate of King Carol II and was allowed to use the Family name of de Hohenzollern. Additionally, it was recognized that Prince Carol Mircea should have been King of Romania and that his parents’ marriage was not morganatic.

1961 - Ex King Michael and his wife, HRH Princess Anne of Romania (born Bourbon-Parme) filed an appeal to the French Supreme Court (Court de Cassation).  After they lost, Michael again recognized his older brother and agreed to divide equally, the French Estate of their father, King Carol II.

1964 - Precisely on the 23 of June, The High Court of the United Kingdom, recognized Prince Carol Mircea’s earlier court victories and named him Administrator of his father’s (King Carol II) Estate in the U.K. Prince Carol Mircea received an official British Travel Document as HRH Prince Carol of Hohenzollern, Prince of Romania.

1990 - Prince Paul (first son of  Prince Carol Mircea) is the first member of the Royal Family to return to Romania

1991 - Prince Paul started a Process of Exequatur in Bucharest to recognize the 1955 Portuguese Court victory of his father, Prince Carol Mircea.

1999 - In April, HRH Prince Paul won the Lower Court Exequatur decision in Alexandria.  It was moved there because of intense political interference.

2002 - 22 of April, Prince Paul introduced, in Strasbourg’s Court of Human Rights, his case against the Romanian State due to documentable abuses of political interference.

2002 - 1st of July, Prince Paul won the Bucharest Court of Appeal after 10 years of frustrating court delays.  Suddenly, the most overt of the political interventions occurred, by the machinations of the General Prosecutor.  He declared that he disagreed with the victory, overturned the ruling and demanded a retrial.  It was later reported that he did this without any legal basis and used an outmoded Communist procedure.  The European Union protested and this above-mention practice was immediately barred from being used, ever again, because of its gross unfairness and illegality.

2003 - 14th of July, won in the Bucharest Court of Appeals.

2010 - Prince Paul won this historic case in The Court of Human Rights-Strasbourg against the former Romanian government’s actions of interference to influence and/or delay his cases in Bucharest. The decision reads (simply stated) “Hohenzollern, of Romania against Romania.  Romania should hasten to recognize the Portuguese decision of 1955.  It is a gross abuse and lapse of diligence to prolong a case for 21 years.  They, in turn, recognized that Prince Carol Mircea ( Prince Paul’s father) correctly won his rights in Portugal and France in the 50’s.

2012 - 14 of February, the Supreme Court of Romania recognized TRH Prince Paul and his late father, Prince Carol Mircea’s rights in Romania.  It thus recognized the 1955 Portuguese decision, after 21 years and rectified a legal injustice.  Prince and Princess Paul were asked to make interviews, internationally and locally because of the reality that this victory had changed a chapter in the history of Romania.