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King Carol II of Romania
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    (October 15, 1893-April 4, 1953)
    Born in Sinaia, Romania
    King of Romania (1930-40)
    Died in exile in Portugal
    He went AWOL during World War I to elope with Zizi Lambrino (August, 1918).
    Under the threat of being arrested for desertion, he agreed after eight months to have the marriage annulled.
    His second marriage, to Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark, collapsed over his affair with Magda Lupescu.
    The scandal over the affair forced him to renounce his right the throne in favor of his son, Michael.
    He organized a coup and overthrew his son (June 7, 1930).
    He replaced the Romanian constitution with one granting himself dictatorial powers (1937).
    He was outmaneuvered by Prime Minister Ion Antonescu, who forced him into exile and returned his son Michael to the throne (September 6, 1940).
    He was the first Romanian monarch to be born in the country and to be baptized into the Romanian Orthodox Church.
    Much of the opposition to his affair with Magda Lupescu was driven by antisemitism, since she had a Jewish mother.
    When told he would have to choose between Magda and the throne, he replied, 'If to be king means to not live one's life as one wishes, I prefer life to a throne. I have the same right to happiness as the milkman has.'
    He tried to ban the pro-fascist Iron Guard. (Although less because he hated fascism than because he considered them a potential threat to his rule.)
    He tried to keep Romania neutral during World War II.

Credit: C. Fishel

    In 2018, Out of 36 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
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