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Impossible Funeral

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Autor: Marina Constantinoiu 21 Mar 2006 - 00:00
Impossible Funeral


On the 27th of January, Romania’s Prince Carol Mircea died in London. Also in Lodon, on the 31st of March, the funerals of the deceased took place at the Romanian Church. It was only the ceremony and no burial. The deceased is in the custody of the London funeral company (Funeral Home), and the burial is still the reason for many disputes.

He was 86 years old. He died after a hard-fought battle with the illness and after he managed to see Romania again at the end of last year, and he was the interviewee of Jurnalul National as well. Prince came in the country for the second time (after more than 50 years). He had come in the country only once before, when Queen Maria died. Actually, on the 9th of February, The Telegraph says Prince Carol Mircea "spent most of his life trying to prove his legitimacy"

UNACCREDITED. The son of Romania’s Assignee Prince Carol (who became King Carol II afterwards) and of Ioana Maria (Zizi) Lambrino, to whom Carol married secretly and breaking the royalty law, the deceased has never been accredited as part of the Romanian Royal Court by his stepbrother, King Mihai I, who is the chief of this Court as well. Carol Mircea was born on the 8th of January 1920 in Bucharest, and was registered "Mircea Grigore Carol Lambrino", the name he used all his life, says The Telegraph. The two have never met or talked, even though according to Prince Paul, the son of the Prince Carol Mircea, "many European Royal Houses have tried to mediate a meeting between them".

THE EXILE. Carol Mircea’s life story is quite complicated to be plot of a soap opera: he is the son of a marriage that took place in another country, which was accredited in Romania by the Royal House. He was forced to live his life in exile, in France and England. The blood relation with Prince Paul was accredited by two Court orders in Lisbon and Paris.

THE STORY. Assignee Prince Carol has been forced to part company with Zizi Lambrino and has never visited his son, which, according to the documents of that times, made Zizi never forgive him. Zizi and her son were forced to leave for Paris, and they were not allowed to come back in Romania, as well as to return the jewelry she was offered in exchange of an allowance. According to the text in The Telegraph, "Prince Carol Mircea said he only saw his father once, at the age of five".

FINANCIAL STUFF. The baby and the mother have lived in Paris, where Ioana Lambrino was forced to work as a dancer to be able to raise her son, who got in the Academia de Belle arte. The art call was the one that made him eventually paint the landscapes that he used to transpose on the postcards. The Telegraph says that, when the communists took over the power in Romania, "the small allowance for Zizi wasn’t delivered anymore". "In 1945, Carol went to Brazil to ask for some money to his father, but he was stopped from seeing him. Zizi died in hospital in Paris in March 1953. Carol vainly wrote to his father to ask for the money for the funeral more than once. One moth later, former king Carol II died in Portugal", reads the excerpt in The Telegraph. "Carol Lambrino worked as a bookbinder in Paris, but he ended being without a job in 1957, because of the people’s lack of interest in the books bound in leather, which were his specialty. After his father died, Carol began the long battle for his legitimacy and he won the lawsuits in Portugal, in 1955, and in Paris, in 1957. He set himself down as Prince of Romania, even though Romania was part of a communist regime", The Telegraph notes.

DESCENDANTS. Carol Mircea was married three times and had two sons: Prince Paul of Romania, who lives in the country at present, and Prince Alexander, who lives in the United States. Both of them were at the ceremony in London. Antonia de Corville, Prince Carol Mircea’s widow, as well as other relatives and other friends of the family were also present.

THE ISSUES. According to the statements of the older son, his father last wish was to be buried in Romania, the country where he was born, the country which he was forced to leave and the country which he only visited twice, the citizen of which he has always been. From the day he died until present, his son’s efforts bumped into the same problem : the dispute inside the Royal House regarding the accreditation of Carol Mircea as the son of former King Carol II and as part of the Royal family. An exequatur with the purpose of accrediting in Romania the decisions taken in Lisbon and Paris in 1955 and 1957 has been going in the past years in Romania. This drawling, with no precedent in the annals of justice, as judicial sources in London told us, is actually the key of these unsettlements and makes it difficult for the Arges and Muscel Eparchy to make a decision. The Eparchy is the one that operates the Monastery in Curtea de Arges, where the inhumed crowned heads of Romania are buried and where Knig Carol II (also known as "King-playboy") rests his peace. On the 14th of February 2003, his remains have been brought in the country and the coffin that contains them was put temporarily on a pedestal in a chapel between the Episcopal palace and the Curtea de Arges Monastery. It is to be exposed in a special crypt.

EXPLANATIONS. In his efforts, Prince Paul tried to convince the Arges and Muscel Eparchy to put the coffin with his father body near the one of Carol II, at least for a certain period. The answer he received from the Eparchy actually tells him of dispute itself: the issue regarding the accrediting of the deceased and his descendants in the Royal Family. The public statement of King Mihai is annexed in order to support this: "as Chief of the Romanian Royal family, His Majesty, King Mihai I is the only one to decide for the dynasty issues. His Majesty, King Mihai I, as well as the former Chiefs of the Royal Family, Ferdinand I and Carol II, have never accredited Mircea-Grigore Lambrino or his descendants as Prince of Romania, nor as Royal Highness. In the same time, the King and his foregoers have never recognized any of the above-mentioned people as members of the Romanian Royal Family. Therefore, any kind of public or private use of the title "Prince of Romania" or "Royal Highness by Mircea-Grigore Lambrino and his descendants is seen as abuse by the Romanian Royal House and will always be firmly unapproved". The Arges and Muscel Eparchy is somewhere in the middle, in a situation in which it cannot be held responsible. The frozen body of Carol Mircea is somewhere in London. Acknowledged as son of Carol II by the Portuguese and French Justice, he is yet to be accredited by the Romanian justice and by the Royal Family especially.

Translated by SORIN BALAN
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