Michael of Romania undergoes operation
King Michael of Romania has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing a complex series of treatments at a Swiss hospital. His Majesty is reported to be suffering from chronic leukemia and epidermoid carcinoma, which has been treated with surgery. Given the seriousness of the condition and his age, King Michael has stepped down from his public duties, making an official statement:
In recent weeks we have received news of a serious medical diagnosis. This situation comes in the year when family and country are celebrating 150 years since the founding of the dynasty and the modern Romanian state. My daughter Margarita, the Custodian of the Crown, I am sure will find the wisdom and the strength to represent me and to carry out my public duties. I have asked the Royal Council to continue its mission and provide advice to the Custodian of the Crown.
Queen Anne is in Switzerland with her husband, whilst other family members, including Their Majesties’ four younger daughters Elena, Sophie, Irina and Maria were said to be travelling to be with their father. Crown Princess Margarita thanked “all those who had the generosity to send messages of encouragement to King Michael and Queen Anne. The Royal Family is moved by the depth of people’s feelings towards the King and the Crown and the decency and respect with which the media covered the sad event.”
King Michael’s retirement from active public duty leaves his eldest daughter, Crown Princess Margarita, as the Royal Family’s representative. Whilst Romania is a republic, the monarchy has a public role and Margarita’s position is not unlike the Prince of Asturias who took over in June 2014 when his father, King Juan Carlos, stepped down.