Paper title:
 Between Duty and Passion: The Implications of a Controversial King's Policy in a Controversial Country
Published in:
Issue 2 (Vol. 28) / 2022
Publishing date:
401 – 408
Florin Pintescu
Michael I, the last king of Romania (July 20, 1927 - June 8, 1930; September 6, 1940 - December 30, 1946), went into exile on December 30, 1947, and Romania came under a communist regime. Consequently, until 1989, Romanian historiography uncritically portrayed the Hohenzollern Sigmaringen monarchy, which had ruled Romania between 1866 and 1947, exaggerating its defects and failures and utterly disputing any kind of merits. Furthermore, state censorship prevented interwar publications about the lives of Romanian monarchs, their written memoirs or those of politicians of that time.
Following 1989, the role of the Romanian monarchy was critically reassessed, gradually attempting to provide an unbiased appraisal of this institution. Censorship was lifted, allowing access to archives and the publication of memoirs by Kings Carol I, Carol II, Michael I, Queen Marie and Prince Nicholas, and numerous Romanian political leaders responsible for the country's fate in the first half of the twentieth century.
After the romantic era when these memoirs were regarded as “forbidden fruits” until 1989, apparently revealing only true events, a critical reconsideration of the monarchy’s role in Romania, particularly of the controversial King Carol II, followed. The five volumes of the major work under consideration represent the “peak” of the recent critical reassessment of King Charles II’s position and contribution to the history of Romanians and, to a limited extent, to the history of South Eastern Europe.

Charles II, monarchy, Romania, internal policy, foreign policy, private life


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2. Carol II, Între datorie şi pasiune. Însemnări zilnice [Charles II, Between Duty and Passion. Daily Notes], vol. I (1904-1939), vol. II (1939-1940), vol. III (1941-1942), vol. IV (1943-1945), vol. V (1946-1948), vol. VI (1941-1951), edition supervised by Marcel Dumitru Ciucă and Narcis Dorin Ion, Bucharest, Curtea Veche Publishing House, Şansa SRL Publishing House and Press, Satya Sai Publishing House, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003.
3. Ion Narcis Dorin, Carol al II-lea al României. Un rege controversat [Carol II of Romania. A Controversial King], vol. 1-5, Oneşti, Magic Print Publishing House, 2020, 2021.
4. Manoilescu Mihail, Memorii [Memoirs], vol. I, edited, prefaced, annotated, and indexed by Valeriu Dinu, Bucharest, Enciclopedica Publishing House, 1993.
5. Pippidi Andrei, România regilor [Romania of the Kings], Bucharest, Litera International Publishing House, 1994.
6. Quinlan Paul D., The Playboy King: Carol II of Romania, Connecticut, Greenwood Press, Westport, 1995.
7. Sandache Cristian, Viața publică și intimă a lui Carol al II-lea [Public and Private Life of Charles II], Bucharest, Paideia Publishing House, 1998.
8. Scurtu Ioan, Istoria românilor în timpul celor patru regi (1866-1947) [History of the Romanians during the Time of the Four Kings (1866-1947)], second edition revised and added, vol. III, Carol II, Bucharest, Enciclopedica Publishing House, 2004.
9. Ţurlea Petre, Carol al II-lea şi camarila regală [Carol II and the Royal Camarilla], Bucharest, Semne Publishing House, 2010.