Custodian of the Crown Margarita and Prince Radu arrive at the Concert at the Atheneum on Saturday.
(c) SIMION MECHNO / AGERPRES FOTO

Over the weekend, Custodian of the Crown Margarita and Princess Sophie of Romania celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of their first (and joint) trip to their country back in January 1990. Several items were on the agenda: a book launch, the viewing of a documentary on the occasion, and a concert at the Bucharest Atheneum, which was broadcast live on Romanian television. Romanians and guests from around the world came to the Romanian capital to support the royal family.

(left to right) The Custodian of the Crown Margarita, Prince Radu, Princess Helen, Alexander Nixon, and Princess Sophie.
(c) SILVIU MATEI / AGERPRES FOTO 
Margarita of Romania and her husband.
(c) SILVIU MATEI / AGERPRES FOTO
The Custodian of the Crown greets guests along with her sister Princess Sophie.
Andrew Popper, Head of the Royal Household, is behind Sophie.
(c) SILVIU MATEI / AGERPRES FOTO 

The sole event on Friday was the presentation of two books, Margareta. Trei decenii ale Coroanei and Lumea Majestății Sale, about Custodian of the Crown Margarita at Cărturești Carusel. Margarita was accompanied by her husband Radu, Princess Helen (mother of Prince Nicholas and mother-in-law of Princess Alina-Maria), Helen’s husband Alexander Nixon, and Princess Sophie. Crown Prince Leka of Albania was also on hand.

Cellists perform at the National Theatre to mark thirty years since the royal family’s return to Romania.
(c) SORIN LUPSA / AGERPRES FOTO 
The Custodian of the Crown with participants at the event at the National Theatre.
(c) SORIN LUPSA / AGERPRES FOTO 
Margarita, Custodian of the Crown.
(c) SORIN LUPSA / AGERPRES FOTO 

On Saturday afternoon, the viewing of the documentary was held at the National Theatre. Volunteers and members of the Margarita of Romania Foundation also performed a number of pieces of classical music. Accompanied only by her husband Prince Radu, Custodian of the Crown Margarita delivered a speech. Here is some of what she said:

“I remember very well the moment when I first came to Romania, thirty years ago…when for the first time in my life I felt like a complete person and not like a person without a shadow, as I felt before. But when I set my foot here for the first time, I felt complete. It is very touching and I am proud, and I want to thank everyone who helped us because it is quite clear I could not have done all this alone.”

(left to right) Former President Emil Constantinescu, Princess Sophie, Mihaela Orban, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, Custodian of the Crown Margarita, Prince Radu, Princess Helen, Alexander Nixon, and Crown Prince Leka of Albania.
(c) SIMION MECHNO / AGERPRES FOTO
Princess Sophie delivers a speech at the Atheneum.
(c) SIMION MECHNO / AGERPRES FOTO 
Prime Minister Orban, Crown Princess Margarita, and Prince Radu.
The Royal Box.
(c) SIMION MECHNO / AGERPRES FOTO

On Saturday evening, a dinner reception was held at the Royal Palace, which is now a museum. The Royal Palace is used by the royal family on certain occasions, with permission from the government. The dinner was followed by a concert at the Atheneum in Bucharest, which has often hosted events for the Margarita of Romania Foundation. Over 700 guests were present for this event. Besides the Custodian of the Crown and her husband, the royal guests were: Princess Helen and her husband Alexander Nixon, Princess Sophie, and Crown Prince Leka of the Albanians. Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, who has acknowledged that he is a monarchist, attended with his wife Mihaela and they sat next to the Custodian of the Crown in the royal box. At one point, Princess Sophie gave a speech where she paid tribute to Margarita: “I love you, sister. To the core of my being. I have tried to be a good sister, and we both have striven to be good Romanians.” The Custodian of the Crown was very moved by Sophie’s words. As the royal family is close to the diplomatic corps in Bucharest, many diplomats were present, including U.S. ambassador Adrian Zuckerman. Former Romanian president Emil Constantinescu and Sir George Iacobescu, the only Romanian to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, were among the guests. Soprano Nelly Miricioiu, who has performed at Covent Garden in London, took to the stage of the Atheneum and awed the guests with her musical gifts.

The Atheneum of Bucharest.
(c) SIMION MECHNO / AGERPRES FOTO 

Custodian of the Crown Margarita (b.1949) and her four sisters are great-granddaughters of Queen Marie of Romania (1875 – 1938) and her husband King Ferdinand I of Romania (1865 – 1927). Queen Marie of Romania was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (1819 – 1901) and her husband The Prince Consort (1819 – 1861; né Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha). Marie of Romania was the eldest daughter of Victoria and Albert’s second son Prince Alfred (1844 – 1900), Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and his wife Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia (1853 – 1920).

Margarita and her sisters are the daughters of King Michael of Romania (1921 – 2017) and his wife Queen Anne (1923 – 2016; née Bourbon-Parma). Michael was the son of King Carol II of Romania (1893 – 1953) and Queen Mother Helen (1896 – 1982; née Greece and Denmark). Michael and Anne had five daughters: Margarita (b.1949), Helen (b.1950), Irina (b.1953), Sophie (b.1957), and Marie (b.1964). King Michael attempted to visit Romania in 1990, but was forced to leave shortly after arrival. The king and Queen Anne were able to make their first real visit to Romania in 1992; during this trip they were accompanied by Princess Helen and her son Prince Nicholas. 

Sources:
https://www.agerpres.ro/english/2020/01/18/crown-custodian-margareta-before-coming-to-romania-30yrs-ago-i-felt-like-a-person-without-a-shadow–434375
http://stiri.tvr.ro/30-de-ani-de-la-revenirea-in—ara-a-familiei-regale–concert-de-gala-la-ateneul-roman-live-pe-tvr-3–de-la-ora-19-00_855215.html#view
https://www.stiripesurse.ro/video-grupul-psaltic-tronos-a-cantat-la-receptia-de-la-palatul-regal-oferita-de-familia-regala-a-romaniei-la-implinirea-a-30-de-ani-de-cand-a-revenit-in-tara_1422718.html

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