On Wednesday, 6 October, Judge Lionel Guignard of the District Court of La Côte, which hears cases from Morges and Nyon, acquitted Nicholas de Roumanie Medforth-Mills (also known as “Principele Nicolae al Romaniei” and “Prince Nicholas of Romania”) of charges levelled at the erstwhile Romanian heir in 2017 by his aunt Crown Princess Margarita of Romania (now titled “Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Crown” and “Margareta, Majestatea Sa Custodele Coroanei Române”). Margarita became a Swiss citizen in June 2017; she has dual Romanian-Swiss citizenship. On 7 November 2017, Margarita called Vaud police when her nephew attempted to visit his grandfather, the ailing King Michael of Romania, at the home where the king was living in Aubonne, Switzerland. Acting on behalf of her incapacitated father, the crown princess pressed charges against her nephew and alleged that Nicholas committed home invasion and assault when he tried to see the king for a final time. The court dismissed these claims. In November 2017, following his aunt’s rejecting his final plea to see his dying grandfather, Nicholas confessed: “My only desire was to see my grandfather one last time, and to say goodbye to him in the most respectful, calm and Christian way possible.“
At the ruling, Nicholas de Roumanie Medforth-Mills was present in chambers with his lawyers, Malek Adjadj and Kristina Croce. Nicholas became emotional and hugged his defenders when the judge ruled in his favour. Margarita of Romania was absent “due to illness” at the proceedings and represented by her attorney, Marc-Antoine Aubert. That Margarita, the Head of the Romanian Royal Family, could not attend the court hearing because of illness is curious, because she had held several events at Elisabeta Palace in the days and weeks prior to the ruling.
|Prince Radu of Romania, then Crown Princess Margareta of Romania, and Prince Nicholas of Romania.
Photo (c) Agerpress.
The Swiss court was apprised of the fact that before Nicholas’s attempt to visit his grandfather on 7 November 2017, which was Nicholas’s seventh and final try, the prince had previously tried to see the king on six different occasions over the previous two years, beginning in 2015. On each of these occasions, Nicholas was denied access to his grandfather. Aware that his grandfather Michael, who had acted as a substitute father since Nicholas’s youth, was on his deathbed, Nicholas tried to enter the Swiss residence of the royal family when two nurses arrived. It was at this point that Margarita, Nicolas’s aunt and the acting Head of the Romanian Royal Family since King Michael’s retirement from public life in March 2016, summoned police to the property. The crown princess alleged that her nephew assaulted the nurses (a claim which has been found to be false) and that he committed home invasion (a claim which has also been dismissed).
|King Michael and Prince Nicholas of Romania in 2010 when His Majesty granted title Prince of Romania to his grandson. Also shown are Queen Anne, Crown Princess Margarita, and Prince Radu.
Prince Nicholas of Romania and King Michael of Romania at Elisabeta Palace, 2010.
Photo (c) Bogdan Cristel / Reuters / Alamy.
|Prince Radu watches while Crown Princess Margareta embraces her nephew Prince Nicholas.
Photo (c) Bogdan Cristel / Reuters / Alamy.
Judge Lionel Guignard received testimony from several relatives of the late king, who are not named in Swiss news reports, that King Michael had asked his caretakers/family on numerous occasions during this time-frame to see his grandson. Each time, the king’s requests to see his grandson, whom Michael named the eventual heir of the Romanian royal family in 2010, were reportedly rebuffed with objections by Michael’s eldest daughter Margarita. The court learned that King Michael had been suffering from cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. The issue of the king’s impairment and the possibility of its influence on the August 2015 decision to remove his grandson from the succession was discussed in court; however, the judge did not make a ruling regarding this issue.
In his ruling, Judge Guignard concluded that “there is nothing in the dossier to confirm that the king did not want to see his grandson.” Afterwards, Nicholas of Romania stated: “My right to see my grandfather on his deathbed has been legitimized.” Reportedly, the attorney for Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown, rejected the idea of any familial reconciliation as far as his client was concerned.