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Carol II

Carol II, 1893–1953, king of Romania, son of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie. While crown prince, he contracted a morganatic marriage with Zizi Labrino but divorced her to marry (1921) Princess Helen of Greece. He soon formed a liaison with Magda Lupescu, with whom he lived in Paris after being forced (1925) to renounce his right of succession. On the death (1927) of King Ferdinand, Carol's son Michael became king, but Carol, having divorced Queen Helen in 1928, returned to Romania in 1930, supplanted his son, and had himself proclaimed king de jure since 1927. A turbulent period began (see Romania). In 1938, Carol formed a royal dictatorship. A contest between the king and the fascist Iron Guard ensued, with assassinations and massacres on both sides. Forced to call on Ion Antonescu to form a government (1940), Carol was deposed and fled abroad with Lupescu, whom he finally married in Brazil in 1947. Michael once more became king. Carol died in Portugal, but his remains were returned to Romania in 2003.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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