Carol II: The Playboy King

more than a year ago

By Paul D. Quinlan. Reviewed by Chris Lawson

He fathered four children two of them with a schoolgirl, deserted his regiment, had dinner with Hitler, was awarded the Order of the Garter, left Romania in a train under a hail of bullets with 100 suitcases including priceless Old Masters, was married in a hotel room in Rio and died in Estoril aged 59. His dubious political record, and the company he kept, denied him his dearest wish, to spend the war years in the USA.

Maria Martini, a high school student, who may well have been a minor, gave him a son and a daughter, who were immediately adopted. But four other women played a decisive role in the life of King Carol II of Romania. Zizi Lambrino, his first wife and a commoner, also provided him with a son, Carol, in a morganatic marriage contracted in Ukraine. His legitimate wife, Elena of Greece, was the mother of ex-King Mihai, whose behaviour throughout his long life has been impeccably correct.

Carol’s mother, Queen Marie, Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, burnished her reputation as a mix of Florence Nightingale and Princess Diana with the maimed and the wounded on the battlefield of the First World War by bringing back Transylvania from the Versailles Peace Conference. Promiscuous in the extreme, there were even doubts about the parenthood of one of her children. Relations between her and Carol were strained and those with his siblings were not much better. He spent much of his royal dictatorship (1930-1940) in family squabbles and rotating prime ministers.


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Over a year ago
What is the reason for calling one of Romanian real heroes " syphilitic “Red Dog” Antonescu " ? An answer should be provided. I am waiting.
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