The Speech of Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess, The Romanian Athenaeum, 18 January 2015
His Majesty King Michael and his mother, Queen Helen, left Romania on the night of the 3rd of January 1948. Forty-two years elapsed from then until the blessed day of the 18th of January 1990, when I first stepped onto Romanian soil, accompanied by my sister, Princess Sophie. It was a journey home, a journey of personal and historical completion.
Today, we celebrate together a quarter of a century in which we have remained at the side of our fellow countrymen, and at the side of Romania’s most vulnerable in particular, continuing the covenant of our ancestors.
In 1990, deepest Romania did not recognise the Crown, like a child that has never met its parents. The last quarter of a century has given the Crown the rôle of educator and model in the most important areas of Romanian life, just as King Carol I taught us.
Today, the Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, enjoys trust and prestige.
Under the guidance of King Michael, the Royal Family has built a social, cultural and educational edifice, as well as a respected royal institution, in a time that has need of models, love, inspiration, and personal example.
All these years have replanted Romania’s roots; they have rewoven its unravelled identity and traditions. Today, the majority of Romanians feel affection and respect for the Crown.
A quarter of a century ago, as the royal motorcade travelled along the Bucharest-Pitești highway, we were stopped at gunpoint. Twenty years later, the King addressed a solemn session of Romania’s Parliament.
This evening, at the Romanian Athenaeum, the hundreds of prominent persons here in attendance represent the whole nation, symbolically and institutionally. This is the most beautiful gift to celebrate the last quarter of a Romanian century.
So help us God!