Custodian of Crown Margareta meets Pope Francis in Vatican City visit

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Margareta, Custodian of the Crown of Romania, met with Pope Francis during a recent visit to the Vatican City. The daughter of the last King of Romania, Michael I, was accompanied by her husband Prince Radu.

The couple were greeted by representatives of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household as they entered the Apostolic Palace.

Margareta and Radu were then received by Pope Francis in the private library.

The Custodian of the Crown handed the Argentine-born head of the Catholic Church a collection of 96 engravings in a tribute to her late father’s 96-year life.

King Michael died in 2017 just twenty years after his citizenship was restored which allowed him to visit the Balkan nation.

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Pope Francis also received a jubilee plate replica of a plate given by Emperor Napoleon III to King Charles I.

Margareta was given a porcelain engraving representing St Peter’s Basilica.

She was also handed a collection of seven volumes from his personal library containing reflections and teachings.

During the visit, Pope Francis later met with other members of the Romanian delegation, including politicians and diplomats.

Bucharest’s delegation then visited the Apostolic Palace and the Sistine Chapel.

The royal couple later toured the Vatican Gardens and St Peter’s Basilica.

Despite the royal visit to the Vatican City, approximately 80 percent of Romanians profess to be Orthodox Christians.

However, the now-defunct Romanian Royal Family has strong roots with Catholicism.

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Michael I’s wife, Queen Anne, was born as a Princess in the Catholic-practising House of Bourbon-Parma.

Margareta and Radu’s visit to the Holy See is the fourth visit made by members of the Romanian Royal Family.

King Michael visited the Vatican in 1999 and 2013.

Meanwhile, the Custodian of the Crown previously ventured to the Catholic capital in 2003.

However, Margareta was visited by the Pope in 2019 during a meeting at the Cathedral of Salvation of the Nation in Romania.

King Michael reigned over Romania during two periods, 1927 to 1930 and 1940 to 1947.

He was forced to abdicate as Bucharest became a socialist republic from 1947 until 1989.

According to an opinion poll conducted by Avangarde after Michael’s death, monarchism remains a divisive topic in Romania.

The 2018 survey found that 46 percent of Romanians did not support holding a restoration referendum, while 37 percent supported holding a vote.

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