Elisabeta Palace is almost 85 years old since it was built, on Kiseleff Street in Bucharest, and currently serves as the residence of Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown, and the entire Royal Family.
The palace was built between 1935 and 1937 for Queen Elizabeth of Greece, born Princess of Romania, the first daughter of King Ferdinand I of Romania and Queen Maria of Romania, sister of King Carol II of Romania. It was not intended to host official activities, but to serve as the home of the Princess returned to the country. The palace was not lived in much by the former Queen of Greece, as she retired to her country residence, Banloc Castle.
Built by a 25-year-old architect
The residence was entrusted to an architect who was only 25 years old, Corneliu M. Marcu. Work began in 1936 and was completed in 1937. Nowadays, a brass plaque is placed on the outer wall of the entrance tower, to the left of the large wrought iron gates, and the plaque indicates the years of construction, such as and the architect’s year of birth and death: 1911-1991. The architect Marcu’s daughter gave the Royal Family, in 2002, the blueprints and photos of the construction, which her father kept in his office until the end of his life.
After the bombing of the Royal Palace on Calea Victoriei, the day after the events of August 23, 1944, King Mihai I asked his aunt’s permission to move his court, temporarily, to Elisabeta Palace.
On December 30, 1947, at 3 p.m., King Mihai was forced to sign his abdication, in a salon on the first floor of the Elisabeta Palace. After the visit of Petru Groza and Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, the king and his mother decided to stay at the palace that evening and asked the civil staff to go home, thinking that the employees’ lives might be in danger. Then they had dinner and, the next morning, on the last day of 1947, they took the road to Sinaia, with King Michael at the wheel. None of them knew then whether or not they would ever see Elizabeth’s Palace again. King Mihai and the Queen Mother, in the Royal Train, left the country at Jimbolia, on the night of January 3 to 4, 1948, after His Majesty had forcibly signed an abdication that he never recognized. Of this moment, the king would later say: “I left with death in my soul.”