King Michael I, who died in Switzerland on Tuesday aged 96, will be buried at Curtea de Arges on December 16. The Government is also expected to pass a resolution in its Wednesday sitting to declare three days of national mourning in the memory of the former monarch, on December 14-16.
The Royal House of Romania on Wednesday released the official program of His Majesty’s funeral.
Therefore, the aircraft with the King’s body will arrive in Romania next Wednesday, December 13, at 11:00hrs at Otopeni Airport, whence it will be conveyed by hearse to Peleș Castle. “The event will take place in the presence of the new Head of the Royal House of Romania, Margareta, Custodian of the Crown, and the members of the Romanian Royal Family, representatives of the Romanian Government and of the Orthodox Church and members of the Royal Household. The press will have access to the ceremony. Members of the public will not have access,” reads the royal house press release.
From 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, the King’s coffin will lie in state in the Hall of Honour at Pelesh Castle. During this interval, the Custodian of the Crown and the Royal Family will be in Sinaia.
The Presidential Institutions of Romania and the Republic of Moldova, members of the Government of Romania and the Government of the Republic of Moldova, members of the Parliament of Romania and the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova will be able to convey their condolences from 2p.m. to 3p.m.
Representatives of institutions of the Romanian State (National Bank, city and town halls, schools and universities, central and local institutions) are scheduled from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m, representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, the European Union, N.A.T.O., and international organisations from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., while representatives of the Romanian Academy and the State Academy of the Republic of Moldova, the Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, and other religious institutions from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Access to Pelesh Castle will be on the basis of the lists communicated in advance to the Royal Protocol by the aforementioned institutions by e-mail at [email protected], the Royal Family informs.
Members of the public will not have access to the Hall of Honour while the coffin lies in state at Pelesh Castle. The press will have limited access to the Hall of Honour.
On Wednesday December 13, 2017, at 6.00 p.m., His Late Majesty’s coffin will be taken from Pelesh Castle and from 8.30 p.m. will lie in state in the Throne Hall of the Royal Palace (49-53 Calea Victoriei). The ceremony of the arrival of the coffin in the Throne Room will be private. The press and members of the public will not have access.
All those who wish to lay flowers and to say a prayer at the catafalque of His Late Majesty King Michael I will have access to the Throne Hall of the Royal Palace on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, between 9.00 p.m. and midnight, Thursday, December 14, 2017, between 8.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m. and Friday, December 15, 2017, between 08.00 a.m. and 10.00 p.m. Entry will be free for everybody. The press will also have access.
At 10.30 a.m. on Saturday, December 16, 2017, a short religious service will be held in the Throne Hall of the Royal Palace.
At 10.55 a.m. His Late Majesty’s coffin will be laid on a catafalque in Royal Palace Square, in front of the Palace. A military and religious ceremony will be held. The public will have free access to Royal Palace Square, within specially marked out areas. The press will also have free access.
At 11.15 a.m., the coffin will be placed inside the hearse.
Between 11.25 a.m. and 12.15 p.m., the funeral cortege will travel at low speed along the following route: Royal Palace Square – Calea Victoriei – Unirii Square –Patriarchal Cathedral.
Between 12.30 p.m. and 2.00 p.m., a funeral mass will take place in the Patriarchal Cathedral of Romania. The press and members of the public will not have access.
From 2.00 p.m. to 6.20 p.m. the funeral cortege will travel taking the following route: Unirii Square – University Square – Romana Square – Charles de Gaulle Square – The Triumphant Arch – Mogoșoaia – Buftea – Titu – Găești – Topoloveni – Pitești – Curtea de Argeș. The cortege will not make any stops during this journey, but will slow down when passing through towns and villages.
At 6.45 p.m. on Saturday, December 16, 2017, His Late Majesty’s burial service will be officiated in the New Royal and Episcopal Cathedral in Curtea de Argeș. The ceremony will be attended only by the Custodian of the Crown, the Royal Family of Romania and members of foreign royal families. The public will not be allowed past the front gates of the Park of the Curtea de Argeș Monastery.
The press will not be allowed inside the New Cathedral, either before or during the burial ceremony. The New Cathedral will be closed to visitors during the seven days following the funeral.
The Royal Family announces heavy mourning for 40 days and mourning for the first three months after the day of His Late Majesty’s passing.
The Government officials met the representatives of the Royal House at Victoria Palace on Wednesday to agree on the timetable of the national funeral and the technical details. Representatives of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs, of the Interior, Defence and Finances ministries attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Royal Family members are convening in Switzerland to attend religious ceremonies and the wake. The head of the Royal House, Crown Princess Margareta has arrived in Aubonne, at His Majesty’s private residence where other members of the royal family are expected to commemorate King Michael.
The third daughter of the former sovereign, Irina Walker, the princess stripped of her royal title over legal problems, is expected to come from the USA to attend the ceremonies in Romania. Irina has been cleared of all criminal charges. She wasn’t able to attend her mother, Queen Anne’s funeral in 2016.
The king’s grandson, Nicolae, also stripped of his royal title and removed from the line of succession, will be allowed to attend the funeral. As a matter of fact, in a message on Tuesday he said he intends to attend.
Memorial services for King Mihai I were officiated in Romanian Orthodox churches in the kingdoms of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Northern Europe informs in a press statement.
Solemn sitting of the Parliament on Monday
The Parliament will convene in a solemn plenary sitting on Monday, to pay homage to late King Michael. The sitting is to start at 3 p.m., Senate speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu announced on Wednesday.