Romania's former King Michael dies at 96

By Sara Shayanian  |  Dec. 5, 2017 at 8:44 AM
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Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Romania's former King Michael I, who ruled the country during World War II, died in Switzerland Tuesday. He was 96.

The former monarch was diagnosed with leukemia last year, and also fought another form of cancer that required him to withdraw from public life.

The king underwent surgery last month in Lausanne, but his condition worsened.

Romania's royal house announced King Michael's death Tuesday.

King Michael will be buried in the New Royal and Episcopal Cathedral of Curtea de Arges after the monarch lies in state in the Hall of Honour of Pelesh Castle and the Throne Room of the Royal Palace in Bucharest.

A book of condolences will be opened at Pelesh Castle for the public for the next 40 days.

King Michael, a great-great-grandson to Queen Victoria of Britain and a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, took the throne in 1927 when he was just six years old. He reigned until communists forced him to abdicate in 1947.

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