BUCHAREST – A coffin containing the mortal remains of the former king of Romania were brought to the country’s capital Bucharest by plane on Wednesday, initiating commemorative acts for the former monarch who died recently at the age of 96 in Switzerland.
A military ceremony at the airport in honor of Michael I would be attended by his eldest daughter, Princess Margareta of Romania, other members of the royal family and representatives from the presidency, government, parliament, army and Romanian Orthodox Church.
From Peles Castle, his coffin would be taken to the throne room of the Royal Palace, where it would lie in state so that citizens could bid farewell to the last Romanian monarch.
On Saturday, a short religious and military ceremony is to take place outside the Palace, ahead of a funeral cortege to the Patriarchal Cathedral where a mass is scheduled to be held.
His body is then to be taken to the city of Curtea de Arges, northwest of Bucharest, and interred at the New Cathedral alongside his wife, Queen Anne, who died in Aug. 2016.
The church has announced that over the course of the official religious ceremonies, the bells at all the places of worship throughout the land are to ring.
The government has decreed Dec. 14-16 as national days of mourning.
Michael I, who was forced to abdicate in 1947 under the Communist regime, died on Dec. 5 at his residence in Switzerland, after suffering from skin cancer and leukemia.
Romania became a republic after the abdication of Micheal I, who had ruled between 1927-1930 and again between 1940-47.
He was able to return to Romania in 1997, eight years after the fall of the regime, and recover some of his heritage.