2017-12-05 12:49:02 UTC
King Michael I was diagnosed with cancer last year
Romania's former King Michael I has died in Switzerland at the age of
96, officials say.
He was diagnosed with cancer last year. King Michael ruled Romania
twice: first in the 1920s, when he was just five years old, and then
again in the 1940s. He was one of the last people alive to have served
as a head of state during World War Two.
After the conflict, he was forced to abdicate by the country's
communists, who ruled until the revolution of 1989.
In a BBC interview in 2011, the former monarch described how the
authorities had blackmailed him: "If you don't sign this thing now,
we're going to have to shoot or kill 1,000 people that are already in
He went into exile until the 1990s when he returned to Romania after
the fall of the country's communist leader, Nicolae Ceaucescu.