Crown Custodian Margareta: We are for national reconciliation, this is what my father fought for

The Royal Family wishes a "national reconciliation", this being the objective King Mihai fought for, the Romanian Crown Custodian Margareta told AGERPRES in an interview. Prince Radu, in the same interview asserts that when the country is more divided, the Crown comes forth as "the single one that maintains a certain balance". "King Mihai has earned in the last years some kind of adoration from the people. He relied a lot on contrast. When everybody yelled, he kept silent. When everybody was biased, he was kind with everybody and understood them all. This couldn't but touch the Romanians' souls, because the Romanians do see. We believe they are blind, but they see perfectly, much more than we think they do. And this contrast has been very much in favour of the Crown in the last years," Prince Radu says. Moreover, the Royal Family speaks in the above-mentioned interview about the way it promotes Romania's and the Republic of Moldova's interests throughout the world. Romanian Crown Custodian Margareta and Prince Radu are visiting France this week, their agenda including meetings with representatives of the French Presidency, of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and of the Red Cross. In the beginning of their visit, the two officials attended the opening of an exhibition dedicated to Queen Maria, in Reims. AGERPRES: Your Majesty, the visit to Paris somewhat mirrors the visit Queen Maria paid 100 years ago. What have you learned? Crown Custodian: In a way, yes, and yet we are not in the same position, things are not what they were after the Great War. Anyway, we followed in her footsteps, because it is more interesting, I believe, not to do something theoretical, but something of practical value. After 100 years, we are pursuing what she did in the same places and we can be useful today. Prince Radu: We are pursuing the same goals, in a different reality. AGERPRES: Exactly because you are pursuing the same goals in a different reality, in Reims, Your Majesty spoke about Queen Maria as of an example of what is now called a "soft power". How hard or how different do you believe it would have been for Queen Maria in today's world? Crown Custodian: It is difficult to superpose a person into another epoch. She is different. I acted the way I could. (...) Nevertheless, Princess Diana too was strong, as Queen Maria was and acted the same way we do. We can act with our heart, with our love for the country and act in our century, with the strength we have, with the love we have, with the ideas [we have, ed. n.]. I think it would have been similar, hopefully. Prince Radu: I believe that the loyalty each generation of our family has proven and the love for their country, is similar. She went through terrible moments during her reign and the years she was a heiress princes. No person in this world can remain faithful to a cause without love. Crown Custodian: And passion too. Prince Radu: It is the only fuel that can keep someone up, even in impossible moments. And this is something you may apply to King Mihai, to King Ferdinand, to Queen Elisabeta - Carmen Sylva, another queen who lost her child to the progressive ideas of her country. Carol I, what can I say anymore? Perhaps this loyalty is a given of all generations and hopefully this is how it will be from now on too. AGERPRES: What have you learned about the Romania-France relationship from the meetings you've had so far with French high officials? Crown Custodian: That it is something very strong, the relationship is solid and uninterrupted and this makes me very happy, because it is like a sister country. And it lasted. I felt that during the change in 1989. Support came from France with political aid too. Now it is the same thing and I believe we need each other. AGERPRES: What have you learned about Queen Maria from this visit during which you have followed in her footsteps? Crown Custodian: Perhaps we have learned something from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prince Radu: Details we had no idea about, but we did not learn any new things, because we have built this visit by knowing her steps here. In fact, we believed that this visit should take place after 100 years, retracing her steps, in exactly the same institutions the Queen visited, not only for the visit's historical sense, but for Romania's present and future, as well. There are not many countries in the European Union to have had in France at the beginning of the century such a fantastic presence that has left traces. And it is talked about 100 years on. Her Majesty said about the depth of the relationship between Romania and France. It is an important thing for France, too, not only for us. France is a leader of the European Union, it is a founding member, many people see it as the driving force of the Union and few countries in Europe are so faithful to the cause of the Union and to France as Romania is - also a Latin country, a Christian country, with a thirst of freedom and democracy, on the other side of the continent, where it is important to have a military, politically and economically loyal country the size of Romania. It is no small thing. France is going through very difficult moments, as we are also experiencing complicated moments. Crown Custodian: Romania is an important ally. What's more, we can be very useful for all kinds of things we can accomplish. Prince Radu: In the European Union. Crown Custodian: We have resources, connection points, farther, to the Middle East, to Africa. AGERPRES: You can be Romania's ambassadors... Prince Radu: Of the European Union, in fact. Because, Her Majesty was talking with the officials of the Senate and of the Presidency of the Republic that the European Union due to the internal concerns and all of the current big issues, was not present in the European vicinity as much as it should have been - in Northern Africa, in the Middle East, in Southern Caucasus. There, Romania is like home, because all of these countries Jordan, Israel, all are countries where we go - and we talk from own experiences, not from the ideal to go - we are at home there. Everything is familiar to us. Crown Custodian: You see, one starts with the food, these are the basics, we do have these connections. Prince Radu: And the language, because there are their students who came and studied in Romania, from Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Syria, and we hope Lebanon one day, all those countries are almost related to us through tradition, and if Romania were to go through us or through anybody else on behalf of the Union and talk on behalf of a whole continent to strengthen ties, that would be much more than on behalf of Romania only. AGERPRES: Your Majesty has talked in Her speech in Reims about the way the Romanian Royal House is perceived in Romania, as well as in the Republic of Moldova. Crown Custodian: I saw in the Republic of Moldova - we go there quite often, whenever we can and when there are things to be done - and we felt love for the Crown, because it is the only Crown. One language, one religion and one Crown - these are symbols that go much further, much deeper than divisions. Prince Radu: And the political or state duality. Crown Custodian: And I felt that Queen Maria and King Ferdinand are like parents to this country. We can also continue this tradition and give some kind of hope of completion. I felt a very good, close relationship. Prince Radu: And I believe we should say that it is not only about a kind of feeling, but also about pragmatic things. Several Moldovan governments asked the king, then Her Majesty to represent abroad the desideratum of Moldova to join the European Union. And we, our very generation have completed so far two or three official visits in Europe, alongside for instance the President of the Moldovan Parliament in Belgium, in the United Kingdom, doing exactly as we did for Romania in the NATO years. Crown Custodian: But in a softer manner, because it is another country, we don't have the nationality, the passport ... But we can do more. Prince Radu: For their integration, for the education in the country, for health care, for the foreign policy. There are a lot of things the Crown is inherently doing in the countries where it operates constitutionally, we do not invent anything new. AGERPRES: In Romania, in a society that at first sight looks divided, do you feel that there is still room for admiration for the Romanian Crown? Crown Custodian: Just like that, we do not fall in-between these divisions and for this we do not make various statements and we are there for national reconciliation, in fact this is what my father fought for, the national reconciliation. And we will continue the pledge with him and with the country and we will be there for the tough moments, and for the moments of joy. Prince Radu: (Moments) of doubt. Crown Custodian: All kinds of moments. And we are there. For 30 years I have been there and I will continue to be. I am not giving up. Prince Radu: In fact, curiously, exactly when the country is more divided and radicalized in groups, the Crown stands out the most, it is practically the only one that maintains a certain balance. You know that King Mihai has earned in the last years some kind of adoration from the people. He relied a lot on contrast. When everybody yelled, he was silent. When everybody was biased, he was good to all and understood them all. This couldn't but touch the Romanians' souls, because the Romanians do see. We believe they are blind, but they see perfectly, much more than we think they do. And this contrast has been very much in favour of the Crown in the last years. Crown Custodian: This is why we go into the country often, in small communes, in villages, in schools, in hospitals, with normal people. And the message is the same: we are together. AGERPRES(RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: Catalin Alexandru; EN - author: Maria Voican, editor: Simona Iacob)

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