Criticism of lavish funeral for Anne of Romania

Princess Margaret, right, daughter of Romania's last monarch King Michael, stands as her husband Prince Radu of Romania adjusts her scarf, before a religious service as the body of Anne of Romania arrives in Otopeni, Romania, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. The body of Anne of Romania, the wife of the country's ex-king, arrived in Bucharest Tuesday for the biggest royal funeral in almost 80 years. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
Princess Margaret, right, daughter of Romania's last monarch King Michael, stands as her husband Prince Radu of Romania, center, adjusts her scarf, before a religious service as the body of Anne of Romania arrives in Otopeni, Romania, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. The body of Anne of Romania, the wife of the country's ex-king, arrived in Bucharest Tuesday for the biggest royal funeral in almost 80 years. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
An honor guard carries the flag-draped coffin of Anne of Romania, wife of Romania's last monarch King Michael, before a religious service, in Otopeni, Romania, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. The body of Anne of Romania, the wife of the country's ex-king, arrived in Bucharest Tuesday for the biggest royal funeral in almost 80 years. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
An honor guard soldiers carry the flag-draped coffin of Anne of Romania, wife of Romania's last monarch King Michael, before a religious service, in Otopeni, Romania, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. The body of Anne of Romania, the wife of the country's ex-king, arrived in Bucharest Tuesday for the biggest royal funeral in almost 80 years. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

BUCHAREST, Romania — The presidents of Romania and Moldova on Wednesday paid their last respects to Anne of Romania at a 19th-century royal castle amid some criticism about the grand royal funeral.

President Klaus Iohannis presented his condolences Wednesday at the Peles Castle in the mountain resort of Sinaia, where the wife of deposed king Michael is lying in state. Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti later paid his respects, shaking hands with the couple's oldest daughter, Princess Margareta.

Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, accompanied by six Cabinet ministers and two deputy prime ministers, laid flowers at the castle later Wednesday. The heads of the Orthodox and Catholic churches are also expected at the castle, with its fairytale turrets, which was built by Romania's first king, Carol I.

Romania and Moldova have declared a day of mourning for Anne, who died Aug. 1 in Switzerland, aged 92.

Some, however, have criticized the lavish scale of the official mourning period and funeral, scheduled for Saturday at the Curtea de Arges royal cemetery in central Romania.

"This family has no connection to us," said Ramona Pit, a builder. "I heard from my grandmother that when there was a monarchy, people didn't have enough to eat, while they languished in their palaces." Her husband, Mihai Pit, also a builder, disagreed, saying: "It's a question of respect, they looked after our nation."

Commentator Stelian Tanase told The Associated Press politicians were guilty of "hypocrisy, demagoguery and duplicitous language," in their gushing praise of Anne after her death. He said they expressed grief "to win political capital."

It stands in contrast with hostility shown to Michael in the decades after his forced abdication and after communism ended in 1989.

Under communism, "authorities indoctrinated and methodically destroyed King Michael with so many lies," painter Stefan Ciltea, a friend of the royal family, told the AP.

Michael was expelled from Romania when he tried to return to visit family graves at Christmas 1990. He and Anne were refused entry at the airport in 1994, and his citizenship was only restored in 1997 after a pro-Western government came to power.

___

This story has been corrected to give the name of the painter as Stefan Ciltea, not Sorin.

You may also interested in

'American Crime Story' writers focusing on Hurricane Katrina

Aug 10, 2016

An executive producer behind 'American Crime Story,' the anthology series for FX, says they're taking 'great care' with casting of the season which will focus on Hurricane Katrina

Florida officials go into damage-control mode over Zika

Aug 6, 2016

Worried about Florida's all-important tourism industry, state officials are going into damage-control mode over Zika

4 months after Japan earthquake, final victim may be found

Aug 10, 2016

Nearly four months later, the final victim of two deadly earthquakes in southern Japan may have been found

People also read these

If Trump can't get along with GOP, how will he govern?

Aug 9, 2016

Beyond the political fallout from Donald Trump's rocky relationship with party elders lies a fundamental reality: Should he win the presidency, the brash billionaire will have to work closely with the same GOP leaders he vilified on the campaign trail

RNC hires strategists to help woo African-American voters

Aug 9, 2016

The Republican National Committee has hired three new strategists to help increase its outreach to black voters, including Ashley D. Bell as its new senior strategist and national director of African-American engagement

Zambia voting for president amid unprecedented violence

Aug 10, 2016

Zambia, former 'model for Africa,' votes for president amid striking political violence

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH