From my local history museum. King Carol II (left) and then Crown prince Michael I (right), somewhere around 1937, romania.
Fun facts :
Carol II, the most incompetent of the romanian royal line, is given in 26 june 1940 a soviet ultimatum demanding Bessarabia and northern Bukovina, and is threatened with war in case of a rejection. Being the incompetent he is, Carol II took the winter war of the previous year as an example, where finnish soldiers, which were met with a similar ultimatum, valiantly fought and defeated the soviet invaders.
Barely an example worth following in the romanian case, he was told by officials that the romanian army isn’t even remotely a match for the red army, and as such was forced to accept. This quick hand-over of land marked a heavy blow for Carol’s already heavily unpopular image. In september the same year he was eventually kicked out of country so it’s ok.
Michael I (Mihai), through his controversial coup d’etat in 23 august 1944 (smartly, around the soviet Jassy-Jedisan-Kishinev offensive), shortened the war – some sources say 2-3 years, some say weeks or so, but overall significantly, and prevented the complete destruction of romania at soviet hands.
With his recent death, there are a lot of people who don’t know his actions or merits, and that to some degree is saddening.