The Kingdom of Romania began its life in 1881 when Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was proclaimed King Carol I of Romania. He had been Domnitor (ruler) of Romania since 1866. In 1869, he married Princess Elisabeth of Wied, who was thus the first Queen of Romania. Their marriage was unhappy and their only child, a daughter named Marie, died at the age of three. In any case, Marie would not have been able to succeed her father.
This left Carol’s elder brother Leopold next in line for the throne. In 1880, he renounced his rights in favour of his son William, who in turn renounced his rights in favour of his younger brother Ferdinand.
Upon Carol’s death in 1914, he was succeeded by his nephew, now King Ferdinand I of Romania. On 10 January 1893, Ferdinand married Princess Marie of Edinburgh, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. The marriage produced six children, though it is believed that the two youngest children were not fathered by Ferdinand. Upon his death in 1927, he was succeeded by his grandson Michael because his eldest son Carol had renounced his successions right in 1925. Carol had married Zizi Lambrino in 1918, but their marriage was annulled in 1919, though they continued to live together. Their illegitimate son was born in 1920. In 1921, Carol made a more suitable marriage to Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark, and they had one son together, the future King Michael. They were divorced in 1928.
The new King Michael I was just five years old, and the power was held by a regency council. The regency was unsuccessful and the young King was replaced in 1930 by his father, who now became King Carol II. Carol was deposed in 1940 and Michael returned to the throne. It was not to last, however, and the monarchy was abolished in 1947. The newly deposed monarch married Anne of Bourbon-Parma in 1948, but as this happened after the abolition of the monarchy, Marie of Edinburgh is considered to be the last Queen of Romania.
Michael and Anne had five daughters together, who according to the defunct last democratic royal Constitution of 1923 could not inherit the crown. On 30 December 2007, Michael designated his eldest daughter as heiress presumptive and requested that should the Romanian Parliament consider restoring the monarchy, the Salic law of succession not be reinstated, allowing for female succession. Michael died in 2017. Thus, the claim to the Romanian throne is disputed between Michael’s eldest daughter Margareta and Karl Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern, a male-line descendant of the first King of Romania’s brother, though the latter has stated that he has no interest in the Romanian throne.