Romania's former king Michael dies aged 96

Romania's former king Michael, who ruled the country during the Second World War, has died in Switzerland aged 96, the royal house said.

Michael, one of the few surviving leaders from that period, died on Tuesday lunchtime at his residence in Aubonne, Romania's royal house said in a statement.

His family announced last year that Michael had leukaemia and another type of cancer and was withdrawing from public life, handing over his responsibilities to his oldest daughter Margareta.

Michael, a great-great-grandson to Britain's Queen Victoria, first acceded to the throne in 1927 when he was six, ruling for three years after his father Carol II eloped with his mistress and renounced his rights to the throne.

He became king again in 1940 after Carol abdicated again.

Michael reigned until communists forced him to abdicate in 1947.

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