Medal Award Ceremony at the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest on 31 May 2010

Diana, my wife, who is a royal historian, has been awarded an important medal by HM King Michael I, the Sovereign of Romania. I accompanied her at the ceremony, which took place at the beautiful Elisabeta Palace in the vicinity of Herastrau lake in Bucharest. The edifice was built in 1937 for Princess Elisabeta, the eldest daughter of Queen Marie, Romania’s English Queen, by the architect Corneliu M. Marcu in an elegant, reduced to essence, Venetian style of modernist expression. Most of Bucharest’s and Romania’s historic houses were built during the reign of the Romanian kings in the last century and an a half, including the reign of His Majesty King Michael when many Neo-Romanian, Art Deco and Modernist edifices were built throughout the country. For me, as a historic architecture expert, sharing the illustrious company of the King and His Family was therefore more than thrilling. Here are some images which I photographed there and Diana’s impressions about this important event for us both:

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Today I had the great honour to receive ‘The King Michael I Medal for Loyalty’ – ‘Medalia Regele Mihai I pentru Loialitate’ from His Majesty at a special award ceremony that took place at the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest. Five awardees were honoured with this particular decoration: Diana Mandache, Dan Stuparu, Denise Theodoru, Adrian Silvan Ionescu and Gabriel Badea Paun. Needless to say that it has been a very special day for me, which I shall never forget. Together with my husband, the architectural historian Valentin Mandache, we arrived in time for the event, which started at 3 pm. I was trembling with emotion waiting in line for my turn to receive the medal from His Majesty. I had to make sure that my shoe heals are kept under control while I was doing the reverences. Happily all ended up well. The ceremony itself was simple and sober. Valentin took some memorable photo-shots presented in the above slideshow. We greatly enjoyed being once again at the Elisabeta Palace and seeing HM King Michael of Romania, TRH Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu. I was awarded the medal in recognition of my activity as a historian over the last two decades since I started research work on the Romanian royal history at the Cotroceni Palace Museum, within the grounds of the former residence of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Romania. In the meanwhile I wrote and published, in the English speaking world, a few books and many articles on the subject and undertook specialist research in various archives and institutions in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Romania. The ceremony today was the true recognition of my activity and efforts within the royal history field and I am deeply grateful to His Majesty for this award. Diana Mandache

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