Prince Radu of Romania (born Radu Duda 7 June 1960) is the son-in-law of former King Michael I of Romania. He was born in Iaşi, Romania. In 1996, he married Princess Margareta of Romania, the King’s eldest daughter. On 1 January 1999, he was given the name, not title of “Prince of Hohenzollern-Veringen” by Friedrich Wilhelm, Prince of Hohenzollern, the Head of the Sigmaringen branch of the Hohenzollern family. He has also called himself “Radu Hohenzollern Veringen Duda”. Since 2007, when he had his legal name changed from “Radu Duda” to “Radu al României Duda”, Radu no longer uses the name of Hohenzollern.
The Statute of the Romanian Royal Family, proclaimed by former King Michael I of Romania on 30 December 2007, gave Radu the title of “Prince of Romania”, with the style of “Royal Highness”, which King Michael had given him earlier on 5 January 2005.
The last Royal Romanian constitution made no provision for the succession of daughters. Titles were within the award of the King of Romania before 1947. Radu’s title has been awarded by the former King as Head of the Royal House of Romania. It is not based in present or past Romanian law.
Either in the company of his wife Princess Margareta or most often alone, Prince Radu represents the Royal Family on various occasions.
Radu graduated from the Costache Negruzzi High School in Iași in 1979, and from the University of Drama and Film in Bucharest in 1984, and had over twenty years of artistic activity in Romania as well as in other European countries, America, Asia, and Africa. He was the Artistic Director of the first project of art therapy for abandoned children in Romanian orphanages. The project, started in 1993, was developed in eight cities over six years. In 1994, while working as an art therapist in orphanages, he met Princess Margareta, when she was touring the programs of her Princess Margareta Foundation. On 21 September 1996 they were married in Lausanne, and on 1 January 1999 he was granted the title “Radu, Prince of Hohenzollern-Veringen”.
Prince Radu played a major role in the planning and organisation of the official tours undertaken by King Michael I of Romania in 1997 and 2002 for the integration of Romania into NATO, as well as creating the concept of the King’s “Millennium Tour” of Romania in 2000. In the NATO tours the King visited the United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, meeting heads of state and of government, and Radu accompanied the King on most of these visits.
In 2002, he graduated from the National College of Defence of Romania, and the George C. Marshall College, Garmisch, Germany. In August 2004 he participated in the two-week Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at John F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University.
In September 2002, he was appointed as Special Representative of the Romanian Government for Integration, Co-operation and Sustainable Development. He is also Advisor to HM King Michael I, Patron of the British-Romanian Chamber of Commerce, Member of the Board of Directors of “House of NATO” Association in Bucharest, and Honorary Member of the Senate of “Aurel Vlaicu” University of Arad and of the University of Oradea, Romania.
Since 2005, he is a Romanian Army Colonel and holds a doctorate in Military Science from the Carol I National Defence University of Bucharest.
Prince Radu is the author of several books:”Dincolo de mască” (Bucharest: Unitext, 1997), “L’Âme du masque” (Brussels, 1998), “Război, un exil, o viaţă” (Bucharest, 2000; translated into English as “Anne of Romania: A War, an Exile, a Life”, Bucharest: Romanian Cultural Foundation, 2002), “Michael of Romania: A Tribute” (San Francisco and Bucharest, 2001), “Kildine” (Bucharest, 2003; a translation into Romanian of the fairy-tales book of Queen Marie of Romania), “Seven” (Bucharest: Nemira, 2003), “The Royal Family of Romania” (Bucharest: Humanitas, 2004), “Persona” (Bucharest: Nemira, 2006), “The Elisabeta Palace” (Bucharest: Humanitas, 2006)
Prince Radu has lectured and made speeches in Romania, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Japan, India, Lithuania, Hungary, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Ireland, Canada, Poland, the United States, Italy, Jordan, Thailand, Slovenia, Croatia, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt and the United Kingdom. He also appears regularly on television and publishes articles in the written press in Romania.
Prince Radu’s lectures address topics related to Romania’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures, defense, and security, geopolitics and diplomacy, culture, economics, and education. He has equally spoken out about the issue of ethnic minorities, in particular about the Romani minority, an important issue for Romania and South Eastern Europe today, through conferences in Romania and around Europe, in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Finland, etc. His activity report “2005 Annual Report and 2002–2004 Retrospective” is available in English and Romanian on his official website.
Prince Radu currently serves on the Board of Advisors to the Global Panel Foundation, an NGO that works behind the scenes in crisis areas around the world.
In an interview for “Observator Plus”, Prince Radu talked frankly about himself. He says that during Communism he had lived in an amoral world which lacked models and in which it was difficult to have principles. He discovered the latter only when he met King Michael, when he realized that “life can be marked, here and there, by principles.
On 1 January 1999, Friedrich Wilhelm, Prince of Hohenzollern, granted Radu an ad personam title of “Prince of Hohenzollern-Veringen” (Prinz von Hohenzollern-Veringen). In August 2004, representatives of Friedrich Wilhelm’s eldest son Karl Friedrich, Hereditary Prince of Hohenzollern, accused Radu of using the Hohenzollern name without permission as well as of having demanded “considerable” sums of money from whoever may be interested in buying it. Karl Friedrich also warned Radu that the Hohenzollern family would take “legal measures” in case these things were to happen again and demanded that he cease to use the title of “Prince of Hohenzollern-Veringen”. In a 2009 interview, Karl Friedrich re-iterated these demands and stated that his father has no right to issue titles in a republic, calling Radu’s title “of Hohenzollern-Veringen” a “farce.” Since then King Michael has severed all ties with the former House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen ordering that all such titles once used were no longer appropriate for use by any member of the Romanian Royal House.