"Carol I (20 April 1839 – 27 September (O.S.) / 10 October (N.S.) 1914), born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, was the monarch of Romania from 1866 to 1914.
He was elected Ruling Prince (Domnitor) of the Romanian United Principalities on 20 April 1866 after the overthrow of Alexandru Ioan Cuza by a palace coup d'état.
In May 1877, he proclaimed Romania an independent and sovereign nation. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire (1878) in the Russo-Turkish War secured Romanian independence, and he was proclaimed King of Romania on 26 March [O.S. 14 March] 1881.
He was the first ruler of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty, which ruled the country until the proclamation of a republic in 1947.
During his reign, Carol I personally led Romanian troops during the Russo-Turkish War and assumed command of the Russo/Romanian army during the siege of Plevna. The country achieved internationally recognized independence via the Treaty of Berlin, 1878 and acquired Southern Dobruja from Bulgaria in 1913. Domestic political life was organized around the rival Liberal and Conservative parties. During Carol's reign Romania's industry and infrastructure improved a lot, but the country still had an agrarian economy and the situation of the peasantry failed to improve.
He married Princess Elisabeth of Wied in Neuwied on 15 November 1869. They only had one daughter, Maria, who died at the age of three.
Carol never produced a male heir, leaving his elder brother Leopold next in line to the throne. In October 1880 Leopold renounced his right of succession in favour of his son William, who in turn surrendered his claim six years later in favour of his younger brother, the future king Ferdinand" (wikipedia excerpt).
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