|Movement / Region
King Carol II of Romania was a royal mess. In 1925, his open affair with Elena Lupescu forced the couple to slip out of the country — abdicating his throne. They moved to France, leaving the King’s wife, Princess Helen of Greece and Denmark, with little choice but to divorce him. (Reiter’s collection also includes a Simatos portrait of the Princess. He lost out on a portrait of Lupescu in a bidding war. Reiter says, "that one still hurts"). During World War II, after feigning allegiance with both the Allies and the Axis sides, the King and Elena were compelled to escape Romania (along with his riches) for a second time. They traveled the world in exile, settling in Brazil where they married. Reiter stumbled upon a vintage photo of the disgraced King and Lupescu, seated in front of a fireplace. Centered over the mantel is another Simatos portrait of the King, sans his regal garb.