Romania: Ex-king Michael who ruled during WWII dies at 96

Romania's royal house says former King Michael, who ruled the country during WWII, has died in Switzerland aged 96.

The royal house said in a statement that Michael, one of the few surviving leaders from that period, died Tuesday lunchtime in his residence in Aubonne, Switzerland.

His family announced last year that Michael had leukemia 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 6, 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.