Thousands of mourners say farewell to Romania's King Michael

Thousands of Romanians have paid their respects to the late King Michael I whose coffin is lying in state at the Royal Palace before his funeral this weekend.

Michael, who ruled Romania twice and was forced to abdicate by the communists in 1947, died Dec. 5 in Switzerland at age 96.

Mourners arrived late Wednesday and stayed until early Thursday to pay their respects to the late king whose coffin stood on a rostrum in a grand room, not far from where he ordered the arrest of pro-Nazi leader Marshal Ion Antonescu on Aug. 23, 1944, which took Romania into the war on the side of the Allies.

Outside the palace, there were thousands of candles and flowers, as mourners, many in tears, said farewell to Romania's last king.