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January 16th, 1957 – On This Day In Sioux Falls History, Her Royal Highness Ileana, Princess of Romania spends the evening in Sioux Falls, SD! Daughter of King Ferdinad I and granddaughter Queen Victoria, Tsar Alexander II, and Queen Maria II of Portugal. When her nephew King Michael I abdicated the throne in December 1948 and the Communist Party took over in Romania – Princess Ileana and her family were exiled from the country.

After brief stints in Vienna, Switzerland, and Argentina Ileana would end up in Newton, Massachusetts in 1950. She would spend the next 11 years working with the Romanian Orthodox Church speaking around the country educating Americans about the dangerous of Communism. One of those speaking engagements brought her to our fair city!

Princess Ileana warned Sioux Falls citizens and American of the slow spread of Communism. She warned of a takeover, not through brute force, but with a few key positions in American government being held by the wrong people. Ileana also warned that take over of the United States was a goal of the Communist party and not one likely to be abandoned.

The princess became well versed in communist and socialist politics as she fought against its spread in Romania for 10 years, first battling for 6 years against the encroaching Nazis and then for 4 against the Soviet Government after the war. After her exile Ileana also spent 2 years in Argentina during the liberal presidency of Juan Peron.

Princess Ileana would retire from speaking and found and become part of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Pennsylvania, eventually becoming the Mother Superior. She would remain at the monastery until her death in 1991.