Nicholas Michael de Roumanie Medforth-Mills was born on 1 April 1985 at 21:29 Hôpital de la Tour et Pavillon Gourges, Meyrin, Geneva, Switzerland, the first of two children of Princess Helen of Romania and her first husband Leslie Robin Medforth-Mills. Nicholas has one younger sibling, his sister, Elisabeta-Karina de Roumanie.
Until the age of 2, Nicholas lived with his sister and parents at the Romanian royal family’s residence in Versoix, Switzerland. The family moved to England in 1987 where they took up residence at Flass Hall, Esh Winning in County Durham where he and his sister attended a local school. During his childhood, he developed an interest in nature and in cars, an interest shared with his grandfather, King Michael.
During the holidays in Versoix, with his maternal grandparents, Nicholas spent hours in his grandfather’s garage, watching him maintain his jeep collection and spending time with his grandmother who taught him golf and fishing.
At the age of 7, Nicholas attended Argyle House School, Sunderland, England which he left in 1999 to Shiplake College (1999 – 2004), Henley-On-Thames, England, where he joined Royal Air force Cadets and discovered the freedom of flying.
After Shiplake College, Nicholas embarked on a gap year, where he he assisted and organised expeditions to Kenya and Southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana & Zimbabwe) travelled to Kenya, worked and travelled around the USA and visited Thailand.
Before enrolling at Royal Holloway University in 2012 to study Business Management he took a gap year, which he also spent time furthering his experience with an expedition and bushcraft course in Madagascar and at Plas Y Brenin, Wales in 2005. Between 2005 – 2007, Nicholas lived in Kenya working for Savage Wilderness Safaris where he was a white water rafting instructor, mountain guide on Mt Kenya, team building and problem solving leader as well as working with the Kenyan Navy as a kayaking instructor and the British Army as a white water rafting and white water safety instructor. On returning to the UK, he became a freelance outdoor instructor, and worked with World Challenge UK as a leader and the Duke of Edinburgh Award as an assessor.
Coming home to Romania
Nicholas first came to Romania in Easter, on 19th April 1992, along with his mother and grandparents, King Michael I and Queen Anne. He came again for the second time during Christmas in 1997, when the entire royal family set foot in Romania for the first time after nearly five decades of exile. .
In 2007 His Majesty, King Michael I of Romania amended the fundamental rules of the Royal House, naming Nicholas as a successor and heir to the head of the family, either upon the Kings death or upon Nicholas’s 25th birthday, he would receive the title and rank of ‘His Royal Highness, Prince of Romania’. On Nicholas’s 25th Birthday, he received the rank and title as well as being decorated with ‘Nihil Sine Deo’ at the Elisabeta Palace.
Earlier in 2007, Nicholas took the steps to learn more about the family’s role in Romania, as it was important for him to make the decisions about Romania through his own knowledge and experience rather than through others. Nicholas considered that one day he may have had to make a decision about his own life and his family’s role. After the King’s decision in December 2007, these initial steps of Nicholas were imperative, as Nicholas accepted the title with the view to live and be active in Romania, promoting her best interests.
In 2012, Nicholas de Roumanie made Bucharest, Romania his residence and started carrying out public duties and promoting Romania. After learning Romanian at EuroEd language school in Iasi, Nicholas took up a position with Curtea Veche Publishing as a Project Manager where he undertook a reading project that became Asociatia Curtea Veche with whom he donated 25,000 books in 150 rural communities across Romania. In 2015, Asociatia Curtea Veche won the award for “The best Marketing/PR/CSR Campaign” at the annual Book Industry Gala in Bucharest.
In 2014 Nicholas became involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award as an ambassador during which he launched and opened the Award in universities, schools and NGO’s across Romania. Between 2014 – 2015 Nicholas became a leader, trainer, supervisor and assessor of the award before representing The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Romania in London at the EMAS Regional Conference.
From 2010 to 2017 Nicholas volunteered with several romanian institutions including:
- Alpha Transilvana Foundation – Dedicated to helping disabled children and their families with down syndrome and autism. While assisting in the physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and art therapy departments and including external outings.
- Tasuleasa Social – Replanting trees and environmental education – Instructor for high ropes activities
- Mai Mult Verde – Clearing waste in order to recycle and educate local communities.
- Concordia – Led extra curricular activities for the homeless youth of Romania affected drugs and with psychiatric and socially problems.
- Asociatia Curtea Veche – Cycled 1000 kilometres across Romania from Sighetul-Marmatiei to Constanta to raise awareness of the importance of reading and sport.
Nicholas and Alina-Maria
On 29th July 2017, Nicholas became engaged to Alina-Maria Binder while on holiday in Cornwall, England. The religious wedding is set for summer 2018.
On October 6th 2017 Nicholas married Alina-Maria in Henley-on-Thames in a civil ceremony in the presence of family and friends from the UK and Romania.
In January 2018 Nicholas returned to Romania with his wife, Alina-Maria de Roumanie Medforth-Mills.
Alina-Maria Binder was born on January 26, 1988 by the Black Sea, in Constanţa, where she spent the first two years of her life. Her father, Heinz Binder, is a retired airline pilot who worked for Tarom, and her mother, Rodica Binder, is a primary school teacher. Alina has a younger brother, Mihai, who lives in the capital. Her childhood was spent in Bucharest, and the summer holidays at her grandparents in Alţâna, near Sibiu and Constanţa. She was very attracted to nature, Romanian customs and traditions from a young age as she learnt about them from her grandparents.
Alina attended the primary school, ‘Scoala Gimnaziala Nr.7’, in Bucharest, excelling in humanities, where she was able to express her creative self. She was guided by exceptional teachers who encouraged her to discover her artistic inclinations. After joining the school choir, she became closer to folklore, respecting the traditions and the folk costume.
Alina accompanied her mother on numerous camps and wildlife trips, while also participating in the activities carried out within the Ecological Education Club, giving her the knowledge of how important protecting the environment is.
In order to cultivate her drawing talent, she also enrolled at the School of Music and Fine Arts in Bucharest, where she was noticed for her remarkable talent for painting, drawing and pottery, as she won prizes at school competitions. The skills acquired at art school continued and outlined the artistic side of her personality.
During primary and secondary school, Alina showed interest in combining her studies with sport, being especially attracted to social latin dances, karate and swimming, while also having an interest in playing the piano and guitar. This combination of study with artistic and sporting activities laid the foundation for a complex, dynamic and creative personality.
Between 2003 and 2007 she attended courses at I. L. Caragiale National College, choosing mathematics and computer science taught in Romanian and German, and achieving the ‘Deutsches Sprachdiplom’. Throughout the high-school years, she took part in student exchange programs with Werner von Siemens High School in Germany. During the school holidays, Alina always returned with the same enthusiasm to nature, attending mountain expeditions with colleagues, discovering new breathtaking places in the Carpathian mountains, while spending her winter holidays snowboarding.
In 2010 Alina graduated from the Academy of Economic Studies (ASE) in Bucharest with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and International Affairs. She complimented her economic studies with a course in Communication Sciences at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität of Munich, after which Alina opted to do her Masters in Political Science at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies in Bucharest (2011 – 2013).
Alina has continued to follow her interests and passions through further personal development by undertaking several courses in: Human Resources Management, Internal Auditor, Tourism Management and Modern Art.
In 2014 Alina joined the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association (AOPA) of Romania as a PR Manager, where she was responsible for maintaining and mediating the relations with the Romanian aviation authorities, advising the members of the association and other persons wishing to fly in Romania, organising workshops, media events and managing the workgroups including two successful events – Aviation Weather Safety Workshop and Airspace and Flight Restrictions, where current aviation issues were discussed and possible solutions were proposed. She was also one of the organisers for the 2014 and 2015 editions of the Romanian stand at AERO Friedrichshafen Fair.
Between 2014 and 2015, she collaborated with several Romanian companies, organising events and participating in specialised fairs in Germany. After moving to the UK in 2016 she continued to work in field of general aviation, at AOPA UK, as a team member coordinating operations in the London office.
Alina-Maria Binder and Nicholas de Roumanie
They met during a children’s charity project organised by Nicholas in 2014, when Alina supported the project, “Childhood Books on a Bicycle”. They found that they have many things in common: travel, respect for nature, sports, cars, aviation. Between 2016 – 2018, they lived together in England.
In July 2017, Nicholas and Alina became engaged in Cornwall, UK while on holiday before celebrating their civil marriage in October 2017. In January 2018 they decided to return home, to Romania and devote their time and energy to projects with a social impact.