The Romanian dictator was a creature of an earlier era — ostensibly a Communist despot, he made his own alliances amid the mess of intrigues and geo-politicking of the Cold War. His knighthood, like that conferred upon Robert Mugabe, represented a symbolic, largely feeble attempt at reconciliation within Europe. When an uprising ousted Ceaucescu in 1989, the U.K.’s Foreign Office hastily revoked his chivalric status. A day later, Ceaucescu and his wife were executed.
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