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Thousands of Roma turned out for the funeral of their self-styled King as he was laid to rest in his hometown in Transylvania today. Florin Cioaba, 58, who had taken to wearing a king’s crown as the leader of the minority community, became famous around the globe for arranging a marriage for his 12-year-old daughter. After watching her storm out of the church to avoid becoming a child bride, ‘King’ Cioaba became an advocate for education for Roma girls and began preaching that girls should not marry before the age of 16.

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This despite the fact that his dutiful daughter Ana-Maria had returned to the church moments later and was indeed married off to a 15-year-old boy of her father’s choice. Cioaba died of a heart attack while on holiday in Turkey last week, and received the sendoff worthy of a royal. His body was carried in an air-conditioned glass covered coffin down a four mile route in Sibiu, Transylvania.

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