From Kent to Bucharest: Marie of Edinburgh, Queen of Romania


In the middle of World War I, Queen Marie of Romania wrote to her first cousin, King George V of Great Britain: “I never imagined that it would be the lot of our generation, we who are children together, to see this great war and in a way to have to remodel the face of Europe.”

Grandchildren of Queen Victoria alongside the Kaiser of Germany, the Queen of Norway, the Queen of Spain, the Tsarina of Russia, the Queen of Greece, the Crown Princess of Sweden and countless German royals, that is in fact very much with what George and Marie were tasked in the 20th century. For the royal men, they at least had something approaching an education and training to complement such a job, but for Queen Victoria’s granddaughters, born and raised in the height of the Victorian Era, it was by far easier to stumble as they were dropped in the midst of increasingly politicized foreign courts with few tools to leverage.

As for Marie, Bucharest was far from home and her husband a far cry from her first love (George V), but despite a tyrannical father-in-law, an unstable mother-in-law, a series of affairs, illegitimate children, proximity to Russia and a shared heritage with Germany, she established herself as a popular and effective queen consort to the Romanian people.

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Royal Roundup: Royal Wedding on May 19, King Michael’s Funeral & Camilla’s Christmas Party

Embed from Getty Images

It’s been a while since we’ve done a full-blown royal roundup of news, but with a few odds and ends popping up over the past week or so, today is as good a day as any to touch base on what’s been happening. The most important announcement is perhaps that Kensington Palace released a wedding date for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Mark your calendars for May 19, 2018!

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Charles in Romania: Days Two & Three


As we speak, the Prince of Wales has safely arrived in Florence where he was met by the Duchess of Cornwall for the next leg of his European tour. All told and unsurprisingly, Charles was a smash hit in Romania and his engagements picked up a fair bit of media coverage in the last 36 hours.

After introductions and meeting with President Iohannis in Bucharest, he sat down with Crown Princess Margareta yesterday for an afternoon tea. As some very quick background, Margareta is the eldest daughter of King Michael I, who was named heir presumptive to the abolished Romanian throne in 1997. The Royal Family has been without their crown, so to speak, since 1947, however the King’s move was a symbolic gesture that offered up a candidate should Romania ever reinstate its monarchy – one which also proposed the removal of Salic Law, which prohibits a woman from inheriting the throne.

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Charles in Romania: Day One

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Image via Clarence House

I’m going to make this quick because it’s well past midnight my time, but I do want to capture as much of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall’s European tour over the next several days as possible. The first leg of it is being carried out solo by Charles as he undertakes a series of engagements in Romania between Wednesday and Friday of this week, before meeting Camilla in Florence on Saturday.

Already I’ve learned something new just from lightly tracking the press coverage: Who knew Charles was such a big fan of Romania? I didn’t, but it’s interesting (to me) since I recently did a post on Missy of Edinburgh, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria who married into the Romanian Royal Family and became its queen consort. The post was just a brief anecdote from her later life I found amusing, but it highlights the extensive ties the Windsors maintained with Eastern Europe, Romania in particular, in mid-20th century. It’s nice to see those continued to be honored today with Charles.

For example, he apparently owns two properties there, one in Valea Zalanului and another in Viscri, and apparently regularly visits the country privately. Seriously, who knew?

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It’s Difficult to Beat Missy of Edinburgh’s Princess Game

Queen Marie in the early 1920s

I referenced an anecdote from Sarah Bradford’s biography of George VI yesterday and I’m sharing another today. Needless to say I recommend the book, which kept me occupied for the entirety of an eight-hour flight back in December. The most ringing of all my endorsements.

Anyway, this anecdote concerns Marie “Missy” of Edinburgh, eldest daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his wife, Marie of Russia. Missy, born on October 29, 1875, was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and would go on to marry Ferdinand I, King of Romania, serving as Romania’s queen from 1914-1927. After her husband’s death she saw the reigns of both her son, Carol I, and her grandson, Michael I, though not in that order (we’ll cover this in a later post), made frequent trips back to England and died just two years shy of the deposition of the Romanian royal family in 1940.

Marie of Romania in 1893, the year of her marriage

Now, while Marie lived a colorful and eventful life, how she came into contact with the future George VI (then known as Prince Albert) is downright hilarious. Missy was a first cousin of Albert’s father, George V, and a favorite of his – before their respective marriages, George had even been a bit in love with her and she came very close to being the next queen of England.

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