“Love, Faith, Courage – with these three we can win the world..”
–Marie of Romania
Marie Alexandra Victoria, Princess Marie of Edinburgh, was born on this day at Eastwell Park in Kent, England in 1875. Today is the 137th anniversary of her birth.
She was the eldest daughter of Prince Alfred of England and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia and the granddaughter of Queen Victoria on her father’s side and of Tsar Alexander II on her mother’s side. Because of her double royal lineage she was considered highly suitable for a Royal match of her own.
When Marie was 17 she was married to Prince Ferdinand of Romania, a German raised nephew of King Carol I of Romania in Sigmaringen German in 1893. Ferdinand was 27 at the time. They had 6 children. Three boys and three girls. However, the marriage was not a happy one and The Princess took a lover, Barbu Stirbey. It is likely that Mircea (and possibly Mignon and Ileana) were Stirbey’s.
In 1914 King Carol I died and Ferdinand took the throne. Marie became Her Majesty the Queen of Romania but the couple were delayed in becoming the King and Queen until after World War 1.
During the War Princess Marie influenced the country to side with the Allies (and away from the Germans), she volunteered with the Red Cross and nursed the sick and wounded. Her book My Country raised money for the Red Cross.
When WWI was over and the Allies were trying to figure out how to partition Europe and scold Germany, Marie herself went to Versailles and represented Romania. She wooed the ministers so much that they gave back territory that Romania had lost and promised not to partition her. [GEH — Queen Marie of Romania Study Notes]
Ferdinand and Marie were finally crowned in 1922. She was determined to be a modern queen.
A Queen who was not stuck in the Victorian time warp like Queen Mary of England, and a Queen who listened to her people and made herself available to her people. [Ibid]
Queen Marie was very popular and travelled through out Europe and the US.Although she was close with her younger children she was never on good terms with Crown Prince Carol (who became King Carol II after Ferdinand’s death in 1927). After Carol’s coronation he excluded his mother. She remained the Romania and wrote her two-part memoir, The Story of My Life.
She died after a sudden illness in 1938. Following the Queen’s instructions her heart was removed from her body and kept at a cloister at Balchik Palace. The rest of her remains were interred with her husband.