Princess Marie of Edinburgh, Queen of Romania

source: Wikipedia

Princess Marie of Edinburgh, Queen of Romania

Queen Marie of Romania was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and perhaps one of the most polarizing royals of her time. She was born Princess Marie Alexandra Victoria of Edinburgh on October 29, 1875 at Eastwell Park, Kent. Her parents were Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (later Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. Through her mother, she was also a granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II.

Missy, as she was known in the family, was christened on December 15, 1875 at Windsor Castle, with the following godparents:

Growing up primarily at Eastwell Park and Clarence House, the family also spent some time living in Malta where her father was stationed several times, most recently from 1886-1889. After Malta, they took up residence in Coburg, where her father had become heir-presumptive to his childless uncle, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Missy’s mother quickly worked to make her daughters more ‘German’ than ‘British’, and had them confirmed in the Lutheran Church instead of the Anglican church in which they had been raised.

Missy had always been very close with her cousin, the future King George V. He had been a frequent guest while the family lived in Malta, and the two considered marriage. While Queen Victoria and both of their fathers were very supportive of the match, their mothers were not. The Princess of Wales disliked all things German, still reeling over the Schleswig-Holstein issue. And the Duchess of Edinburgh disliked all things British. She didn’t want her daughter to remain British, and was also against the marriage of first cousins, which was forbidden in her Orthodox faith. So when George did propose, Marie was obliged to refuse. The two remained devoted to each other for the rest of their lives.

 

Instead, Marie was soon engaged to the Crown Prince of Romania. Born Prince Ferdinand of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, he was the heir-presumptive to his uncle, King Carol I of Romania. After gaining the approval of Queen Victoria, Marie and Ferdinand were married on January 10, 1893 at Sigmaringen Castle. Following the civil ceremony, both Catholic and Protestant ceremonies were held due to their different religions. The couple had six children:

Marie found her new life quite challenging. Being very free-spirited, she found the strict Romanian court to be stifling. Her husband’s uncle, King Carol I, controlled every aspect of the couple’s lives. Her relationship with Ferdinand was also a struggle, as the two tried to settle into a content relationship. She later wrote to her husband that “it is such a shame that we had to waste so many years of our youth just to learn how to live together!”

With a growing family, and a stifled existence in the Romanian court, Marie is alleged to have embarked on several affairs, possibly even giving birth to a child by one of her reported lovers. It is also speculated that several of her younger children were from another man, but they were recognized and acknowledged by Ferdinand as his own.

Just after the beginning of World War I, King Carol I died and Ferdinand ascended the Romanian throne. Drawn quickly into the war, the new Queen Marie threw herself into her charitable work, rallying support for the war effort, and serving tirelessly as a nurse. In 1919, after the war, she represented Romania at the Paris Peace Conference, replacing the Romanian delegation which had left due to extreme conflict with the French prime minister. The Queen is often credited with smoothing the situation and helping to bring about Romania’s huge gains at the end of the conference.

In 1922, a huge coronation ceremony was held for Ferdinand and Marie in Alba Iulia. An Orthodox cathedral was built there (known as the Coronation Cathedral) and the two were crowned in an elaborate ceremony full of pomp and pageantry. A few years later, Marie converted to the Orthodox faith, an act which further endeared her to the Romanian people.

 

The next years saw The Queen travel extensively. Visits to Britain and the United States brought huge crowds out to see the famous Queen of Romania, and she didn’t disappoint them. While in the United States in 1926 with two of her children, Queen Marie met with President Calvin Coolidge and his wife. She also traveled to Washington State, where she presided at the dedication of The Maryhill Museum, being opened by her friend, Samuel Hill. She later donated many possession to the museum, which are still on display today. (Read more about Queen Marie and The Maryhill Museum HERE.)

Soon after her return to Romania, King Ferdinand died on July 20, 1927. As their son Carol had previously renounced his right to the throne, it was Marie’s grandson, Mihai, who succeeded Ferdinand. Mihai was just 5 years old, and a Regency Council was established, led by Marie’s younger son, Prince Nicholas. Three years later, Carol would return and reclaim the throne. (He would later abdicate in 1940, returning Mihai to the throne.)

 

In January 1928, after several months in seclusion following her husband’s death, Queen Marie returned to public life. In the above photo, she is seen with her daughters Ileana and Elisabeth at a public function in Bucharest. Following her son Carol reclaiming the throne in 1930, Queen Marie found herself more on the fringes of the Romanian monarchy. She spent her remaining years enjoying the company of her grandchildren, and enjoying her homes at Bran Castle and Balchik Palace. Throughout the years, she had written her memoirs, which were published in several volumes.

portrait of Queen Marie by Philip de László, 1936. source: Wikipedia

Queen Marie of Romania died on July 18, 1938 at Peleş Castle in the presence of her son Carol, daughter Elisabeth, and grandson Mihai. Her body lay in-state for three days at Cotroceni Palace before she was buried at the Curtea de Argeş Cathedral, Curtea de Argeş, Romania. At her request, her heart was interred in the Stella Maris chapel at her beloved Balchik Palace. After Balchik became part of Bulgaria, Queen Marie’s heart was moved to a chapel at Bran Castle by her daughter, Ileana.

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May 25: Today in Royal History

King Abdullah I of Jordan; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

May 25, 1553 – Wedding of Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley at Durham House in London, England
Unofficial Royalty: Lady Jane Grey
Wikipedia: Lord Guildford Dudley

May 25, 1690 – Birth of Prince Johann Josef Adam of Liechtenstein in Vienna, Austria
Wikipedia: Prince Johann Josef Adam of Liechtenstein

May 25, 1786 – Death of King Pedro III of Portugal, husband and uncle of Queen Maria I of Portugal, co-reigned alongside her until his death; buried at the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora, Lisbon
Wikipedia: Pedro III of Portugal

May 25, 1846 – Birth of Princess Helena of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, at Buckingham Palace
Full name: Helena Augusta Victoria
Unofficial Royalty: Helena of the United Kingdom

May 25, 1865 – Birth of Frederick Augustus III, last King of Saxony
Wikipedia: Frederick Augustus III, King of Saxony

May 25, 1946 – Abdullah bin al-Hussein becomes King of Jordan
King Abdullah I was the grandfather of  King Hussein I.
Wikipedia: Abdullah I of Jordan

May 25, 1961 – Wedding of King Hussein I of Jordan and Antoinette Gardiner, in Amman, Jordan
This was King Hussein’s second marriage. Miss Gardiner became HRH Princess Muna al-Hussein. The couple are the parents of the current King, Abdullah II.
Unofficial Royalty: King Hussein I of Jordan
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Muna al-Hussein

May 25, 1961 – Civil Marriage of Princess Birgitta of Sweden and Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern, at the Royal Palace, Stockholm
Princess Birgitta is the elder sister of King Carl XVI Gustaf. Due to her ‘equal’ marriage, she is the only of the King’s sisters who remained a member of the Royal Court.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Birgitta of Sweden
Wikipedia: Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern

May 25, 1966 – Birth of Petra Laurentien Brinkhorst, wife of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, in Leiden, The Netherlands
Unofficial Royalty: Laurentien Brinkhorst, Princess of the Netherlands

May 25, 1983 – Death of Idris, first and only King of Libya,
Wikipedia: Idris, King of Libya

Royal News: Sunday 24 May 2015

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Royal Birthdays & Anniversaries: May 24-May 30

Joseph Wenzel_Liechtenstein

Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein; Photo Credit – lux-arazzi.blogspot.com, Photo: IKR

20th birthday of Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein, eldest son Prince Alois of Liechtenstein, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein; born in Portland Hospital in London, England on May 24, 1995
Full name: Joseph Wenzel Maximilian Maria
Joseph Wenzel is third in line as Jacobite pretender to the British crown after his grandfather and mother.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein

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Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn, Photo Credit – www.kongehuset.no

13th wedding anniversary of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn; married at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway on May 24, 2002
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
Unofficial Royalty: Ari Behn

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Prince Joachim of Denmark and Marie Cavallier, Photo Credit: www.zimbio.com

7th wedding anniversary of Prince Joachim of Denmark and Marie Cavallier; married at Møgeltønder Church near Schackenborg Manor in Denmark on May 24, 2008
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Joachim of Denmark
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Marie of Denmark

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Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Photo Credit – www.zimbio.com

49th birthday of Laurentien Brinkhorst, wife of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands; born in Leiden, The Netherlands on May 25, 1966
Full name: Petra Laurentien
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands

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Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Photo Credit – http://www.zimbio.com

47th birthday of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark; born in Copenhagen on May 26, 1968
Full name: Frederik André Henrik Christian
Unofficial Royalty: Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark

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Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau and Marilène van den Broek, Photo Credit – www.vogue.co.uk

17th wedding anniversary of Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau, son of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, and Marilène van den Broek; married in Apeldoorn, Netherlands on May 29, 1998
Wikipedia: Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven
Wikipedia: Princess Marilène of Orange-Nassau

May 24: Today in Royal History

Queen Victoria with her mother; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

May 24, 1141 – Birth of King Malcolm IV of Scotland
Wikipedia Malcolm IV of Scotland

May 24, 1153 – Death of King David I of Scotland at Carlisle, Cumbria; buried at Dunfermline Abbey in Fife, Scotland
Wikipedia: David I of Scotland

May 24, 1819 – Birth of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom at Kensington Palace in London, England
Full name: Alexandrina Victoria
Unofficial Royalty: Victoria of the United Kingdom

May 24, 1874 – Birth of Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, at Neues Palais in Darmstadt, Germany
Full name: Marie Viktoria Feodore Leopoldine
Known as May, she was the daughter of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom and Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine.  She died of diphtheria at age four.  Her mother succumbed to the same disease a couple of weeks later.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine

May 24, 1904 – Birth of Princess Elisabeth of Greece, at Tatoi, Greece
Princess Elisabeth was the second of three daughters of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia
Wikipedia: Princess Elisabeth of Greece

May 24, 1913 – Wedding of Prince Ernst Augustus of Hanover and Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia
Viktoria Luise was the only daughter of Wilhelm II, German Emperor. She and Ernst Augustus are the grandparents of Constantine II of Greece and Sofia, queen consort of Spain.
Wikipedia: Ernst Augustus of Hanover
Wikipedia: Viktoria Luise of Prussia

May 24, 1935 – Wedding of King Frederik IX of Denmark and Princess Ingrid of Sweden at Storkyrkan in Stockholm, Sweden
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of Frederik IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden
Unofficial Royalty: Frederik IX of Denmark
Unofficial Royalty: Ingrid of Sweden

May 24, 1941 – Death of Princess Sophie of Luxembourg in Munich; buried at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Dresden.
Sophie was the youngest sister of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg. She married Ernst Heinrich of Saxony and had three sons.
Wikipedia: Sophie of Luxembourg

May 24, 1995 – Birth of Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein, eldest son of Hereditary Prince Alois, in London, England
Full name: Joseph Wenzel Maximilian Maria
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein

May 24, 2002 – Wedding of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
Unofficial Royalty: Ari Behn

May 24, 2008 – Wedding of Prince Joachim of Denmark and Marie Cavallier at Møgeltønder Church near Schackenborg Castle in Møgeltønder, Southern Jutland, Denmark
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Joachim of Denmark
Unofficial Royalty: Marie Cavallier

Royal News: Saturday 23 May 2015

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May 23: Today in Royal History

Marie of Waldeck-Pyrmont, wife of King William II of Württemberg; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

May 23, 1052 – Birth of King Philip I (the Amorous) of France in Champagne-et-Fontaine, France
Wikipedia: Philip I of France

May 23, 1482 – Death of Mary of York, daughter of King Edward IV of England, at Greenwich Palace in London, England; buried at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
Wikipedia: Mary of York

May 23, 1857 – Birth of Marie of Waldeck-Pyrmont, wife of King Wilhelm II of Württemberg, in Arolsen, Waldeck and Pyrmont (Germany)
Wikipedia: Marie of Waldeck-Pyrmont

May 23, 1947 – Death of Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, husband of Mary, Princess Royal, at Harewood House in Leeds, Yorkshire, England; buried at Harewood House
Unofficial Royalty: Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood

May 23, 1923 – Birth of Palden Thondup Namgyal, 12th Chogyal of Sikkim
Palden was the last king of Sikkim, a Himalayan country that is now part of India. His second wife was Hope Cooke, an American socialite.
Wikipedia: Palden Thondup Namgyal, 12th Chogyal of Sikkim

May 23, 2010 – Death of Princess Leonida Bagration-Moukhransky, wife of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirilovich, pretender to the Russian throne, in Madrid, Spain; buried at the Grand Ducal Burial Vault at the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia
Wikipedia: Princess Leonida Bagration-Moukhransky
YouTube: Funeral of Leonida Georgievna, Grand Duchess of Russia

Royal News: Friday 22 May 2015

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Prince Alfred of Edinburgh, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

source: Wikipedia

Prince Alfred of Edinburgh, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Prince Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Alfred Alexander William Ernest Albert), was the eldest child and only son of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha – second son of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom – and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia – only daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. Known within the family as ‘Young Affie’, he was born on October 15, 1874 at Buckingham Palace. At the time of his birth, he was styled HRH Prince Alfred of Edinburgh, as his father had not yet become Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

His christening was held November 27, 1874 in the Lower Bow Room at Buckingham Palace, with the following godparents:

Affie with his mother and sisters. source: Wikipedia

As it was expected he would one day inherit the ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, young Affie was raised primarily in Germany. Separated from his family, he received a strict German education, and later served as a Lieutenant in the Prussian 1st Foot Guards in Potsdam. But, unlike many of his relatives, he did not enjoy the military life at all. It is believed that during this time he first contracted syphilis, which would later be a likely factor in his death.

In August 1893, his father succeeded to the ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and young Alfred became the Hereditary Prince. Less than two years later, it was announced that Alfred was engaged to Duchess Elsa of Württemberg, but this marriage never took place.

In January 1899, he was noticeably absent from the celebrations for his parents’ 25th wedding anniversary. The details surrounding his death were never formally given, and vary from source to source. Some say he was suffering from a breakdown, others a tumor, others consumption. More than likely, he was suffering serious effects of the syphilis he had contracted some years earlier. It iis generally accepted that Prince Alfred shot himself while the rest of the family was gathered for the anniversary celebrations. Having survived the gunshot, he was cared for at Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha for several days, before being moved – against the doctors’ recommendation – to the Martinnsbrunn Sanatorium in Gratsch, near Meran, Austria (now Merano, Italy). This was apparently done at the direction of his mother who was both angry and embarrassed that this all happened while the whole family was gathered together.

Prince Alfred died at the sanatorium on February 6, 1899. He was just 24 years old. His remains were returned to Coburg, and buried in the Ducal Mausoleum at the Glockenburg Cemetery.

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May 22: Today in Royal History

Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

May 22, 1127 – Wedding of Empress Maud, daughter of King Henry I of England, and Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, at  Cathedral of Saint Julian of Le Mans in France
Maud and Geoffrey were the parents of King Henry II of England.
Wikipedia: Empress Maud
Wikipedia: Geoffrey V of Anjou

May 22, 1409 – Death of Blanche of England, daughter of King Henry IV of England, in Haguenau (now in France) buried at the Church of St Mary, Neustadt, Alsace (now in Germany)
Wikipedia: Blanche of England

May 22, 1455 – King Henry VI of England is taken prisoner by the Yorkists at the First Battle of St. Albans
Wikipedia: First Battle of St. Albans

May 22, 1667 – Death of Charles, Duke of Kendal, son of King James II of England; buried at Westminster Abbey
Charles was the third son and fifth child of James, Duke of York (later James II) and his first wife Anne Hyde.  He died at St. James’ Palace at age ten months.
Wikipedia: Charles, Duke of Kendal

May 22, 1770 – Birth of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom, at Buckingham Palace
Elizabeth was the third daughter and seventh child of George III and his wife Charlotte.  She married late in life at age 48 to Hereditary Prince Friedrich of Hesse-Homburg.  Her husband succeeded his father as Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg in 1820.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom

May 22, 1782 – Death of Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt, wife of Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, in Hanover (Germany)
Friederike died in childbirth along with her 10th child.
Wikipedia: Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt

May 22, 1815 – Wedding of King Christian VIII of Denmark (second marriage) and Caroline Amelia of Schleswig-Holstein
Wikipedia: Christian VIII of Denmark
Wikipedia: Caroline Amelia of Schleswig-Holstein

May 22, 1823 – Wedding of King Oscar I of Sweden and Joséphine of Leuchtenberg at Leuchtenberg Palace in Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Unofficial Royalty: King Oscar I of Sweden
Unofficial Royalty: Joséphine of Leuchtenberg

May 22, 2004 – Wedding of King Felipe VI of Spain and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano at the Cathedral Santa María la Real de la Almudena in Madrid, Spain
BBC: Wedding bells for Spain’s royals
Unofficial Royalty: King Felipe VI of Spain
Unofficial Royalty: Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, Queen of Spain