WOMEN MAKING HISTORY
QUEEN MARIE OF ROMANIA
Queen Marie of Romania
(b. October 29, 1875, Eastwell Park, England – d. July 18, 1938, Sinaia, Romania)
Princess Marie of Edinburgh was a descendant of a family with dynastic traditions, as the second child of Alfred Duke of Edinburgh, the son of Queen Victoria of Great Britain, and Maria Alexandrovna, the daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. She married the heir to the Romanian throne, Ferdinand, on January 10, 1893, and soon after settled in Romania. Through her beauty, intelligence and naturalness, she immediately attracted the sympathy of Romanians and later became, through her contribution to the war effort and by supporting many social and cultural causes, one of the most beloved and revered personalities of the realm.
Over time, she used her diplomatic talents to strengthen ties between Romania and England. At the onset of the first world conflagration, she advocated for Romania’s entry into the war alongside the Entente, the alliance that pledged to support Romania’s claims for the unification of Transylvania and Bukovina (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) to the Old Kingdom of Romania, created in 1881 after the unification of Wallachia and Moldavia (1859). Moreover, she pleaded for the cause of her adoptive country in correspondence with her cousins, King George V of Great Britain and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
After 1916, Queen Marie devoted all her volcanic energy to supporting the war effort. She would make numerous visits to the front, managing the field hospitals, comforting soldiers of all walks of life. For this reason, she was later called ‘Mother of the Wounded’and ‘the Soldier Queen’.
At the end of the war, the Queen was also instrumental in the international recognition of the new, united Romanian state. She used all her skills and charms to advance the unionist cause during the Paris Peace Negotiations and did not hesitate to appeal directly to the great leaders of the time, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, British sovereign George V and French President Raymond Poincaré.
On October 15, 1922, along with her husband, King Ferdinand I, she was crowned as the sovereign of Greater Romania.