Author Topic: Queen Marie of Romania  (Read 253259 times)

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Offline Janet_W.

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Queen Marie of Romania
« on: August 19, 2004, 12:53:21 PM »
I've read a number of interesting accounts about the visit made by Nicholas and his family to the Romanian royal family at the port of Constanza. But I wonder if any photos--other than the famous group sitting and a few of Ileana and Alexei--exist of this event?

Also, is there a website which could tell us more about Constanza itself--then and now?

Many of us know the "basics"--that the event was based on a followup visit of the Romanovs to Romania, after a visit to St. P. made by Ferdinand, Marie and Carol the previous February. And that it centered on a possible match between Carol and Olga. And that the match never panned out, sincer Carol and Olga were not attracted to each other. Any additional information, however, would be interesting to read.

I've wondered, for example, where Marie's oldest daughter, Elizabeth, was that day. She doesn't show up in the photos! And how interesting for the fabulously eccentric "Carmen Sylva" to be very much in evidence. She must have added something unique to the proceedings!

Anyway, thanks in advance to anyone who can contribute to our further knowledge of this particular episode which, in retrospect, has a very bittersweet aura about it.


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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2004, 01:04:23 PM »
Janet,
Here is my translation of Spiridovitch's account of the visit:
The little town of Constanza, fairly pretty, was all under preparations for the reception of the Emperor of Russia.  The little casino was going to open its doors, although there were not yet any bathers.  The decoration of the town was proceeding feverishly.
     The Crown Prince crossed the town in his automobile, which he drove himself, and oversaw the preparations.  They were rehearsing the military parade which was to take place.  Everywhere we saw only military men.  The Rumanian officers struck us most singularly.  Quite well dressed, they were almost all wearing powder on their faces, with rouge on their cheeks and black around their eyes.  They left a most bizarre impression on us.  We learned much later that the Rumanian women of more maturity had a great weakness of the younger of the military.
     We were told then many curious things about the wife of the Crown Prince.  Much later, when she was already then Queen and an author, she repeated, in 1919 to a French magazine many very slanderous things on the subject of Empress Alexandra Feodrovna.  Her Majesty, as a queen and author, would have done herself better to have refrained from mentioning such subjects.

     On June 1, Their Majesties and their children arrived in Constanza aboard the Standardt.  A cavalry regiment, most handsome, was lined up along the breakwater.  All of the royal family was there to receive Their Majesties.  The parade was quite nice.  The cortege then went to the Cathedral along streets which had been most elegantly decorated and with reviewing stands set up for the public.  Certain places were totally forbidden to the public.  This was one of the measures taken by the Rumanians themselves, without any intervention on our part.
     During the parade, the Rumanian troops looked more like toys.  It was very difficult to take them seriously.
     Their Majesties lunched with the Queen Mother, Elizabeth in her home, which was a little pavilion built next to the sea, in the port, on the end of the breakwater.  The Queen was known as a writer, under the pseudonym of "Carmen Sylva."
     The Russians, on their part, invited the Rumanians to a luncheon and tea on board the Standardt, where everything was done for the most part in the Russian style.  In the evening, they had a dinner at the Palace.
     It was most unpleasant for us to listen to the absurd conversations of the Rumanians about the occasion of the visit of the Russian sovereigns.  Our diplomat, who had done much to obtain a transfer to this post, committed a misstep which was rather humiliating for the Imperial Family.  He had listened to the last idiot in Constanza who had told him that the Tsar was bringing his daughters to Rumania to marry them there.  Everyone among us was furious at our diplomats and were even more vexed at those storytellers who were repeating that story at that time about the marriage of one of our Grand Duchesses to the son of the Crown Prince, even though the matter had been definitely resolved, and was negative.  All those who knew the truth, however, were glad for it.
     Rather late in the evening, the port and town were illuminated, and the Standardt left Constanza, bringing the Imperial Family back to familiar waters, toward Odessa.
     Empress Alexandra Feodrovna was most upset about the stay in Constanza.  She said that our ambassador, Kosell-Poklevski, had arranged everything there stupidly.

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2004, 01:37:25 PM »
That's great, FA! That particular account I was not familiar with . . . undoubtedly due to my great talent (or lack thereof) re: languages.  ::)

I have read elsewhere that the pavilion was built for the occasion--any info on that? And were two luncheons offered--one for the royal family members at the pavilion, the other for the Russian and Romanian entourages on board the Standart? Or were these luncheons held at different times of the day, allowing the royal families to attend both? (I seem to recall photographs and written commentary that might support the latter.)

Finally, is there any information re: the palace where they dined that evening? Such as its name, its approximate location, and its style? And does anyone know if this palace, and the pavilion, still exist today?

Again, thanks for the Spiridovitch account!


Offline Naphtali

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2004, 09:20:52 AM »
i know this is about Constanza, but as i don't really know how to start a new topic, i'm gonna ask this here:
does anybody know what happened to Archduke Franz Ferdinand's children (expecially with Sophie) after his & his wife's assassination in 1914? the only thing i found over the internet is that she got married in 1920 to some count, but that's about all. i remember they 'used' her in one of episode of 'The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones' :)
about Constanza: from what i know, the only thing which stands from those times close to the port is the casino. howver, i'll try to find out more this weekend.
Spiridovitch makes a mistake when he says about Elisabeth that she is the 'Queen Mother'. She was 'the Queen'-fullstop). Her husband, Carol I was still alive and is sitting next to anastasia in the official photo both families took that day. Mary and Ferdinand were the Crown Princess, respectively, the Crown Prince.
There was indeed much talk about the reason behind the Tsar's visit in 1915, and i am afraid that the one about a presumptive marriage between Olga and the future Carol II was just an excuse. the real reason was of a significantly pragmatic nature: the Tsar, as a representant of the Entente, was trying to win over his side the devotedly pro-Garman King Carol I. lat's not forget that the war was already going on for a year and Romania, the biggest country in the region, with quite a strategic location, hadn't yet picked her side. The Tsar's visit was nothing more than a little reminder and encouragement for the Romanian side. Looking back, it does seem a little of a deadlock situation: the only persons whom the Tsar could convince were Ferdinand and Mary - though they were already pro-Entente, but were not yet monarchs. On the other side, King Carol was being blocked by the Romaian political parties to enter the war on Germany's side. So it is obvious why Nicholas thought he could 'move' things a little. Carol's doubts and German fidelities came to an end once with his death 2 years later. Almost immediately afterwards, Romania entered the war on the Entente's side.

Q Mary's oldest daughter, Elisabeth was visiting other relatives or friends (though, i find it rather queer not to attend  at the visit of the Tsar!)i remember reading somewhere that she was actually sick at the time and Mary insisted on her stayin  in Bucharest (in a time when the city wasn't so polluted, otherways i would've had some doubts on her recovery)  ;D i'll have to look into that as well.

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2004, 11:35:11 AM »
Naphtali, thank you!

I've read that Elizabeth could be difficult, so I wondered if she had simply thrown a tantrum that day and refused to show up!  ::)

Did Nicholas visit in 1915 as well? I'm only familiar with the 1914 visit.

Yes, I've read enough to know that the so-called marriage talks were, by June 1914, a moot issue--but that Nicholas did want to continue cordial relations with Romania.

Any information you can provide us re: Constanza at the time of that visit would be greatly appreciated! :D

In the meantime, I'll be happy to start that new topic for you about the Archduke's orphaned children. This site does feature an option to "Start New Topic," but I didn't discover it until after many posts on this website!  :)


Offline Naphtali

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2004, 03:52:42 AM »
Hey Janet! No, my mistake it was only 1 visit. It seems that lately i've been suffering from a brain-draining disorder :P
There was only one visit -on 1st of June 1914. I've cheched it up. That was 2 week or so before the assasination of Archduke FF in Sarajevo...so we can say that was one of the last happy moments before the war started. But indeed the real reason was convincing King Carol to join the Entente, because as might know the war was being prepared from some time already. what Nicholas didn't know..or probably he suspected was that Carol I had already signed a secret agreement with Germany..anyway it didn't matter in the end because Carol I died in september 1914 and Romania entered the war on the Entente's side two years later. Carmen Sylva died in 1916 because of a respiratory disorder. They say in the end she actually asked those around her to open the windows of her apartment so the disease could finish her off more rapidly.
about the other Elisabeth, yes she was indeed a queer person, but it's unlikely to have 'escaped' an official duty of such importance sumply because of a whim. Anyway..i'll have to look more into that.
I'll try to post a link one of these days to some site about the old Constanza.
maybe even today.

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2004, 12:29:45 PM »

I've read several biographies re: Queen Marie and also own a few copies of books she herself wrote. She is certainly a figure of great interest, and those of us who have read about her great love of Romania are inspired to learn more about your country!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 09:25:12 AM by Svetabel »

Offline Naphtali

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2004, 06:12:46 AM »
I'm glad u liked the photos!
Here's that adress i was talking about:

http://roconstanta.tripod.com/vechi/vechi.html

enjoy!

Offline Naphtali

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2004, 06:18:20 AM »
Forgot to tell you it's in Romanian. Just to give u some minimal directions: 'Tomis' is the old Roman name of Constanza; 'Pagina' is of course, 'page'; most of the photos are accompanied by years and by the name of the hotel (or other building) they represent. ;)

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2005, 02:05:06 AM »
Queen Marie of Romania.
Of all of the surviving monarchs, she & her husband seem to have been the most pro-active in aiding Romanov refugees after the revolution.

....
« Last Edit: June 09, 2009, 07:23:55 AM by Svetabel »
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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2005, 10:54:18 AM »
One of the most striking things to me about Marie of Roumania is the way that she, above all monarchs (or consorts) rose like phoenix from the ashes after the war. When other thrones were toppling & George was shilly-shallying - changing Germanic names & trying to please the people (sorry George V fans) - she was making dramatic gestures & speeches...
"I will never give in. have I not English blood in my veins!"
While other princesses 'got their hands dirty' tending the wounded, she needed only to float into the wards, offering her ungloved hand & handing out cigarettes, never once doubting that her very presence brought the men healing & inspiration. Incredible confidence & charm!!
And then her triumphal return to the capital, dressed like some medieval queen or Joan of Arc...ONLY Marie could have carried that off so successfully.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bluetoria »

Offline Martyn

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2005, 01:17:24 PM »


You are absolutely right Bluetoria.  I really don't know where Marie sprang from as she really was the most exceptional woman.  It may have been her curious mxed parentage that produced her incredibly fascinating personality; she certainly did not lack courage and probably would have profitted from a spouse who had a little more vision and imagination.  I can't imagine what she would have been like as England's queen but I get the feeling that the Balkans actually suited the colourful romantic side of her character; being Queen of beleaguered Romania enabled her to step forward and take her place on the World Stage at the end of WWI.  I feel that perhaps she might have stagnated as George's queen and that England might not have given her the scope that she needed to shine.  Here is my favourite photo of Marie taken in the 1930's.
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2005, 01:41:00 PM »
Brilliant picture, Martyn. Everything about her - even how she raises her eyes - is so POSED but because it is she, it is also so sincere! Now SHE'D be an interesting person to invite to dinner!

Offline Martyn

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2005, 03:40:30 AM »
Quote
Brilliant picture, Martyn. Everything about her - even how she raises her eyes - is so POSED but because it is she, it is also so sincere! Now SHE'D be an interesting person to invite to dinner!


Oh too right.  She is exactly the kind of royal personage that I admire.  Brains, beauty, great style and a very colourful imagination.  It is rumoured that Elinor Glyn based one of her potboilers on Marie.....can't remember which one though....
She would make an excellent dinner guest - are you any good at raising the dead  Bluetoria?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Martyn

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Re: Queen Marie of Romania
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2005, 12:45:55 PM »


Have we had this one?  She really is so lovely.....
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV