ferdinand of romania

Marie of Romania reading.

Marie of Romania (Marie Alexandra Victoria, previously Princess Marie of Edinburgh; 1875–1938) was Queen consort of Romania from 1914 to 1927, as the wife of Ferdinand of Romania.

A.L. Easterman writes that King Ferdinand was “a quiet, easy-going man, of no significant character… It was not he, but Marie who ruled in Romania.” He credits Marie’s sympathies for the Allies as being “the major influence in bringing her country to their side” in the war.

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Gathering in Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. Early 1910s

*1.- Crownprincess Marie of Romania, Princess Henriette, Duchesse d´Vendome and Princess Josephine of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen (both neé Princess of Belgium)

*2.-Princess Elisabeth of Romania (later Queen of Greece) with cousin Augusta Viktoria of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen (later Queen of Portugal) and uncle, Prince Wilhelm of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen

*3.-Prince Karl of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen (right) fooling around with brother, Crownprince Ferdinand of Romania.

King Ferdinand I of Romania.  He gave a speech on August 28, 1916: 

Romanians!

The war which for the last two years has been encircling our frontiers more and more closely has shaken the ancient foundations of Europe to their depths.

It has brought the day which has been awaited for centuries by the national conscience, by the founders of the Romanian State, by those who united the principalities in the war of independence, by those responsible for the national renaissance.

It is the day of the union of all branches of our nation. Today we are able to complete the task of our forefathers and to establish forever that which Michael the Great was only able to establish for a moment, namely, a Romanian union on both slopes of the Carpathians.

For us the mountains and plains of Bukowina, where Stephen the Great has slept for centuries. In our moral energy and our valour lie the means of giving him back his birthright of a great and free Rumania from the Tisza to the Black Sea, and to prosper in peace in accordance with our customs and our hopes and dreams.

Romanians!

Animated by the holy duty imposed upon us, and determined to bear manfully all the sacrifices inseparable from an arduous war, we will march into battle with the irresistible élan of a people firmly confident in its destiny. The glorious fruits of victory shall be our reward. Forward, with the help of God!

FERDINAND

Proclamation by King Ferdinand, 28 August 1916

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Queen Marie of Romania wearing the Vladimir Sapphire Kokoshnik Tiara (Cartier, 1909) and her Cartier Sautoir with the Sapphire Pendant, 1920s.

The Edinburgh sisters after the funeral of King Ferdinand I of Romania, husband of Queen Marie of Romania (pictured centre). To her left is Princess Alexandra of Hohenlohe-Langenburg; behind her is Princess Beatrice, Duchess of Galliera and to her right is Grand Duchess Viktoria Feodorovna of Russia. 1927. 

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Princess Ileana of Romania, born in January 1909, was the youngest daughter of King Ferdinand I of Romania and his consort Queen Marie of Romania. The princess was once considered to be a potential wife for the last Tsarevich of Russia, Alexei Nikolaevich, and the next possible Empress consort of Russia. Shortly before the First World War in mid-June of 1914, five-year-old Ileana met the nine-year-old Alexei during the Romanov family’s official state visit to Romania. The primary plan for the visit was to try to unite Ileana’s oldest brother Carol to Alexei’s oldest sister Olga for marriage. However, both of the unions were never to be commenced. Olga never liked Carol, who eventually became King Carol II of Romania, and Alexei and his family were murdered just four years later. The princess married an Austrian archduke instead and died in exile as a nun in 1991. 

Photo 1: Princess Ileana of Romania as a young teenager in circa early 1920s. Photo 2 & 3: from left to right, Tsarevich Alexei of Russia, Princess Ileana, and her brother, Prince Nicolae of Romania in June 1914.

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January 10, 1893 – Wedding of Princess Marie of Edinburgh and Ferdinand Crown Prince of Romania

  The wedding, on 10 January 1893, was held at Sigmaringen Castle, a fairytale edifice perched high above a mighty cliff overlooking the Danube River. Missy was dressed in a voluminous gown in keeping with the tastes of the day. When the time came to affirm before the world their intention to marry, the bride and groom’s responses were almost a reflection of how they viewed their marriage. Nandi “ja” was “heard distinctly over the church, but the answer of Princess Marie was quite inaudible.
If Missy was overcome by the thought of her new life and position, she betrayed nothing to the throngs of guests who watched her carefully. Though Queen Victoria was unable to get to her grandaughter’s wedding, she did not forget to honor Missy. On the wedding day itself, salutes were fired from forts and ships at Portsmouth. At Osborne, the queen held a dinner party which included the Romanian minister to London and Lord Rosebery, the prime minister. In her toast to the newlyweds, Queen Victoria raised her glass with the words :” I wish to propose the health of my dear grandchildren Prince and Princess Ferdinand of Romania, with every wish for their happiness.”

The Empress Frederick gave her opinion to Sophie of Greece, ‘I think it very hard upon her, that she should be married off so young and go so far away.’ How right she proved to be. 

Missy’s honeymoon lasted only a few days, but the experience left the young woman in a daze. Completely unprepared for what was in store for her, Missy became suddenly bewildered with married life.

Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria by Julia P. Gelardi

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Princess Zenaida Youssoupoff sitting next to Ferdinand I of Romania. 

The Youssoupoff’s hosted many members of various Royal Houses during the coronation celebrations, including Crown Princess Marie and Prince Ferdinand of Romania. Prince Felix Youssoupoff would write, “ After the coronation, my parents returned to Arkhangelskoye with their guests, including Prince Ferdinand of Romania and Princess Marie… He was an attractive man, but devoid of personality, extremely timid and undecided in both public and private life. He would have been rather a handsome man had his ears not stuck out, which spoiled his looks.”

In the Arkhangelskoye museum archives, along with the informal photos taken during their visit, there remains official photographs taken and signed by Prince Ferdinand and Princess Marie