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The Romanian Army Medical Corps Heroes Memorial in Bucharest: basrelief.  (Weekly Picture: Diana Mandache’s weblog Royal History; Photograph ©Valentin Mandache)

The Romanian Army Medical Corps Heroes Memorial (Monumentul Eroilor Sanitari) in Bucharest: bronze basrelief representing part of the Romanian royal family receiving high ranking officers of the the Romanian Army in the First World War. Queen Marie is represented as a nurse at the basrelief’s centre, Prince Nicholas in cadet uniform-second from left and Princess Elisabeta also as a nurse on the left hand side. The scene probably depicts an official scene from 1917 on the Moldavian front. There is no inscription on the monument mentioning the name of the Romanian royals. That was the main reason why it survived during communist period, when the party officials, a very ignorant lot in matters of royal history, saw the basreliefs as general war time representations and left them in place. These basreliefs and what they represent are still virtually unknown by the Bucharest people, and Romanians in general, with very few press articles mentioning them in the twenty years since the fall of communism. The memorial is the masterwork of Raffaello Romanelli in 1932 and is located nearby Cotroceni Palace, the former residence of King Ferdinand and his queen consort.

Monumentul Eroilor Sanitari: unul din panourile basorelief de bronz de pe Monumentul Eroilor Sanitari din Bucuresti, unde sunt reprezentati Regina Maria ca sora sanitara, Printul Nicolae in uniforma de cadet si Printesa Elisabeta de asemenea ca sora sanitata. Basoerlieful prezinta o scena din anul 1917 in una din cele mai grele perioade ale Primului Razboi Mondial pentru Romania, cand suportul moral al Familiei Regale si munca in vizitele in spitalele de campanie ale Reginei Maria si a copiilor ei au fost esentiale pentru mentinerea moralului in acele zile de cumpana. Basoreliefurile au supravietuit comunismului deoarece nu sunt mentionate nume pe ele, iar oficialii comunisti, un grup care nu s-a remarcat prin nivel cultural, au crezut ca sunt o scena generala de razboi, lasandu-le in loc. Diana Mandache

Queen Marie of Romania. Regina Maria on Facebook


I endeavour in the “Weekly Pictures” post series to bring to light worthy of note, often less known images from the royal past and present and thus further enhance the understanding of royal history and what it represents for us.

Weekly picture: Diana Mandache’s weblog Royal History.

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