, , , , , , , ,

Princess Elisabeta, Queen Marie of Romania & Princess Maria (Mignon), at the French Academy, 8 March 1919

I have recently published on my Facebook page dedicated to Queen Marie a photograph published in a French magazine in the spring of 1919.  At that time Queen Marie was a regular visitor of Paris as a unofficial representative of Romania at the Peace Conference. The image shows the Romanian queen with her eldest daughters at the French Academy, listening to the welcoming speech of Charles Vidor. The event is described by Marie in her last memoir ‘Later Chapters’:

… there was a solemn ‘séance a l’Académie des Beaux Arts’ where I was admitted as only woman amidst the most doct company of very old and important gentlemen. This was also a very special honour; I felt deeply flattered, but not being ‘une intelectuelle’ only normally intelligent, I felt somewhat bewildered about all the fuss they made about my talents etc… I was not entirely convinced that I deserved these conspicuous honours, whilst I had accepted the military tribute payed to me, without a blush. I was pompously ushered to a chair in the celebrated old room of ‘l’Institut’ and had to listen to a very flattering speech of welcome by Mr. Charles Vidor [President of the French Academy] to which I answered in a few simple, unprepared words. When deeply moved I can luckily always express myself, only emotion generally makes my English accent more conspicuous. Anyhow my amiable old colleagues were more than enchanted with me and we said extraordinarily sweet things to each other, and then I and my daughters were conducted to a second building where we listened to some supremely exquisite music and conversed with innumerable elderly gentlemen with famous names recognized all over the world, among whom Henri Bergson the great philosopher and François Fleming. (8 March 1919)

All rights reserved©Diana Mandache, ‘Laters Chapters of My Life. The Lost Memoir of Queen Marie of Romania’, Sutton, 2004