The historical record of Queen Marie’s jewels has been one highly conditioned by the shifting grounds of the intervening political regimes and legislations. Many of them were thus lost or scattered in many places, but their memory and beauty can still be glimpsed in old photographs, and more compellingly in newly discovered drawings from the 1900 or documents such as the list of her jewels compiled in 1902, her correspondence, bills and her will. Many of Marie’s jewels were lost in the maelstrom of the Bolshevik Revolution, and only a few survived, a part of which can now be admired as museum exhibits, while others became family heirlooms after her death, imprinting the destiny of their inheritors. The old photographs and drawings exude the spirit of a princess, who then became a queen, and was a keen collector of jewels of a multitude of styles and fashions, from the Victorian ones to Byzantine designs in the manner of those of Empress Theodora, from flamboyant Art Nouveau to the reduced to essence Art Deco, and in her last years to a preference for pearls and diamonds.
A modest and apparently unassuming personality, Mignon faced with great dignity personal tragedy and the misfortunes of her native and adopted countries’ during the two world conflagrations of the twentieth century. Today the old Yugoslavia doesn’t exist anymore, there are several independent states, but the admiration of many among her people still continues.
Maria – Mignon, Princess of Romania, was a great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, the second daughter of Queen Marie and King Ferdinand of Romania. At the age of 22 she became the queen consort of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, and from that moment on her destiny become linked with the tragic fate of her husband and country.
Diana Mandache, “Mignon. Princess of Romania. Queen of Yugoslavia”, Curtea Veche Publishing, September 2018, hardcover, 276 pages, cca 200 ill., (Romanian language).
My previous book published by Curtea Veche in November 2017: “The inheritance of Elena Lupescu and the communist state”, 288 pages + 32 pages with colour & b&w photos.