Palais Edinburg. Coburg. December 23rd 1906
I must write a few words amongst all the agitations of Christmas, of course, it is always a laborious time and the weather being “exquisite” now, one wants to be out in the afternoons. Perfect winter atmosphere, dry, snowy, sunny! Very good sledging and skating also started. I do enjoy sledging. I bought a new light and comfortable sledge and it is heavenly going along. Well, Ducky is looking very well, though beginning to get uncomfortable in a dozen small ways. She is very large but it all sits up very high, making her quite out of breath and the kicking little creature makes her start from time to time. But she comes over often and does not let herself go. She is enchanted to be back, as at Paris she had to go out often to big parties and it began to be very troublesome in her advanced state. Kyrill is gracious and in good humour for him! Only he will insist on driving her every day in an uncomfortable high American sledge, when she can hardly lift her legs to jet into any carriage at all! I tell him every day about it but he won’t see it and she is absolutely his slave. He is obstinate like a mule and the whole business is so simple to get a low comfortable sledge and she does enjoy it, as she won’t walk a step. Very bad for her, but here comes her obstinacy. Well, well, I am old fashioned enough to believe in the excellency of moderate walking before confinements, for otherwise you gradually get incapable of moving at all. But she always was mal sur jambes. Of course we play bridge after dinner, even till midnight, because they both like it so much. Baby has been angelrut and, as a fact, does not dislike it at all, but she is terribly slow, which is trying and prolongs the pleasure. Continue reading
The Romanian celebrations of National Day – 10 May 1916 – cavalry passing in review before King Ferdinand. Being in the nature of a military review the Romanian National Day celebrations were mainly of a warlike character. The war in which Europe was involved gave that year a wider significance than before. The celebrations were mainly in the nature of a ‘preparedness for war’ demonstration.
On 3rd November 2015, 26 years after the fall of communism, Queen Marie’s heart will be transferred from the storage rooms of Romania’s National History Museum in Bucharest, to Pelishor Castle in Sinaia. The heart enclosed into a silver casket will lie on a plinth placed behind the couch where she passed away 77 years ago on 18 July 1938. She was on her way back from treatment in Dresden to her official residence at Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest, but had to make an emergency stop in Sinaia as her health became critical, and the death intervened.
According to HM King Michael of Romania, the most appropriate place for Queen Marie’s heart to rest for an undetermined period, is the Golden Room in Pelishor Castle, were she died. The chapel ‘Stella Maris’ of Balchik Palace, the initial place chosen by Marie, is not longer Romanian territory, being part of Bulgaria, in the aftermath of the Treaty of Craiova between the two countries, signed on 7 September 1940.
This year, on 29 October, we celebrate 140 years since Queen Marie was born at Eastwell Park, in Kent, and also 77 years since her heart left Cotroceni Palace church to Stella Maris chapel in Balchik. Continue reading
Queen Marie’s heart will finally find a proper and fitting resting place and peace that it deserves, the Romanian Royal Family intending to place it inside her former residence at the Pelishor Castle in Sinaia (in the Golden Room) on 3 November 2015.
According to Queen Marie’s last wish, her heart was to be buried separately, as in the medieval customs of which she was very found as a personality formed during Victorian times. The heart was first interred in the chapel ‘Stella Maris’ of her Black Sea palace in Balcic in 1938. After that area has been ceded to Bulgaria, the heart was re-interred by her daughter Princess Ileana in 1940 in ‘the chapel in the rock’, near Bran Castle, another property of Marie much loved by her, located in the Transylvanian Alps. The communist regime once again removed the heart from Bran and put it in storage at the National History Museum in Bucharest. Since 1940 the Queen’s heart was forced to ‘travel’ by the geopolitics of the region, reflecting the tormented history of the Balkans.
For more details about Queen Marie’s heart: see my book ‘Marie of Romania. Images of a Queen’ (RRB, 2007) or “Balcicul Reginei Maria” (Curtea Veche, 2014).