Queen Mary of Romania – the Soldier Queen

Queen Mary is known as “The Soldier Queen” or the “Mother of wounded”, because of her massive implication in helping injured person in the First World War. Maria Alexandra Victoria by Saxa-Coburg and Gotha (aka Queen Mary) is born in Great Britain, on October 29, 1875.

The Queen is the first daughter of Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia and Prince Alfred of Great Britain. At the age of 17, young Mary marries Prince Ferdinand I and becomes the Queen of Romania. Ferdinand I of Romania was King of the Romanians from 10 October 1914 until his death in 1927, after he became his uncle`s heir – Carol I.

In 30 years of marriage, Queen Mary gives birth to Carol II, Princess Elisabeth, Princess Maria, Prince Nicolae and little Mircea.

She is considered one of the most beautiful women from Europe with a big heart. People loved Queen Mary because she became a nurse in the First World War and courageously coped with this role. She crosses the Danube Delta just to see how Romanian soldiers feel, as in the year of 1913, erupts a cholera epidemic. When she came back home she obtains her husband permission to develop a help camp there.

Furthermore, Queen Mary of Romania influences all the decision that her husband, Ferdinand I, takes. Also, she gets involved in social and political actions even if in those times, women had an insignificant role in politics.

From 1930 to her death, Queen Mary lives isolated most of the time in Bran Castle or in the city of Balchik. At Bran Castle she has an active factor in the building of “Queen Heart” Hospital, built at the base of the Bran Castle. This is the place where were she is taking care of all harmed soldiers from war.

In 1938 Queen Mary is diagnosed with an “incurable disease”: liver cancer, and her family hospitalizes her in sanatoriums from Italy and Germany. Because she wants to die in Romania, she asks her son, Carol II – the king of Romania – to send her home by a plane. The relationships between the queen and her son Carol II were not cordials, and he didn’t accept her request. Hitler offers his own private plane for her, but she refuses his offer. Queen Mary took the train, returns home and dies at Pelisor Castle at the age of 63.

Queen Mary deceases on July 18, 1938 at Sinaia, the date being announced by King Carol II. She is buried with splendor and dress in a simple white dress, as she desired. Those who take part to her funeral dress in violet clothes – her favorite color, and brought red flower as a final tribute.  She is the grandmother of the last King of Romanians – Michael I.

In her testament, Queen Mary writes her desire to place her heart in a cassette and deposit it in the Stella Maris Church, near her villa from Balchik city. Because Romania lost this territory in 1940, the cassette is brought to Bran Castle.

From 1971 to 2015 the cassette with Queen’s heart is placed in the National Museum of History from Bucharest. At the end of 2015, the cassette was moved to Pelisor Castle. The event celebrates 140 years since the birth of Queen Mary.


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Adela Petrus
“At any age, man is a creature that feeds on stories. Therefore, the wealth measured in stories, gathered by the people across the globe, from house to house, from century to century, either spoken or in writing, exceeded any other human wealth” - Rabindranath Tagore


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