Monday, 10 November 2008


From Dorothy Parker's Not So Deep as a Well (1937):

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

Marie Alexandra Victoria made the most of being Queen of Romania in the first half of the twentieth century. She was the daughter of the then Duke of Edinburgh and thus a grand-daughter of Queen Victoria and great-grand-daughter of Tsar Alexander II. Her husband King Ferdinand was a Hohenzollern, but she retained her Englishness from first to last, though she did take the trouble to learn Romanian. Her persuasive gifts brought Romania into the First World War on the side of France and Britain and she went to war herself as a Red Cross nurse. She published several books, was a fine horsewoman and was said to be fabulously beautiful.
She died in 1938 and is honoured among Romanians to this day.


Froog said...

Did your research cover this blog post? It includes a nice picture of her in her youth. A little reminiscent of the late Queen Mum at a similar age, I thought

Tony said...

Well no, it didn't, but it does now. Mult'umesc foarte mult!

Froog said...

I'm glad you liked the photograph.

Did you choose to standardise the spelling? All the texts I've seen have 'Roumania', which was, I believe, the fashion at the time, at least in The Algonquin.

Tony said...

You may well be right. I got very tired of those breakfasts at the Algonquin so I rarely went.

John S said...

isn't it likely Dorothy Parker would have been referring to someone seven years younger (Princess Marie, born 1900) than a woman 20 years older (Queen Marie, born 1875)?

Tony said...

Possible, but unlikely, I would have thought. Marie (eventually Maria of Yugoslavia) was less famous than her mother. Do let me know if you can find out definitely.