7. Several collections in the Hoover Archives document the unusual career of Marie of Romania. The daughter of Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and Grand Duchess Marie of Russia, she was one of the most intelligent and beautiful young royals of pre—World War I Europe.
Marie’s paternal grandmother was Queen Victoria, and her maternal grandfather was Tsar Alexander II of Russia. She spent a protected childhood in England, Germany, and Malta, with occasional forays into the extravagant world of the Romanov court. Queen Victoria intended her to marry the British Crown prince, who was reportedly very pleased with the prospect. Instead Marie’s Anglophobe mother steered her into a marriage with Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania, a new nation ruled by imported German royalty. Carol I of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen ruled first as prince of Romania from 1866 to 1881 and then as king of the newly recognized nation from 1881 to his death in 1914. His nephew Ferdinand succeeded him in 1914 and with Marie saw Romania through the tragedy of World War I. Together they guided the consolidation of Transylvania with Romania in 1918. As the Ottoman, Hapsburg, and Russian empires crumbled around the Romanian lands, Ferdinand and Marie served an essential function in maintaining national unity.
8. Many of Queen Marie’s letters are preserved in the George Duca and Mother Alexandra papers in the Hoover Archives.