This week Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Margareta unveiled a new picture at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Bucharest – a portrait of Queen Marie of Romania.
Queen Marie was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, born Princess Marie of Edinburgh in 1875. As the wife of King Ferdinand she became Queen of Romania in 1914. She is a great figure in Romanian history, and used her special charm and charisma to promote Romania’s national interest (most famously at the Congress of Versailles), Romanian culture, and the well-being of Romania’s soldiers and its people. She remains extremely popular in Romania today – a page dedicated to her on facebook has over 14,000 friends!
She also has a special place in the history of the bilateral relationship between Britain and Romania. During her reign, Romania was an ally of the UK in the First World War. Queen Marie also provided for the spiritual needs of the British community in Romania, founding the Anglican Church in Bucharest. And through her the royal houses of Romania and the United Kingdom became related, consolidating the bilateral relations established in 1880 and signifying the wider relationship between the British and Romanian peoples, which continues to be close to this day.
So it is very appropriate that Queen Marie’s portrait should now hang in the British Ambassador’s Residence, and serve as a reminder of the history of our bilateral relationship, and an inspiration to strengthen and develop it in the future.