February 24, 2009

Born to Rule by Julia P. Gelardi: Queen Marie of Romania

I have been reading a number of books on the Romanian Royal Family recently.  They are a "young" Royal House when you compare it to others, in so far, they, like the Greece Royal House and others in the area were only founded in the 1800s after independence from the Ottoman Empire.

Part of it is my fasination with royalty and part of it is to see the links between the past and the present.  One of these books is Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria by Julia P. Gelardi.  She focuses on the five granddaughters of Queen Victoria who became wives of Kings or Emperors.  Two of these granddaughters I knew a lot about, the other three I did not.

One of these women was Queen Marie of Romania, born a princess of Great Britain and Ireland.  She was the eldest daughter of Prince Alfred.  She was not destined to rule as Queen of England, but she did have her fair share of suitors.

Queen Marie of Romania was also one who made some of the biggest impact during the First World War.  Only her cousin Empress Alexandra of Russia had more lasting impact on the war- and Alexandra would be the first of these women to die- in 1918 with her family.  Queen Victoria Ena of Spain and Queen Maud of Norway were both queen consorts of neutral countries, and Queen Sophie of Greece was queen consort to King Constantine- who was a part of the allies- after a fashion.  Either way, Romania was either fighting against Austria and Hungary or Germany, or they were not fighting (they made a separate peace with Germany at one point)

Then Romania gained Transylvania- and Marie would play a large role in it at the peace conferences of Paris in 1919. She was crowned queen of Romania in Transylvania, in the city of Alba Iulia, and then built a lovely retreat in the area.  Gelardi goes into detail about how Marie saw the conference but not about the impact of these treaties themselves. Marie would also gain as a royal residence Bran Castle- this is mentioned by the author as well. However, because of the nature of the book it's hard to keep track of what happened and to whom.  This is good book for people who want to know more about the links between these Queens- there isn't much, and how they lived their lives.

If you are looking for a primer on the royalty and its links between each other during the First World War this is a good book to read.  It gives a good idea of how life was like for these women.

February 20, 2009

Transylvania Madness

So, what makes Transylvania so wonderful?

What makes it so romantic?

Perhaps it is the people and the unique environment that it gives. More likely it is the legends that come from it.

I suspect that red from blood is a natural thing in the area. Take Dracula... or the Countess.

The land is enough to make you want to live there.

The villages the castles...

On to the castles next

Queen Maria's palace anyone?

February 17, 2009

Forgotten People


So no answers to questions these days.

It might be fun to find out about others times and peoples.

I am finding out more about how each group: Romanian and Hungarian dealt with the split of Transylvania in 1940.

They left for the other side. Northern Transylvania saw more Hungarians move there with many Romanians leave.

Some with Southern Transylvania, only in the reverse.

What I can not understand is why.

February 15, 2009

And your choices...

Don't forget to tell me why



Pied Piper

Countess Elizabeth of Transylvania

Dracula or Someone Else?

Who is the favorite legend in Transylvania?

February 11, 2009

February 10, 2009


Do you know where Transylvania is?

Do you want to know?

History... or a list of boring stories?

February 6, 2009

What does the Monarchy Mean?

I am wondering how the monarchy helped or hindered the people of Transylvania.

It was Queen Maria of Romania who gain Transylvania for her country and her son. King Carol lost half of it to Hungary.

Her grandson King Michael regained the land.

King Gaza of Hungary and King Andrew of Hungary invited both the German Saxons and the Teutonic Knights to Transylvania with success. Though King Andrew would send the Knights to Prussia later in his reign.

I think the Monarchy did both help and hinder the land. How about you?

February 4, 2009

Soldier On

I wondered how people could become soldiers when they wanted to live their lives as farmers.

Simple governments.

As far back as the Romans all men needed to help defend or expand the country. In this case it was the Romans who started the expansion, and then the Wallachains and Dacians and Hungarians.

So, that is what duty was like in the past. I wonder what it will be like in the future. Not existent.

By there is much to learn more the past and much to hope for because of it.

I'm thankful to those who soldiered on.

February 3, 2009


A lot of the farmers in Transylvania lived without.


But one thing which they never lived without was taxes.

Taxes were in the form of money which came from food that the farmer sold. Even if it meant they went hungry.