The Wedding of Crown Prince Ferdinand Of Romania And Princess Marie Of Edinburgh, Later, King And Queen Of Romania

The wedding of Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania and Princess Marie of Edinburgh.

Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania and Princess Marie of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha were married in a lavish ceremony and amidst a crowd of Europe’s royalty on January 10, 1893. They eventually reigned as King and Queen of Romania from 1914 until 1927.

Ferdinand was born a prince of Hohenzollern Sigmaringen in 1865 to Prince Leopold and Princess Antonia of Portugal. He became heir to the throne of his childless uncle, King Carol I, after his father renounced his claim to the throne in 1880, followed by brother Prince Wilhelm in 1886.

Princess Marie, meanwhile, was the eldest daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria, and of Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, only daughter of Czar Alexander II. Marie’s father eventually inherited the sovereign Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in Germany in 1893 upon the death of his uncle, Ernest II. Alfred’s eldest brother, the future King Edward VII, renounced his right to succession earlier.

Princess Marie was one of the prettiest European princesses during her lifetime. She was gifted with "sparkling blue eyes and silky fair hair" and every royal prince throughout Europe pursued, even his cousin, Prince George of Wales (later King George V).

Crown Princess Marie of Romania.

Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh agreed on getting Missy (as she was known the in the family) betrothed to George, but the Alexandra, the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Edinburgh, who disagreed over dynastic and political reasons, were against the match. The Princess of Wales loathed the Romanov’s pro-German sentiment while Marie, who disliked England, did not wish her daughter to stay in the country. Also, Marie was insecure of Alexandra’s position in the Court; as the Princess of Wales, Alexandra received higher precedence over Marie, despite the fact that his father was just a minor German prince before he was invited to become king of Denmark. Marie also resented a marriage between first cousins because the Russian Orthodox Church forbids it

King Ferdinand of Romania.
In Romania, meanwhile, King Carol I was on a quest to search for the right match to Crown Prince Ferdinand for the continuity of the lineage of the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. The Duchess of Edinburgh saw this as a chance to get her daughter into a right match. With the hopes of easing the tensions between Russia and Romania over Bessarabia, the Duchess of Edinburgh urged her daughter to meet Ferdinand. The two got to know each other at a gala dinner. Marie’s first impressions on Ferdinand was that he was shy but friendly. Their second meeting turned out fine.

On their engagement, Queen Victoria wrote to her granddaughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, describing Ferdinand as “nice” and his parents “charming,” although she was quite displeased about Romania, calling it a  “very insecure” country with an immoral society and a “quite awful” capital.

In late 1892, King Carol went to London to discuss details of the marriage of the two with the Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria gave her blessings to the marriage, appointing Carol a Knight of the Garter.

Their marriage took place at Sigmaringen Castle in three ceremonies. The first one was a civil, officiated at the Red Hall by Karl von Wendel. Marie’s cousin and former admirer, Kaiser Wilhelm II, was the first to sign the marriage act.

A portrait of Queen Marie of Romania by de Lazslo
The second was a Catholic ceremony at 4 o’clock at the town church, since Ferdinand was a Roman Catholic. She was escorted to the altar by Prince Alfred. A modest Anglican ceremony (Marie’s religion) was held as one of the castle’s chambers.

King Carol gave the couple "Honigtag" (one day of honeymoon), the newly-weds nevertheless stay at the Castle of Krauchenwies in Bavaria for a couple of days before they journeyed to the countryside, then a stopover in Vienna, where they were welcomed by Emperor Franz Joseph. The uneasy tension between Austria and Romania which was then at the height of the Transylvanian Memorandum) cut their Austrian trip short. They then proceeded to the border town of Predeal before crossing of Transylvania by train.

The Romanians, who have long yearned for a monarchy with a more personal touch, gave their new crown princess a welcome fit for a queen.


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