“Queen Marie” is an in-depth, fascinating look at a little-known member of the British Royal family. Maria di Sassonia-Coburgo-Gotha was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria’s, and became the Queen of Romania after marrying King Ferdinand.
Samuel Goldwyn’s dramatic film about Queen Marie focuses on her passionate attempts to help her adopted country at the Versaille Peace Treaty talks in Paris following WWI. The film is directed by Alexis Sweet Cahill, and stars Roxana Lupo as the aristocratic and beautiful queen.
Romania had been devastated by WWI, and the country’s hopes were riding on their Queen’s mission to Paris to assist with the 1919 peace talks. She is apparently the lone female in the male-dominated talks, and as such she wasn’t permitting a seat at the table. She hoped to lobby for international recognition of Romania’s unification at the Peace Treaty. Most of the allied leaders, including British Prime Minister Lloyd George and French Prime Minister George Clemenceau, refused to listen to her pleas for aid to Romania.
Queen Marie’s Dinner Table Diplomacy
The worst offender was the United States President, Woodrow Wilson, who is portrayed by Patrick Drury as an arrogant male chauvinist. Queen Marie was able to achieve some success in petitioning to have her country’s pleas heard by appealing to her cousin, British King George. She also managed to meet and become friends with President Wilson’s wife, Edith, at a social gathering. While in France, the beautiful Queen and her daughters were quite popular with society, and became favorite subjects for society photographers.
After watching the film, and realizing I didn’t know anything about Romania’s history, I wondered what happened to Queen Marie and her country following the treaty. I read more about that historic period in Wikipedia, which helped me understand why Romania was viewed negatively by the allied powers. The country had been occupied by Germany during most of the war, and had been forced to sign a harsh treaty with them in May of 1918. King Ferdinand had only mobilized the Romanian army to re-enter WWI on the side of the allies the day before Germany surrendered on Nov. 11, 1918.
King Ferdinand died shortly after the Treaty of Versailles, and the monarchy gave way to a socialist republic and then a communist country after WWII. Marie was the country’s last queen, and she is remembered as a dedicated nurse and also a writer. She died in 1938 after writing a number of books, including a critically reviewed autobiography.
The film was released in 2019, but is just now set to start streaming on multiple VOD platforms. The script for “Queen Marie” has an obvious feminine slant, and is credited to Cahill, Brigette Drodtloff, Marie-Denise Theodoru, Ioana Manea, and Gabi Antal. Production design is by Nora Dumitrescue and Laua Russu, with photography director Gabriel Kosuth shooting on location in Romania and Paris.