🌼 PART 1 🌼 On this day, 29 October 1875, Marie of Edinburgh, Queen of Romania was born at Eastwell Manor in Kent.
Marie, informally known as "Missy", was the eldest daughter and second child of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria, and Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, daughter of Emperor Alexander II. Her parents’ marriage had begun as a love affair but over the years their relations deteriorated, Maria also had a huge dislike of England and her in-laws. Yet, outwardly their family life was happy and Marie spent her childhood in the company of her siblings; Prince Alfred (b. 1874); Princesses Victoria Melita (b. 1876, "Ducky"); Alexandra (b. 1878) and Beatrice (b. 1884).
The Duke of Edinburg was often absent due to his position in the British Royal Navy, and the children's upbringing was largely controlled by their mother, who was attentive and loving, if strict. In 1886, Alfred took command of the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean Squadron and moved with his family to Malta. Marie would remember those years as "the happiest memory of my existence". It was there that she became an accomplished horsewoman. In 1889, following the death of the childless Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg, the family moved once again back to Coburg, where Alfred and Maria became the new Duke and Duchess.
In the meantime, Marie caught the attention of the second son of the Prince of Wales, Prince George, who had also been stationed in Malta. Marie and George became very close and their bond only deepened as they grew older. They began corresponding by letters and in early 1891, he wrote to Missy: “It is nearly nine months since I have seen you, but you are constantly in my thoughts.” There was talk of an engagement, which was blessed by both fathers but disapproved by both mothers. Despite her feelings, Marie eventually wrote to George that there could be no engagement. Instead, her mother looked to engage Missy to Ferdinand, Crown Prince of Romania, nephew of the childless King Carol I. ⬇️