Pauline Elisabeth Ottilie Luise of Wied (n. 29 December 1843, Schloss Monrepos – d. 2 March 1916, Curtea de Argeș Cathedral)
The image is one from the queen’s youth. She is represented here with voluminous and coifed hair, big eyes, a long and straight nose, thin lips and wearing an elegant dress.
Her forehead is framed by her curly hair, depicted here by a compact texture with interrupting curved lines overlapped over small X’s.
She has a feather pinned to the side of her head, highlighted by slightly curved lines.
She is wearing a ball gown depicted by small diamonds. The dress has poufy sleeves and a fur collar reproduced here by the wavy texture which leaves her shoulders uncovered.
Pauline Elisabeth Ottilie Luise, Queen of Romania, between 1881 and 1916, was born on 29 December 1843 in the county of Wied in Germany [Bibliography 1]. She married Prince Carol I of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen in 1869. In 1881, after Romania was proclaimed to be a kingdom, she was crowned Queen of Romania.
During her lifetime she was noted for her social-artistic and charitable activities, she was known under the literary pen name Carmen Sylva [Bibliography 2].
In literature she initially collaborated with Maria von Bardeleben (known as Mite Kremnitz), the wife of a German doctor who came to Romania during the Independence War (1877). Their collaboration resulted in the epistolary novel known as “The Novel of a Princess” published under the pen names “Ditto and Idem” [Bibliography 3]. The second novel the queen published was named Astra and was dedicated to her aunt, the Queen of Sweden. The two novels enjoyed impressive success and, as such, were published in several different languages [Bibliography 4].
Another cultural activity the queen enjoyed was copying on parchment paper, adorned with paintings, the twelve Gospels. The work was made for the Curtea de Argeș Cathedral in memory of her daughter Maria who had died at the age of 3. Queen Elizabeth is also the author of several volumes of poetry and prose such as The Peleș Stories (1882 and 1883), Through the ages (1885) – work dedicated to Vasile Alecsandri, The grand builder Manole (1892), The Journey on the Danube of a daughter of the Rhine (1905) [Bibliography 5].
Apart from her own contributions to Romanian literature, Queen Elizabeth also translated multiple works. She translated works of Romanian authors from French, English and German. [Bibliography 6].
Another prominent activity was caring for the wounded during the Russo-Turkish war during 1877-1878. In the period before the war, Princess Elizabeth was involved in the organization of hospitals and in creating an ambulance service. She was helped in those endeavors by the General Carol Davila, who served as the Inspector of the Sanitary Service, and by eight Prussian military doctors and five Albertine nuns sent to Romania by the Queen of Saxe.
According to Gabriel Badea-Păun, Elizabeth ”managed with the help of the money she received from certain Germanic courts to build two sheds in which up to 100 beds could be fitted, and all this inside the courtyard of the Cotroceni Palace” [Bibliography 7].
She also activated in the field of philanthropy and in 1906 she created ”Vatra luminoasă” to help those who were visually impaired. The neighborhood” Vatra luminoasă took its name from that of the establishment [Bibliography 8]. She also set up the Charity Sisters Institution (1879), The Queen Elizabeth Polyclinic (1896), The Evangelical Institute of the Deaconesses (1903) [Bibliography 9].
Queen Elizabeth died on 18th of February 1916 shortly before the kingdom would enter the First World War. She was interred at the Curtea de Argeș Cathedral [Bibliograhpy 10].
- Gabriel Badea-Păun, Carmen Sylva. Uimitoarea regină Elisabeta a României, Editura Humanitas, trad. Ileana Margareta Nistor, București, 2012. pp. 24-25.
- Lat. „Cântecul pădurii”.
3-4. Gabriel Badea-Păun, op. cit., p. 142.
- George Bengescu, Carmen Sylva. Viața Reginei Elisabeta, Editura Porțile Orientului, Iași, 1995, p. 68.
- Regina Elisabeta, available online at http://www.familiaregala.ro/istorie/regina-elisabetahttp://www.familiaregala.ro/istorie/regina-elisabeta[august 2018].
- Gabriel Badea-Păun, op. cit., p. 102.
8-10. Regina Elisabeta, available online at http://www.familiaregala.ro/istorie/regina-elisabeta http://www.familiaregala.ro/istorie/regina-elisabeta [august 2018].