Her eternal crown Queen Marie of Romania and the Bahai faith
by Della L. Marcus
biography of the first monarch to accept the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.
‘A woman brought me the other day a Book. I spell it with a capital letter because it is a glorious Book of love and goodness, strength and beauty.’ (Toronto Daily Star, 4 May 1926) The author of this article was Queen Marie of Romania, the woman of whom she wrote Martha Root and the book contained the writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Thus was Queen Marie introduced to the Bahá’í Faith. The first monarch to accept the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, she struggled against the political bonds that tie every ruler to proclaim the new religion. It is ‘Christ’s Message taken up anew in the same words almost,’ she wrote, ‘but adapted to the thousand years and more difference that lies between the year one and today.’ ‘It is like a wide embrace gathering together all those who have long searched for words of hope.’
Her Eternal Crown is not a retelling of the life of Queen Marie; rather, it is the story – told largely in extracts from her own letters and diaries and from those of Martha Root – of the deepening relationship between a European monarch and the religion whose teachings she championed for the rest of her life.
Della L. Marcus, of American lineage, brought up in Luxembourg and the Holy Land and now living in Romania, draws on previously unpublished materials found in the Romanian State Archives and the archives of Bahá’í institutions to provide a unique glimpse into the life of Queen Marie.