Marie of Romania (1875–1938), though little known to most readers today, was probably the most dynamic and effective royal consort of the 20th century, and certainly the most glamorous. A granddaughter of both Queen Victoria and the Tsar Alexander II, she was brought up in England by her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. Among her many gifts were vitality, courage, leadership and a great sense of duty, as well as of humour.
She was also a prolific author, of novels, short stories, poetry and children’s books. But what brought her literary fame were the first three volumes of The Story of My Life, covering the years down to 1918. When they appeared, in 1934–5, in England as well as America, they were also translated into French, Romanian, German, Polish, Czech, Swedish, Italian and Hungarian.