This article focuses on the first monarch to embrace the Baha'i Faith, Queen Marie of Romania. It sets out to convey the stature and the character of this remarkable woman, her unique position in the early twentieth century, and, above all, her position in the Baha'i Faith. It also sets out to examine two issues. First, it is widely known that Queen Maries was a Baha'i. yet, a number of her own statements seem to contradict this affiliation and bring into question her conversion to the Baha'i Faith. Through examining her diaries and publisc statements, this work attempts to clarify the apparent contradiction. the second issue concersn Queen Marie's plan to visit the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa in 1929. Shoghi Effendi had made arrangements for a visit that never took place. It is well known that she reached Haifa in Palestine (Israel) on March 30, 1929, but failed to contact Shoghi Effendi or to visit the places she had deeply desired to visit. Information from her unpublished personal diaries sheds new light on her aborted pilgrimage. In the process of exploring the above issues, what emerges is the faithful friendship of Martha Root, an early Baha'i teacher, from the moment Martha met the Queen in 1926. An integral part of that relationship were some deeply touching, loving letters from Martha to Marie about the Baha'i Faith. Excerpts from these letters are included in this article.
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Copyright © 1994 Robert Postlethwaite