In the 1919 visit to Transylvania, the Royal Family also stopped at Carei. Their welcome could not have been better, and the great surprise came from the Hungarians who thanked King Ferdinand and Queen Marie for winning the war, being in the position of the “enemy’s deliverer”.

May 25, 1919, Carei

The morning passed quietly on the train with occasional stops in smaller stations, with enthusiastic, loud receptions, with flowers and speeches from a long-time oppressed people which was suddenly freed. It was the first warm day. Lunch on the train, the Pig ate as many as three ordinary mortals. I guess so much fat needs to be fed.

I arrived at Carei at three o’clock. Enthusiastic welcome. The city is not very pretty and is in the middle of the plains, but in the centre of it sits a beautiful castle belonging to Count Karoly. Everywhere peasants, peasant costumes of all kinds- so loyal and enthusiastic. The fat Moșoiu commanded the troops who looked splendid. It was a pleasure to see the 2nd Hunters Regiment. The usual military ceremonies on a large field, and then a parade in excellent order. Afterwards, the parade of the whole population, thousands and thousands, a wonderful and exciting view, often extremely interesting because of their extravagant costumes. Here some young girls, [brides], had elaborate arrangements on their heads, some kind of wreaths with ribbons, and their hair was woven in a sort of mesh at the base of the neck, which must have taken hours on end to make. It was very hot and very dusty, but plenty of enthusiasm. Afterwards, the usual reception by the authorities and priests at the prefecture. Even the Hungarians came to thank the king for being rescued by the Romanian army from the Bolsheviks. It is really strange to be the enemy’s deliverer. What an exciting time we live!

Great dinner at Karoly Castle- also a strange and not quite unpleasant feeling to use someone else’s house, I guess everyone has to pay their dues. I found everywhere photos of Uncle Bertie [King Edward VI] who used to go hunting with Karoly. Long dinner, but well done, I arrived late in bed. Long meals are my only suffering.”

Translated by Laurențiu Dumitru Dologa