She hardly just resumed her ordinary life in Cotroceni- as it was before she went into exile- that Queen Marie was again called on to serve the country. The Romanian delegation had already left for the Paris Peace Conference, but the Queen’s relations, prestige and qualities convinced politicians that she is needed there. Romania’s situation was not favourable, and Greater Romania also needed international approval- and only Queen Marie, so it seemed, could strengthen the ties with the Great Powers. The first day in Paris would be just a short summary for the busy, tired and tense period that the Queen was going to have.
“Wednesday, February 20 / March 5, 1919
Yes, I’m in Paris! Hard to imagine, but I’m here! We arrived exactly at 8:45 am, being terribly shaken by the train, not at all accustomed to such speeds. At the station, a great reception, although unofficial, from the French and Romanians. There were so many that I’m sure I said «How do you do» to only half of them. Flowers of wonderful beauty were offered to me in huge quantities. The audience cheered and the photographers were at every turn.
From the moment I got off the train I was caught in a wild rush. I will never be able to put it all in writing. Faces and flowers, those who wished to tell me the latest news, all the while more and more flowers were being brought, splendid lilac, tassels, orchids, violets, irises, daffodils, freesia as a compensation for the flowerless years I had. My room has become a true floral exhibition. I feel great at the Ritz. Everyone is stirring around me, making a big case of me, treating me like a heroine. It’s flattering and disturbing at the same time. […].
A long talk with Brătianu about the situation, about the politicians I will see, about where and how I can help or try to help. Everything and everyone is pressing me at the same time. Paris is everything, but not rest. Every waking moment, old friends come, happy and excited to see us here. Doctors, officers who were in Romania, people I last saw in Paris, artists, authors, dukes and marquis and journalists all the time, journalists! I’m about to have interviews taken, photographed, invited, hounded, honoured, and all this, as they say, unofficially. […].
It is said that the atmosphere was not too favourable for Romania, but it is quite favourable for me. But if, with my unquestionable popularity, I can help my country, then everything will be fine. I’m not saying that it’s unpleasant to be made a hero become a hero of your own, but it is strenuous”.
[Queen Marie, Daily Notes, Vol. I]
Translated by Laurențiu Dumitru Dologa