Special Collections and Archives

Queen Marie's Trip to America and Canada

Special Collections and Archives

Queen Marie's Trip to America and Canada

Prepared by Stephanie Wachalec, October, 22, 2002

Historical Note

In 1926 Queen Marie visited America and Canada. This page provides a chronology of her trip, some photographs and a map of her scheduled route. The information for this chronology was taken from On Tour With Queen Marie by Constance Lily Morris, who traveled with the Queen. All of the photographs used in the creation of this page are from the collection.


Queen Marie with her children Prince Nicholas and Princess Ileana

  • Monday, October 18, 1926 Queen Marie arrives to New York from France aboard the Leviathan. She was welcomed to New York with a ticker tape parade, attended by thousands of New Yorkers. The same day she went by train to Washington D.C., that evening she attended a formal dinner.
  • Tuesday, October 19th In the morning the Queen visited Arlington Cemetery, at the tomb of the unknown soldier, she placed a wreath in Romanian colors (red, yellow, and blue) on the tomb. Her party then traveled to Mount Vernon for lunch, then to the Lincoln Memorial. President and Mrs. Coolidge had a state dinner at the White House for her.
  • Wednesday, October 20th Marie toured Annapolis, where she reviewed midshipmen.
    That evening she attended a dinner at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City.
  • Thursday, October 21st Marie visited the New York Public Library, then attended a luncheon at the Chamber of Commerce, where she gave a speech. In the afternoon, she left for Philadelphia. Upon arrival, she attended a religous ceremony at a Romanian church. That evening a lavish dinner with Mayor W. Freeland Kendrick was held. A visit to the Exhibition ground followed, where the Liberty Bell was on display and she also attended a peformance of the Philadelphia Symphony.


    Queen Marie at the Philadelphia reception

  • Friday, October 22nd Marie arrived in New York for a Bankers' Club luncheon. At Columbia University, a formal reception took place in the library's rotunda. Also that afternoon the Queen and Princess Ileana attended a reception in their honor at the Young Women's Christian Association. A dinner at the Iron and Steel Institute numbered 1,000 guests, many of them industry leaders. Marie's speech there covered her life and her hope for progress in Romania.
  • Saturday, October 23rd Members of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce escorted the Queen to review the 106th Infantry Regiment that afternoon. She was declared an honorary colonel of the regiment and received a silver sword. A reception in the Council of Officers' room at the Armory followed. Dinner was held at the Sulgrave Institute, where Marie was made an honorary lifetime member. This organization works to combine the interests of England and America in the purchase and endowment of Sulgrave Manor in England, George Washington's ancestral home.
  • Sunday, October 24th The Queen attended services at Calvary Church. Lunch took place in the ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel. Later that afternoon, she attended a large reception at the Plaza Hotel given by the Newspaper Alliance of America. Immediately following, Marie appeared at a painting exhibition by a protege of hers, Sigismond de Nagy, a Hungarian artist. She purchased a painting to give to her daughter, Queen Mignon of Serbia. In the evening, Marie attended a dinner given by Mrs. Oliver Harriman at Mrs. Harry Black's Plaza apartment. Later she went to the Metropolitan Opera House to see a ballet that illustrated one of the Queen's original fairy tales The Story of Lily . Afterwards, she boarded her special train that would become her home for the next few weeks.
  • Monday, October 25th The Queen's train arrived at West Point in the morning. She was welcomed by General Merck B. Stewart, Commander of West Point Academy. Despite the rain, she first visited the chapel,then the General's house where a simple lunch of hot bouillon and sandwiches were served. Before leaving, the Queen reviewed the cadets on the parade-ground. Stops were made at Albany, Utica and Syracuse where she was received informally or greeted well-wishers from her observation car. The train reached Buffalo at 8 p.m.,where a banquet at the Statler Hotel followed.


    Marie visits West Point

  • Tuesday, October 26th Breakfast was held at a hotel on the American side of Niagara Falls, next was a visit to the falls. The Queen briefly went to the Canadian side, greeted by the Governor of Ontario Province. The next stop was Hamilton, Ontario in Canada, where she spoke to a crowd from the rear of her train. At 2 p.m. her train pulled into Toronto. After greeting the crowds, she proceeded to the Government House, the official residence of the Governor. Marie was received by Lieutenant-Governor Henry Cockshutt and his family, meeting with them for about an hour. A delegation met her at the Town Hall and a local Rabbi read her a speech of welcome. She proceeded to an unknown university, where she gave a speech about how she had longed to visit Canada as a young girl after hearing stories about the country from her grandmother, Queen Victoria. Marie then visited a country house owned by the Ladies' Club followed by more official duties. After dinner and a reception, she returned to her train.


  • Wednesday, October 27th The train arrived in Montreal, she visited City Hall, toured the plant of La Presse (the city's leading newspaper) and a Romanian church. A luncheon with the Mayor was next attended by about 300 guests. Marie then visited Montreal College and Mc Gill University, where she was received by the President and toured their library. That evening, the Romanian consul of Montreal gave a dinner attended by many officials. A performance of the Barber of Seville rounded out the evening.
  • Thursday, October 28th The Queen reached Ottawa around 9 a.m. and was met by Governor-General Viscount Willingdon. She was received at the Town Hall, then went to the Government House. She lunched at Chateau Laurier, where she was honored by the Canadian Ladies' Club. Next, she attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament. A state banquet attended by acting Prime Minister J.A. Robb followed. Marie left Ottawa at 11 p.m.
  • Friday, October 29th Today was the Queen's birthday, her train was on the journey to Winnipeg. Colonel Carroll held a luncheon in the dining car to honor the occasion. Her birthday cake was elaborately decorated in the Romanian colors. Traveling on the Canadian Pacific, there were seven private cars, each with a dining room, its own chefs and porters. The Queen's private car was called the "Yellowstone Park."
  • Saturday, October 30th The train traveled through snow and arrived in Winnipeg at 5 p.m. The Queen went to her hotel, where the Governor lived. A reception took place before dinner. The Winnipeg Branch of the Ladies' Canadian Club gave a dinner in Marie's honor. After dinner, she went to the Parliament House and seated on a throne, received Romanian delegates and children in Romanian costumes gave her flowers. A large crowd passed by her for nearly two hours. Then supper was served in the library. The train left Winnipeg that night.
  • Sunday, October 31st The Queen was due in Minneapolis that afternoon. She attended a ceremony at the Capitol, then went to the only Romanian Orthodox church in St. Paul. Later in the afternoon, Marie went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. That evening she attended dinner and a reception at the home of Mr. Louis W. Hill, Chairman of the Board of the Great Northern Railroad. That night her train continued to North Dakota.
  • Monday, November 1st In North Dakota, the Queen received farmers at each small town her train stopped at. She was generously offered a plow, a harvesting machine, a cow, a few horses, and a sewing machine to name a few. When she met farmers in Dickinson, North Dakota, she was dressed in full Romanian costume. It consisted of a long white robe embroidered in old rose and gold. Over it was a cloak of old rose linen embroidered at her shoulders in diamond shaped patterns of blue and gold. She wore red leather boots from Transylvania. On her head was a marama, a white veil that covered her hair and passed under her chin. During this time, Marie received word that newspapers in New York were reporting that her husband, the King, was suffering from several ailments. She did not seem anxious about this news, having received a telegram from him on her birthday saying her was feeling better. Large crowds greeted Marie at Fargo, Valley City, Bismark, and Mandan. The crowds consisted of cowboys, farmers, Native Americans, as well as those from society. At Mandan, she was greeted by the Sioux tribe, where she was initiated "War Woman of the Sioux Indians." Seated on a buffalo robe she was carried by six of the chiefs into a teepee where a ceremony was performed and she was given the title "Winyan Kipanpi Win," meaning "The Woman Who Was Waited For." A war bonnet was placed on her head by Chief Red Soma Tomabarok as a symbol of her acceptance into the tribe. In the afternoon, a stop was made at Medora where the Queen was given a Wild Western welcome of cowboys and women riding on broncos up to her train. Marie, Nicholas and Ileana rode out on horseback to the mountains with the cowboys. As evening approached, they returned to the train for dinner.
  • Tuesday, November 2nd The Queen's train reached Montana, she was greeted by a large crowd in Helena where the Governor gave a speech. She arrived in Spokane around 7:30 p.m. Marie was escorted by a large delegation and a miltary band to the Hotel Davenport. Here Native Americans in traditional costume danced a war dance. The prince and princess were initiated into the tribe and given the names "Roaring Wind" and "Red Bird." Mr. Samuel Hill greeted Marie. He had helped plan and develop the Maryhill Museum. Later Marie spoke over the radio to the people of the Northwest, returning to her train that evening.


    Maryhill Museum

  • Wednesday, November 3rd The Queen's train stopped at the station in Maryhill, where she dedicated the museum there. She had brought a collection of art objects to be part of the collection. After speeches were given by a former Washington state governor, Mr. Hill, and Mr. Tirman (who brought a collection of art objects from France for the museum), Marie addressed the crowd. After her speech, carrier pigeons were released to carry the message of Maryhill to other parts of the world. Leaving the museum, Marie travelled down the Columbia Highway until she reached Portland, Oregon for a brief visit.
  • Thursday, November 4th Before arriving in Seattle, the train stopped at Longview to tour a sawmill, delaying their Seattle arrival by four hours. The Queen went to the Mayor's office, toured the city, visited Roosevelt High School. Concluding the tour, Marie was escorted by Mr. Hill to the Yacht Club. Greeted by a large crowd, she took part in a tree planting ceremony in the garden and a reception followed. Dinner was given by the Seattle Business Women's Club and Mr. Hill addressed the group.
  • Friday, November 5th The Queen was escorted to Blaine, which is on the Canadian border for breakfast at Mr. Hill's home. Marie went into the kitchen and prepared pancakes and honey for the family. Her train left for Vancouver at 10 a.m., where she was greeted by the Mayor and Lieutenant-Governor. She briefly toured the city before attending a luncheon. Afterwards, she visited the University of British Columbia, then attended a reception. That evening she went to a banquet where, she was escorted into the hall by Scottish bagpipers.
  • Saturday, November 6th That morning the train again stopped at Blaine, she visited the Peace Arch. The arch was erected to commemorate the 100th anniversary of peace between the United States and Canada. Returning to Seattle, a dinner party was held at Mr. Hill's house that was attended by the Mayor, the Governor and his wife.
  • Sunday, November 7th The Queen's train headed to Spokane, where she was received at the Country Club. That evening she traveled through the northern part of Idaho, where the Governor visited with her.
  • Monday, November 8th That morning, Marie arrived at the Glacier National Park station. Due to snow, she was unable to visit the park. The Blackfoot tribe had erected teepees in honor of her visit. The Queen was presented with a war-bonnet of eagle feathers. The chief made a speech, then gave her the name "Morning Star" (see photograph) and the prince "Mountain Chief." Blackfoot women dressed the princess in traditional clothing and makeup. The chief named her "Pretty Dove," a tribal ceremony followed. Marie left Glacier Park around 9 a.m. for breakfast. Late that afternoon a stop was made at the Anaconda copper smelters in Great Falls.

  • Tuesday, November 9th Heading toward Denver, Marie's train stopped in Casper, Wyoming to see the oil wells of the Standard Oil Company. Where she was greeted by the Governor. Coloniel Carrol gave a dinner in Marie's honor.
  • Wednesday, November 10th Arriving in Denver, Marie went to the auditorium, where 13,000 people came to hear her speak. Next, she went to the top of Lookout Mountain, where a luncheon was given in the home of Mr and Mrs. Beechener. There it was announced that a proposal was before the State Legislature to name a mountain after the Queen so future generations would remember her. At 4 p.m., she visited the Military Hospital meeting with ill soldiers. A procession through Denver began at a Greek pavillion that overlooked the city and was a playground for children. Hundreds of children greeted her, scattering flowers and singing. A stop at the Capitol was next, where a procession of uniformed reserve regiments passed before her. Dinner was held at the hall in the Brown Palace Hotel, followed by a debutante ball and ballet at the auditorium.
  • Thursday, November 11th The train stopped early in the day at Lincoln, Nebraska and the Queen greeted the people. At Omaha and St. Joseph, Romanian gatherings led by priests in their vestments and women in traditional costume waited for the Queen to speak to them in their native language. She arrived in Kansas City that evening. An enormous delegation greeted her, since half the city is in Kansas and the other half in Missouri. It was Armistice Day and her first stop was at a new memorial to the dead of World War I. Earlier that day, it had been dedicated by President Coolidge. Addressing the crowd, the Queen honored the fallen soldiers by saying, "They died that we might have peace." She also placed a wreath at the monument's base of dried flowers painted in Romanian colors. Some banquets were omitted at the Queen's request so she could have an opportunity to rest before attending a concert at the city auditorium. After the performance, she went to the house of Mrs. Jacob Loose.
  • Friday, November 12th The Queen arrived in St. Louis, greeted by a regiment and escorted by the Mayor in an open car touring the city. Her tour ended at the Coronado Hotel for breakfast. A luncheon was given by the old families of French descent, the food reflected their origins. After lunch, she went to the University of St. Louis, where the Dean gave a speech. Later, she personally met with a group of Romanians, then she went to the university's chapel to act as godmother to the baby of a former Red Cross worker in Romania who had requested this favor. In the evening she attended a banquet, and a horse show.
  • Saturday, November 13th A brief stop was made in Springfield, Illinois where Marie requested to see Abraham Lincoln's mementos and memorials. First, she went to the arsenal where she was greeted by the Romanian national hymn by her countrymen. She then visited Lincoln's wooden cabin, tomb, and granite monument. Lunch was served on the train as it headed toward Chicago, arriving at 5:30 p.m. Marie went to City Hall and met with Mayor Dever, during this event anti-royalists were outside protesting. Later she settled in at the Lake Shore Drive Hotel, dinner was held at The Drake Hotel.


    One of the trains the Queen traveled on

  • Sunday, November 14th Marie's day started with a royal twenty-one gun salute. She first went to Lincoln's statue at Saint Gaudens, then the Daily News Sanitorium (for sick children)at the Historical Museum, she was presented with a book about Lincoln (this museum contains the bed in which Lincoln died). A luncheon was held at Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick's house, Then she attended a Romanian church service, a Norwegian Art exhibit, and a Romanian Jewish Synagogue service attended by the Governor. A large reception of Romanians awaited Marie at the Congress Hotel. Later she attended a performance by the Russian Ballet.
  • Monday, November 15th The Queen visited a steel plant in Gary, Indiana where she met with the workers. During this meeting she asked "Is there a Romanian among you?" A man shyly came forward, she held out her hand to him saying, "Shake hands with me, so am I my friend." Luncheon was at the South Shore Country Club, attended by about 500 people. After lunch she went to Chicago University, meeting with the school's president Max Mason, who escorted her to the Lying-In Hospital. She then briefly visited the Hyde Park Y.M.C.A. and the Art Institute. That evening an elaborate dinner arranged by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Meeker and the Chicago committee in the Casino Club was given.
  • Tuesday, November 16th This day was deemed "The Queen's Own Day," she wanted one day to do as she pleased in Chicago. That morning she went to the Women's Athletic Club for a swim. Marie hoped she could travel incognito for one day of shopping at Marshall Field's, but was recognized. She was followed to the club and the store by several reporters. She continued to a jewelers on State St., by the time she left the shop a crowd had surrounded her car. She had no bodyguards and the police had to called to contain the crowd so she could leave. That afternoon Marie met with the Red Cross at her hotel, a luncheon was then given by the Union League Club. At the luncheon she gave a speech about her life and the history of Romania. In this speech she explained how Romania had a history of unrest, her address ended "Remember when you belittle Romania, you are treading on the heart of a woman." By the end of her speech she was in tears. Around 4 p.m. Marie met with Jane Addams at Hull House, where she was shown the Crane Day Nursery there. Marie attended a reception at the Field Museum the same afternoon, before returning to her hotel. A performance of Aida by the Chicago Opera Company was followed by a midnight reception in the Crystal Room of the Blackstone Hotel.
  • Wednesday, November 17th The Queen specifically requested to keep her last morning in Chicago free, since she was to leave at 2 p.m. Despite this request there were reporters, aides with cables and requests for autographs awaiting her. At 5:30 p.m. the train arrived in Indianapolis, where Marie was greeted by the Governor and Mayor. She visited the capitol and libray, where she was presented with a volume of Hoosier poetry. That evening, she went to the city's Romanian church where a choir and children in native costume greeted her. After the service, Marie went to the Columbia Club where a banquet awaited. During the banquet, the Queen received news that the King's health was not well and was compelled to return to Romania.
  • Thursday, November 18th Arrived in Louisville in the morning, Marie's scheduled plans were cancelled and a new schedule was arranged. Cincinnati, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C. were also informed that her tour had to end early. At the train station she was greeted by an official delegation headed by Congressman Ben Johnson. The Queen was received by Mayor Will at City Hall, where it was decided she would visit The Old Kentucky Home at Bardstown. Governor Wm. J. Fields presided as host in a reception held in the dining room. Hot breads, fried chicken, and flaky cakes were served. Marie was presented with an original copy of the poem "The Old Kentucky Home." She next traveled to a cabin outside of Hodgenville, where Abraham Lincoln was born. That evening a ball was held in Louisville.
  • Friday, November 19th Queen Marie and her entourage arrived in Jersey City. Marie then went by car to the home of Mr. Charles E. Mitchell, President of the National City Bank of New York. She preferred to stay at a private home in the country, avoiding the publicity of a hotel. That evening, dinner was held on the train's large dining car given by the Colonel.
  • Saturday, November 20th Back on the train, Marie traveled through the Civil War section of the Shenedoah Valley. She then greeted a crowd at the Washington Hotel, and a final stop was made at Harper's Ferry around 9:30 that morning. Preparations were made by all for their final departure from the train that had been home for the last few weeks.
  • Sunday, November 21st There were three days left before Marie would end her visit and many social obligations followed. This morning, she met with a committee from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, headed by Mr. Cromwell and Mr. Wells who escorted her through the collection. She lunched with friends and met General Pershing. She made a visit to the "Dug-Out," aided by Pershing where she was greeted by about seventy soldiers. The "Dug-Out" is a place for soldiers to gater socially on West 53rd street in New York. That evening Mr. Mitchell held a large dinner at his house, where Romanian songs along with other music provided entertainment.
  • Monday, November 22nd Marie spent most of this day visiting with friends and she went to Oyster Bay to pay her respects at Theodore Roosevelt's grave. That evening, she recounted some highlights of her trip to guests.
  • Tuesday, November 23rd The Queen's last day in the United States, she sails tomorrow morning. She briefly visited the offices of the Standard Oil Company. A boat from Standard Oil carried her past Governor's Island and the Statue of Liberty. Lunch was held on the boat, which was attended by the Romanian Minister Mr. M. Cretziano. The boat landed outside of Bellvue Hospital where cars took Marie to the Edison plant. Stopping on Park Avenue, Marie held a reception under the auspices of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs. Later she attended a meeting of the board of directors of the Society of the Friends of Romanaia, hosted by Mr. Cromwell. That evening Mrs. Astor held dinner in the Hotel Astor, where Marie was presented with a bullet-proof car.
  • Wednesday, November 24th A large crowd greeted the Queen as she boarded the Berengaria. On the upper deck of the ship, Marie told reporters she was sorry to leave America, since she enjoyed her visit. She also thanked everyone for all that had been done for her. Lastly, Marie expressed her desire to return to America someday.
  • From Mr. Cromwell's home, the Queen broadcasted one last public message before leaving America. Here are some excerpts: "It is with a real feeling of sadness in my heart that I leave, I would like to let you know, every one of you, whom I have met in this splendid country, That I thank you, every one of you high and low, big and small, man, woman and child, for the way you have received me and made me feel at home." She then continued to say that she had never felt that she was a stranger and that love had been shown to her everywhere. She spoke of her deep regret in having to give up her last three weeks in America. She asked that those who have been disappointed on account of her early departure not to think unkindly of her. She ended her speech by saying "Do not let any thought come into your minds that perhaps I came here for anything else than what I said, and that was to know you all, to tell you of my gratitude for all that you have done, for all that America has done for Romania in the time of the War and after the War. I wanted to come and say 'Thank you' to you all. I wanted to see all the glourious things you had to show me. I did not come on business. I did not come for politics. I came to carry your friendship back to my country and to help America understand that Romania also has her rights under the sun. Will you remember when you light your Christmas trees that my thought will be with you, every one of you? Good-bye dear people of America, blessed child, of which progress and understanding will come. Do not shut your heart away from the Old World, for the Old World and the New must live together to help each other and understand each other. So good-bye, America, dear and beautiful America."

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