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On the first monarch to embrace the Bahá'í Faith; the stature and the character of Queen Marie and her unique position in the early 20th century; her identification as a Bahá'í and her plan to visit Haifa in 1929; her relationship with Martha Root.

Queen Marie and the Baha'i Faith

by Robert Postlethwaite

published in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 6:2, pages 55-86
Ottawa, ON: Association for Bahá'í Studies North America, 1994
About: This article focuses on the first monarch to embrace the Bahá'í 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 Bahá'í Faith. It also sets out to examine two issues. First, it is widely known that Queen Marie was a Bahá'í. yet, a number of her own statements seem to contradict this affiliation and bring into question her conversion to the Bahá'í Faith. Through examining her diaries and public statements, this work attempts to clarify the apparent contradiction. the second issue concern Queen Marie's plan to visit the Bahá'í 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 Information from her unpublished personal diaries sheds new light on her aborted pilgrimage.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 Bahá'í 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 Bahá'í Faith. Excerpts from these letters are included in this article.
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