Maria of Romania was Queen of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later Queen of Yugoslavia, as the wife of King Alexander from 1922 until his assassination in 1934. She was the mother of Peter II, the last Yugoslav king. Her citizenship was revoked and her property confiscated by the Yugoslavian Communist regime in 1947, but she was "rehabilitated" in 2014.
Maria was born on January 6, 1900, in Gotha, a town in Thuringia, in the German Empire. She was named after her maternal grandmother, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, and was known as Mignon in the family to distinguish her from her mother. Her parents were Marie of Edinburgh and Ferdinand of Romania. She had three brothers and two sisters.
Although plump, Maria was a noted beauty in her youth and resembled her sister Elisabeth. During World War I, she worked as a nurse with her mother, along with her two sisters.
After the death of her husband, she moved to a farm in England and lived a relatively normal life without royal extravagance. Maria was well educated. She spoke several languages fluently and enjoyed painting and sculpting. She also drove a car by herself, which was very unusual for royalty at the time.
She died in exile in London on 22 June 1961 and was interred at the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore, which adjoins Windsor Castle, before her remains were transferred to Serbia in April 2013 and re-interred on 26 May 2013 in Oplenac, Serbia.
Queen Maria was popular and respected by the Serbian public, and is still well thought of in the region. She was regarded as an ideal wife and mother according to the contemporary Serbian ideal and described as a humble person. She was engaged in several social projects. In the eyes of the Serbian people, she remains one of the greatest patrons of charities in Serbia.