Romanian Royal Visit
North Dakota has welcomed several royal visitors over the years. On this date in 1926, Queen Marie of Romania and her children -- Princess Ileana and Prince Nicholas -- made their way west by train through North Dakota, on a tour of the United States. Queen Marie was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
In Fargo, Queen Marie met with farmers in her private car and learned about farming conditions. The day before at a radio station in St. Paul, she had invited farmers to meet with her. Farm couples visited in turns, and Queen Marie knitted while chatting with farm wives about jam, housekeeping and caring for babies. Princess Ileana shared spoonfuls of Romanian jam. The queen heard about tractors replacing oxen and horses and the necessity of good roads.
In Bismarck, the Romanian royal family met the governor and the mayor on the depot platform, and chatted with a large crowd for 15 minutes.
In a ceremony during a stop in Mandan, Red Tomahawk adopted Queen Marie as a sister of the Sioux. The tribe gave her the name Winyan Kipanpi Win, or “the woman who was waited for.” Queen Marie received a headdress of eagle feathers, and was carried on a buffalo robe into a teepee. Princess Ileana traded needlework and a bracelet for some Native goods, including a beaded bag and shell beads.
To greet Romanian settlers in the Dickinson area, the queen and the princess wore traditional costumes; Marie’s consisted of a long, white robe, a rose cloak, red leather boots and a white veil.
At one point in the journey, the train lurched on a curve, throwing the queen onto a farmer’s lap. She quipped with a laugh: “That certainly was an informal introduction.”
The royal family continued into Medora, where a rodeo took place in their honor. Queen Marie wore a black riding habit for the occasion. Prince Nicholas wore his train clothes and leather chaps. The flags of the United States and Romania flew over the event, where cowboys gave the queen an exhibition of riding and roping. The royal family applauded them, and also mounted ponies. The queen’s train continued west into Montana, stopping at Glendive, Miles City and Billings.
Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura
The Bismarck Tribune. 1926, November 1. Page 1
The Daily News (Lebanon, Penn.). 1926, November 1. Page 3
The Billings Weekly Gazette. 1926, November 2. Pages 1, 2
Chicago Tribune. 1926, November 2. Page 33
The Evening Sun. 1939, June 7. Page 1
Minneapolis Star Tribune. 1939, June 9. Page 1