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Princess Ileana of Romania was born on this day in 1909. The youngest surviving daughter of King Ferdinand of Romania and Princess Marie of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, she was also a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and of Tsar Alexander II. In 1931, she married Archduke Anton of Austria. The couple had six children, and settled at Sonnburg Castle near Vienna, which they were forced to flee during WWII, staying at Bran Castle, which she inherited from her mother, until they were forced into exile after Princess Ileana nephew King Michael’s Abdication in 1947, eventually settling in the United States but divorced in 1954, after fleeing in exile to the United States, where she sold the Vladimir Sapphire Kokoshnik to pay for her children’s eduction. In 1954, Princess Ileana and Archduke Anton got divorced, and she remarried the next month to Dr. Stefan Nikolas Issarescu, getting divorced in 1965. The organizer and Chief of the Romanian Girl Guide Movement, after her marriage she became the President of the Austrian Girl Guides and was also the organizer of the Girl Reserves of the Red Cross. In the United States, Princess Ileana wrote her memoir ‘I Live Again’, and working with the Romanian Orthodox Church. In 1961, she entered the Orthodox Monastery of the Protection of the Mother of God, in Bussy-en-Othe, France, being given the name Mother Alexandra, before she moved back to the United States and founded the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, the first English language Orthodox monastery in North America, where she served as abbess until her retirement in 1981, remaining at the monastery until her death in 1991.
Click HERE to learn about her Vladimir Sapphire Kokoshnik Tiara and HERE to read ‘I Live Again‘!