Princess Ileana of Romania: Wikis


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Princess Ileana
Archduchess Ileana of Austria, Princess of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia
Spouse Archduke Anton of Austria, Prince of Tuscany
Dr. Stefan Nikolas Issarescu
Archduke Stefan
Archduchess Maria Ileana
Archduchess Alexandra
Archduke Dominic
Archduchess Maria Magdalena
Archduchess Elisabeth
Father Ferdinand I of Romania
Mother Marie of Edinburgh
Born 5 January 1909(1909-01-05)
Romania Bucharest, Romania
Died 21 January 1991 (aged 82)
United States Youngstown, Ohio, USA

Princess Ileana of Romania (5 January 1909 – 21 January 1991) was the youngest daughter of Ferdinand I of Romania, King of the Romanians, and his consort Queen Marie of Romania. She was born Her Royal Highness Princess Ileana of Romania, Princess of Hohenzollern. After marriage she was known as Her Imperial and Royal Highness Princess Imperial & Archduchess Ileana of Austria, Princess Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, Princess of Tuscany.


Birth and early life

Ileana was born in Bucharest on 5 January 1909.

Girl Guiding

Before her marriage, Ileana was the organizer and Chief of the Romanian Girl Guide Movement

Later Princess Ileana was involved in Guiding in Austria and served as president of the Austrian Girl Guides.[1][2] from 1935 until Girl Guiding and Scouting were banned in 1938 after the Anschluss

Other achievements

Ileana was the organizer of the Girl Reserves of the Red Cross, and of the first school of Social Work in Romania.

She was an avid sailor: she earned her navigator's papers, and owned and sailed the "Isprava" for many years.

Before King Michael's abdication

In Sinaia on 26 July 1931, Ileana married the Archduke Anton of Austria, Prince of Tuscany. This marriage was encouraged by Ileana's brother, King Carol II, who was jealous of Ileana's popularity in Romania and wanted to get her out of the country.[3] After the wedding, Carol claimed that the Romanian people would never tolerate a Habsburg living on Romanian soil, and on these grounds refused Ileana and Anton permission to live in Romania.[3]

After her husband was conscripted into the Luftwaffe, Ileana established a hospital for wounded Romanian soldiers at their castle, Sonneburg, outside Vienna, Austria. In 1944, she and the children moved back to Romania, where they lived at Bran Castle, near Brasov. Archduke Anton joined them but was placed under house arrest by the Red Army. Princess Ileana established and worked in another hospital in Bran village, which she named the Hospital of the Queen's Heart in the beloved memory of her mother Queen Maria of Romania.

After exile

House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Kingdom of Romania - Big CoA.svg

Carol I
Queen Consort:
   Princess Maria
Ferdinand I
Queen Consort:
    Prince Carol
    Elisabeth, Queen of Greece
    Maria, Queen of Yugoslavia
    Prince Nicholas
    Ileana, Archduchess of Austria
    Prince Mircea
Carol II
    Prince Michael
Michael I
Queen Consort:
    Princess Margarita
    Princess Elena
    Princess Irina
    Princess Sophie
    Princess Maria

After Michael I of Romania abdicated, Ileana and her family were exiled from the newly Communist Romania. They escaped by train to the Russian sector of Vienna, then divided into three parts. After that they settled in Switzerland, then moved to Argentina and in 1950, she and the children moved to the United States, where she bought a house in Newton, Massachusetts.

The years from 1950 to 1961 were spent lecturing against communism, working with the Romanian Orthodox Church in the United States, writing two books: I Live Again, a memoir of her last years in Romania[4], and Hospital of the Queen's Heart, describing the establishment and running the hospital.

In 29 May 1954 Ileana and Anton officially divorced and she married secondly in Newton, Massachusetts, on 20 June 1954 Dr. Stefan Nikolas Issarescu (Turnu-Severin, 5 October 1906 – Providence, 21 December 2002), without issue.

In 1961, Princess Ileana entered the Orthodox Monastery of the Protection of the Mother of God, in Bussy, France. Her second marriage ended in divorce in 1965. On her tonsuring as a monastic, in 1967, Sister Ileana was given the name Mother Alexandra. She moved back to the United States and founded the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, serving as abbess until her retirement in 1981. She remained at the monastery until her death.

She visited Romania again in 1990, at the age of 81 in the company of her daughter, Sandi.

In January 1991, she suffered a broken hip in a fall on the evening before her eighty-second birthday, and while in hospital, suffered two major heart attacks. She died four days after the foundations had been laid for the expansion of the monastery.

Family history

Doubts about paternity

There is some doubt about Ileana's true paternity. It has been suggested that Ileana's biological father was actually Prince Barbu Ştirbey, but this, according to Hannah Pakula's biography of her mother, Queen Marie (The Last Romantic) appears to be simply rumour.


1937 Christmas Card of Ileana & children

Ileana and Anton had six children:

  • Stefan of Austria (5 August 1932 – 12 November 1998)
  • Maria Ileana of Austria (18 December 1933 – 11 January 1959); married Franz Josef Kottulinsky (3 January 1917 – 11 January 1959). Their child:
    • Maria Ileana Kottulinsky (born 25 August 1958)
  • Alexandra of Austria (born 21 May 1935); married Duke Eugen Eberhard, son of Princess Nadezhda of Bulgaria
  • Dominic of Austria (born 4 July 1937)
  • Maria Magdalena of Austria (born 2 October 1939)
  • Elisabeth of Austria (born 15 January 1942)
1938 Christmas Card of Ileana & children

Major family events

  • In 1954, her marriage to Anton ended in divorce. Later that year, she married Dr. Stefan Nikolas Issarescu in Newton, Massachusetts.
  • Eldest son Stefan suffered a debilitating illness in 1959 which required extensive nursing, which his wife and his mother provided.
  • Eldest daughter Marie Ileana and her husband were killed in a plane crash in Brazil, along with their unborn second child. They left an orphaned daughter.
  • Son Dominic was awarded retroactive rights to Bran Castle in May 2006 by the Romanian authorities as inheritance from his mother Ileana.


  1. ^ Pribich, Kurt (2004) (in German). Logbuch der Pfadfinderverbände in Österreich. Vienna: Pfadfinder-Gilde-Österreichs. p. 279. 
  2. ^ Pribich, Kurt (2004) (in German). Logbuch der Pfadfinderverbände in Österreich. Vienna: Pfadfinder-Gilde-Österreichs. p. 106. 
  3. ^ a b Pakula, Hannah (1985). The last romantic : a biography of Queen Marie of Roumania. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0297785982. 
  4. ^ Complete text of I Live Again from the Internet Archive

External links

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