The celebration took place in the county of Alba Iulia, last Saturday on the 15th of October. This added a lot of emotion to the festivity, representing the date and place where the inauguration occurred 100 years ago. The 15th of October 1922 marks the symbolism of the unification and liberation of the Romanian Nation under the rule and coronation of the King and the Queen.
Emblematic Great Union history behind:
The country enjoyed the Great Union of Romania in 1918, after the end of the first world war. The coronation symbolized a strengthening of the unification and hope for a peaceful future with abundant resources and riches to follow. This was predominantly due to the post-belic atmosphere where the country faced significant social problems.
”Two worlds sit face to face – the ones that sacrificied for the war and the ones that got rich from the war”Historian, Virgil Madgearu 1921
Moreover, there started to be major positive changes, such as the population doubling in size, the nation’s top classification for primary resources such as petrol and wood, and the support given towards the industrial revolution and hence the rising of local and family-owned enterprises.
As expected, significant changes weren’t taking place only in Romania. All the other states were facing new challenges and were finding ways to face them and prosper. This led to the famous ”Paris peace treaty” conference, which was perfect pre-coronation, as it allowed the inauguration to gain international importance and popularity. This is how the national celebration of the Great Union of 1918 was formed on the 1st of December.
Why Alba Iulia:
The place was chosen for two primary symbolistic reasons. It was one hour away from the most famous battlefield called the Turza plain, where some of the most fierce battles took place, and some of the bravest rulers perished.
Additionally, an extraordinary cathedral was built to prepare for the coronation, called the Cathedral of the Great Union. The cathedral was pretty small for all the grandiose preparations and meaning behind, and it took months to finalize. However, it still became an international project, with famous and respectable engineers, painters, builders, and many more, taking part in finalizing the coronation’s concept and materialization.
The present-day centenary celebration:
The 100-year ceremony has met with a ”bath” of people celebrating the great day. According to stiripesurse media, the custodian of the Crown, the Patriarch, the Prince Consort and Princess Sofia witnessed a military parade on the famous Mihai Viteazul pedestrian boulevard. Soldiers marched wearing the uniforms and insignia of the Romanian Royal Army from 1920, together with the Mihai Viteazul Guard Brigade and the military students of Alba Iulia.
After the march ended, the Custodian of the Crown, the Patriarch and the President of the Alba County Council showcased the marvellous marble statue of Queen Mary in the great Citadel city square. This was an extremely emotional moment, as Romanians loved and admired the queen throughout generations, and she was considered one of the nation’s last romantic, wise, and stoic queens.
All the festivity actions took place simultaneously, with the Royal Train completing a symbolic celebratory journey between Cluj-Napoca and Alba Iulia. Referring to the day of the coronation 100 years ago, when the Queen and the King arrived at the royal train station.