Thursday, July 14, 2011

Princess Elizabeth of Romania and Frank Rattigan

Embed from Getty Images 

 Geoffrey Wansell's biography of the British playwright Terence Rattigan contains an interesting tidbit about his father, Frank Rattigan, CMG, a British diplomat.   Frank, the son of Sir William Rattigan, K.C., MP, was born in 1879.  He was educated at Harrow and Magdalen College, Oxford.   He entered diplomatic service in March 1903 and was sent to Vienna as an attache.  His career was put on hold, as he saw active service during the first world war.  After the war, he served as the Chargé d'Affairs in Romania, until May 1921, when he was sent to Constantinople as the Assistant High Commissioner and Acting High Commissioner.  He resigned from the Diplomatic Service in 1923.

Frank married Vera Houston in 1906, and they had two sons, Brian, and Terence.

Rattigan was forced to resign from the Diplomatic Service in 1922  due to his relationship with Princess Elizabeth of Romania, the eldest daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie.  Rattigan and Princess Elizabeth had an intimate affair that had resulted in an unwanted pregnancy.  The Princess, who was about to marry the exiled King George II of the Hellenes,  underwent an abortion.


Anonymous said...

Wow, when she said she had committed every vice but murder, she wasn't kidding, huh?

John said...

WOW. Marlene can you recommend any books written (in English) about the Elizabeth? Else, any other books that feature some substantial details on her?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

John, Elizabeth is mentioned in the biography of Carol, the Playboy King - a very scholarly biography.

Some years ago, Royalty Digest did a four part series on Elizabeth, as well as at least one article on Elizabeth and Ileana -"The red princesses. The magazine is not online.

Rex said...

Marlene, I read in "From Splendor to Revolution" (Julia Gelardy) that Elizabeth's mother Crown Princess Marie had illegitimate children. In 1897 she became pregnant to her aide-de-camp Lieutenant Zizi Cantacuzene, and it is not known if the child was stillborn or placed in an orphanage in Coburg; and then soon after became pregnant to her cousin Grand Duke Boris. She gave birth in 1900 to her daughter Mignon and in order to avoid a scandal her husband Ferdinand reluctantly agreed to accept the child as his own.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

yes, Hannah Pakula wrote about in detail.