Monday, July 16, 2018

Readers Write and Miscellany

From Maria B in respect of one of the interesting pics posted last week: 
Hello Otto
Please forgive this question and if you can’t answer that’s fine:
Princess Maria of Romania, future Queen of Yugoslavia, on her 1922 wedding day.
Looking at her eyes, they look both sad and weary; do you know if she was forced into this marriage?
I can’t go past the fact that it is her wedding day and she looks so unhappy and resigned?
Love Maria 
Thanks, Maria. 

The pic Maria mentions was the following: 

Some facts about Princess Maria: 
  • Maria of Romania (1900 – 1961) was Queen of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later Queen of Yugoslavia, as the wife of King Alexander from 1922 until his assassination in 1934. She was the mother of Peter II, the last Yugoslav king. Her citizenship was revoked and her property confiscated by the Yugoslavian Communist regime in 1947, but she was "rehabilitated" in 2014. 
  • She was given the title Queen Mother of Yugoslavia in 1941. She moved to a farm in England and lived a relatively normal life without royal extravagance. Maria was well educated. She spoke several languages fluently and enjoyed painting and sculpting. She also drove a car by herself, which was very unusual for royalty at the time. 
  • She died in exile in London on 22 June 1961. She was interred at the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore, which adjoins Windsor Castle, before her remains were transferred to Serbia in April 2013 and re-interred on 26 May 2013 in Oplenac, Serbia. 
  • Queen Maria was popular and respected by the Serbian public, and is still well thought of in the region. She was regarded as an ideal wife and mother according to the contemporary Serbian ideal and described as a humble person. She was engaged in several social projects. In the eyes of the Serbian people, she remains one of the greatest patrons of charities in Serbia. 
I don’t know if that helps, Maria, I couldn’t find out whether she was happy or sad on her wedding day. 


Princess Marie “Mignon” of Romania in the day of her wedding with Alexander I of Yugoslavia. 1922 

Queen Marie of Romania (second from left) and her daughters, Elisabeth, bride Ilena, and Marie. 

Queen Maria of Yugoslavia, nee Princess of Romania. 

"Read the Riot Act":

I came across the above phrase in an item I was reading and wondered at the origin. The phrase means to reprimand, to give a stern warning, to tell off. 

Some notes thereon: 

There really was a Riot Act, the full title being “An Act for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies, and for the more speedy and effectual punishing the rioters". 

The Act was enacted in Great Britain in response to riots and civil unrest and came into force in 1715. 

The Act allowed local officials such as the Mayor, Sheriff or Justice of the Peace to make a proclamation ordering any group of more than twelve people who were "unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assembled together" to disperse. If the group failed to disperse within one hour, then anyone remaining gathered was guilty of a felony punishable by death. 

The proclamation had to be read out to the gathering and had to follow precise wording set out in the Act. The wording that had to be read out to the assembled gathering was as follows: 
Our sovereign lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God save the King. 
If a group of people failed to disperse within one hour of the proclamation, the act provided that the authorities could use force to disperse them. Anyone assisting with the dispersal was specifically indemnified against any legal consequences in the event of any of the crowd being injured or killed. 

Acts similar to the Riot Act passed into the law of countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United States that were at the time colonies of Great Britain, and in several of them such provisions, in their original or modified forms, remain as law today. I haven’t looked into it but have read that Section 11 of the Unlawful Assemblies and Processions Act of Victoria, and Chapter VIII, s 76 of the Criminal Code Act of Tasmania are two examples of jurisdictions that still utilise the Riot Act proclamation if the situation calls for such an action.

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