She had an English nurse and governess and was educated at home with British tutors. Being the oldest sister among her siblings, she was often entrusted with their care while her parents were for long periods abroad, a demanding formative duty, consciously carried out. Her favourite studies were literature, piano, singing, painting, and embroidery. Like her father, King Ferdinand, she was keen on botany and very found of flowers. Elisabeta was a favourite of Carmen Sylva (Queen Elizabeth of
The sufferings induced by the tragedy of the First World War on Romania deprived the young princess of vital further instruction: “she has not been what one could call really well educated, education in this country is difficult and war came on the top of it and we were refugees in very difficult and adverse circumstances”, is how her mother, Queen Marie characterised Elisabeta’s situation of those terrible years.
During First World War she did charitable work as a nurse at hospitals in the region of
Princess Elisabeta was also very fond of her grandmother Maria Alexandrovna spending many a holyday with her in
Elisabeta was “much more classically beautiful … always solemn, unable to express her feelings. Her look was straight, almost defiant, full of ardour, fantasy and imagination and fond of being alone”. Among the Romanians Elisabeta “appeared to be most popular among all classes” as Mrs Martineau, one of the visitors to the
Maria Alexandrovna was the first to suggest a marriage with George the crown prince of
Finally the marriage ceremony was organised in
When Elisabeta arrived in
Unlike her native Romania where the sovereign family was immensely popular among all classes after a victorious war that saw the achievement of country’s national unity, the monarchy in Greece was on shaky grounds, constantly harassed and besieged by increasingly powerful and hostile republicans bent on seizing every opportunity to diminish its role, situation aggravated by the worsening war in Asia Minor against a resurgent nationalistic Turkish army. There was also the incongruity in character with the rest of the Greek royal family, where her husband, the person capable to mitigating that, was often missing, sadly despatched for long periods to the war theatre.
Elisabeta’s health was shaken in the spring of 1922 because of a typhoid fever and then pleurisy, being operated twice in dramatic conditions, without anaesthesia in May
In those circumstances she was thus not able to attend Mignon’s wedding in June in
The tense environment in
Material life was terribly difficult in
There was not only gloom and doom for Elisabeta in
Elisabeta also fulfilled her role as a queen, for example when in October 1923, appealed on behalf of the refugees from Asia Minor who had fled to Greece during the conflict with Turkey, in a message to dr. Carroll from the American Friends of Greece: “Despite valuable assistance until recently given by the American Red Cross and Near East Relief to the destitute refugees and their families so cruelly expelled from Asia Minor, thousands will die this winter for lack of food, shelter, clothing and medicines, unless there is relief. Knowing the philanthropic feeling of the American people, I would be grateful and so would be the Greek people, for any help you may be able to give in this tragic hour of our history”.
On 15 December 1923 Elisabeta was able to realise that the end of her reign was near: “…The situation is more critical for us than it has ever been these last two days… Things here have reached beyond the control of any responsible people and are in the hands of republican officers… We are expecting a ‘coup d’etat’ from one moment to another, and then … God knows”. Those moments “has become such an agony that our only comfort is at night when sleep comes”.
The royal couple went on 19 December 1923 into exile in
Elisabeta asked for the Romanian citizenship, lost through marriage, to be restored to her and as a princess sought a quiet and more comfortable life in her native country. In that regard she benefited from
She also had established at her own expense a hospital and home for children in
In August 1944, King Michael achieved one of the greatest watershed moments in
She stands thus accused by some authors of trying to advocate a close Romanian-Soviet economic collaboration, entertaining designs contrary to the interests of the Romanian dynasty, or being put forward as a potential regency member in case the Soviets decided to remove the king or substitute his attributions during the royal strike. The documents and notes kept at the National Archives of Romania do not feature her in that sort of actions, mentioning her only in the chatter and that just occasionally between some diplomats and politicians. The most significant notes are those of the Romanian intelligence services between 1945-1946 that talk about cold relations between the King and his aunt prompted by her moves, but only as a succession of temporary misunderstanding.
The forced abdication of King Michael on 30 December 1947 at the pressure of the pro-Communist government and their Soviet sponsors found Elisabeta in the same situation as the other members of the royal family resident in the country, being forced to leave
Elisabeta died in exile on 15 November 1956 at
 Romanian National Archives (RNA), V/2741
 RNA, V/2134
 Queen Marie of
 RNA, V/3192 bis
 RNA, V/2739
 Idem, V/3904
 Idem, V/714
 Mrs Philip Martineau, Roumania and her Rulers,
 RNA, V/732
 Idem, V/741
 Idem, V/765
 RNA, V/748
 RNA, V/749
 Diana Fotescu (Mandache), Americans and Queen Marie of
 RNA, V/752
 Interview in ‘The New York Times’, 1934