BRANA THE LITTLE
"Personality of H. M. Queen Marie"
by Walter Littlefield
Bulletin Dedicated To Her Majesty Queen Marie of Roumania
The Society of Friends of Roumania, New York, October 18, 1926
In one of her rides, horseback through the country, she had noticed, just across the old frontier, a miniature fortress, probably cut in the mountain-side by the Crusaders, as a protection against the Turks. When the war was over she did not hesitate to desire to possess this castle, although for some time she learned naught of its owner. Then—
"One day—for such are the opening words to events big and small—one day, a deputation from the town of Braşov, to which it seems Bran belonged, came to me, and with words resembling words used through all ages when offering gifts to royal people, Bran was offered to me! Bran or Brana, the little castle, the solitary, rugged, pugnacious little stronghold was offered to me!
"I could hardly believe my ears, but they had brought all sorts of papers with them, with seals and signatures and solemn-sounding formulas according to the law. I, too, had to sign my name; it was all done with much ceremony, many good wishes and blessings, and fine, kind words. Then the deputation departed, leaving me with that solemn, signed, sealed paper—and Bran was mine, was mine!"
She calls it a "glorious moment" when she went to take possession and dreamed of what she would do there: "Now the lonesome, soulless, masterless little stronghold would awaken to life, would look down from its height, would suddenly become a point of gravitation, a protector watching over their weal and woe."
And so with the aid of the same old architect who had been the executor of the plans of King Carol at Peleş, she went to work. How she turned the old castle into a habitable, rustic villa, symbolic of the rural life of Roumania, a monument to her love for her people, forms a greater insight into her character and varied virtues and accomplishments than all that, either she, or anyone else, has written. In Bran, called by her, "the Beloved," she has actually performed in miniature what she is still toiling to do for the nation. Meanwhile, it is a pity that people of that nation as well as foreigners have not yet grasped the situation with as much intelligence as have the humble peasants of Braşov, on the foothills of the Carpathians.