Concept

Magda Lupescu

Summary
Magda Lupescu (born Elena Lupescu; 3/15 September 1899 – 29 June 1977), later officially known as Princess Elena of Romania, was the mistress and later wife of King Carol II of Romania. Many of the facts relating to her early life are difficult to ascertain due partly to the circumstances of the time and place, partly to unintentional mistakes and typographical errors, and partly to outright fabrications and obfuscations by her friends and enemies, and by herself. Elena Lupescu was the daughter of Elise (or Eliza) Lupescu (née Falk) and Nicolae Lupescu, an apothecary. Her mother was an Austrian-born Jew who converted to the Roman Catholic Church prior to her marriage. Most sources agree that Nicolae Lupescu was born Jewish and adopted his name upon conversion to Orthodox Christianity, the established religion in Romania. There are three different versions as to his surname prior to conversion—it may have been Grünberg (variant spellings "Grunsberg", "Grümberg", etc.); or it may have been Wolff (variant spelling "Wolf"); or it may have been originally Grünberg and it was later changed to Wolff. The latter version is the most common, but the first is the most probable. Many of her close relatives also chose to change their surname to Lupu, which is Wolff in Romanian. The Wolff family had only been living in Romania for a generation at the time of her birth. The origin of her nickname "Magda", by which she was later known, is obscure. According to Elena Lupescu herself, it was originally a mistake of an Italian journalist; but according to an alternative version, "Magda" was, at the time, Bucharest slang for "reformed prostitute". She had a younger brother, Constantin Schloim Lupescu. Lupescu was raised from birth as a Catholic. She was educated at the "Diaconesele", a Bucharest boarding school run by Bavarian nuns of the Institute of Mary from Nymphenburg, and one of the best schools for girls in the country. According to Arthur Quinlan, at some point during Lupescu's childhood, her family moved to Sulina, a port on the Danube, where Nicolae Lupescu opened an apothecary.
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