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Rose Hill Company commemorates death, burial of Gypsy Queen

In 1915, a royal burial took place in Meridian, and the Rose Hill Company will commemorate the event through drama and storytelling on Saturday, February 4th.

“This is an exciting time of the year because everybody wants to know about the Gypsy Queen who is buried here in Rose Hill Cemetery,” said Anne McKee, the company president.

The company will tell the interesting story about how the Gypsy Queen came to be buried right here in Meridian.

“She and her band of gypsies were camped over near Tombigbee River in the Coatopa community. When she went into labor to have her 13th or 14th baby – there’s a different count by some historians – it soon became apparent that she would not live through that delivery. Her husband, the king of the Gypsies, had to make a decision about how he would handle her funeral services. He selected Meridian because we were the nearest city with a funeral home that had ice that could keep her put until her services, which was about wo weeks after her death,” said McKee.

Around 20,000 people came to Meridian for the queen’s funeral…and 14 of her relatives, including the Gypsy King, are also buried in the cemetery. If you take a glance at the queen’s grave, you will see beads, whiskey bottles, and pennies…all mementos left by visitors.

“It is said that possibly, if you will leave her a memento, she will come to you in a dream and solve your problems,” said McKee.

She explained why the company is committed to preserving the queens’ legacy.

“Our people, our Meridianites, the ones who lived here during that time welcomed her here. We could have shut the door and said no we’re not going to have Romani royalty in our burial grounds. This cemetery is 10 acres and holds a great deal of Meridian’s history. But the Gypsy Queen is indeed a part of that history.”

The commemoration event is free and will take place in the Rose Hill Cemetery. It starts at 2 pm.


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