HM King Peter II Returns Home after 72 Years
Belgrade, 18 January 2013 –
HRH Crown Prince Alexander said today how proud he and his family are that his father King Peter II of Yugoslavia is finally returning home. The Crown Prince also said that this is a very moving event and of great historical importance for the people of Serbia. King Peter will finally join his ancestors in the Royal Family Mausoleum in Oplenac. In the interim His Majesty will lay in peace in the Royal Chapel of the Royal Palace in Dedinje Belgrade.
His Royal Highness wishes to warmly thank H.E. President Tomislav Nikolic of Serbia, the Government of Serbia and the Commission for Reburial of the Royal Family for all their wonderful support and advice. The final date for the internment in Oplenac will be decided later this year dependent on coordination with the Serbian Orthodox Church, H.E. President Tomislav Nikolic of
Serbia, the Government of the and Royal Houses. Republic of Serbia
King Peter II of
Yugoslavia was the firstborn son of King Alexander I and Queen Maria of . King Peter II was born in Yugoslavia 6 September 1923 his Godparents were King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (later Queen Mother of Great Britain). His education commenced at The Royal Palace in Belgrade Belgrade after which he went to Sandroyd School in , which he left after his father's assassination in Marseille in 1934. Since King Peter II was 11 years old and underage at the time of his father’s assassination, a regency was formed consisting of three regents including his great uncle Prince Paul of England . Yugoslavia
In 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War, the
found itself surrounded by countries that had joined the Axis as allies of Nazi Germany. Prince Paul's decision in 1941 to sign a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany resulted in severe protests in the country and this led to a government crisis and a coup d’état by Yugoslav officers on 27 March 1941. As a result of the coup, King Peter II was proclaimed of age. Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Yugoslav Army was unprepared to resist the ensuing invasion by Nazi Germany and
was occupied within eleven days. King Peter II was forced to leave the country along with the Yugoslav Government - initially to Yugoslavia Greece, Palestine and then to . King Peter II joined other monarchs and leaders of Nazi occupied Europe in Egypt in June 1941. London
Despite the collapse of the Yugoslav army two rival resistance entities were formed. The first resistance entity was the loyalist one led by Yugoslav Army Colonel Dragoljub Mihailovic who was later promoted to General and made the Minister of Defence of the Yugoslav government in exile. The other resistance entity was that of the Partisans led by Josip Broz - later known to the world as Tito. A bitter civil war followed during the Nazi occupation.
The Allies, having initially supported General Mihailovic later threw their support behind Tito. The Partisans entered
in 1944 in the wake of Soviet tank brigades and established a Government. In November 1945, the monarchy was illegally abolished without a referendum and Belgrade remained a totalitarian single party state under the League of Communists for more than four decades. Yugoslavia
King Peter II never abdicated. Initially King Peter II lived in exile in
London with his wife (he married the Princess Alexandra of Greece and in 1944, she was the daughter of King Alexander of the Hellenes and Aspasia Manos) and his son Crown Prince Alexander was born in 1945. Denmark
King Peter II spent the last years of his life in
. After a long and grave illness, King Peter II died 3 November 1970 in America Denver Hospital Colorado, and he was buried at the St. Sava Monastery Church in Libertyville (north of Chicago) . He was the only King buried in the Illinois . United States
Young King Peter II of Yugoslavia
King Peter II of Yugoslavia and his cousin Prince Alexander
King Peter II of Yugoslavia, Prince Alexander follows
King Peter II of Yugoslavia with Margravine Theodora of Baden,
the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Alice of Greece
Wedding of King Peter II of Yugoslavia and Princess Alexandra of Greece.
King George VI and King George II of Greece surround them.