Reburial of Prince Paul and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia

  October 8, 2012 at 5:28 am by

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The ceremony of reburial of Prince Paul and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia took place on October 6, 2012. It was a semi-state event attended by the country’s highest dignitaries and virtually the entire Serbian Royal Family.

Crown Prince Alexander II, Crown Princess Katherine, Hereditary Prince Peter, Princes Philip and Alexander, Princess Elizabeth (daughter of Prince Paul and Princess Olga) and other members of Karadjordjevic Royal Family paid final respect to Prince Paul, Princess Olga, and their son Prince Nicholas who were buried at St. George church in Oplenac. They were joined by President Tomislav Nikolic, members of Serbian Government and Parliament, representatives of Serbian Orthodox Church, as well as a number of foreign dignitaries.

Prince Nikola of Yugoslavia

Also present for the poignant and sombre ceremony were some of the late couple’s close relatives including Prince Nikolaos of Greece, Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Barbara, Princess Linda, Prince George, Prince Michael, Prince Vladimir and Princess Brigitta, Mrs. Catherine Oxenberg, and Mr. Nicholas Balfour (the latter two are Prince Paul and Princess Olga’s grandchildren though their only daughter, Princess Elizabeth).

The coffins with the remains of Prince Paul, Princess Olga and Prince Nicholas, covered with Serbian flags and Karadjordjevic insignia, were brought into the church with a salute from the Serbian Army Guard. Then the Holy Liturgy was served, followed by the Requiem and wreath-laying ceremony. Afterwards, the President, Princess Elizabeth and Crown Prince Alexander II all delivered short speeches.

Princess Elizabeth said that a great injustice has been rectified, and a deep wound has been healed, and thanked President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic for his support in bringing back to Serbia her beloved ones.

Prince Paul of Yugoslavia

Prince Paul of Yugoslavia was born on 27 April 1893 as the eldest son of Prince Arsen of Yugoslavia and first cousin of Alexander I. He served as Regent during the minority of Alexander’s son, Peter II. After signing the infamous Tripartite Pact (which was seen as too appeasing towards the Axis powers), Prince Paul was removed from his position and forced into exile. For the remainder of the war, Prince Paul was kept under house arrest by the British in Kenya. After the end of the war, he was declared an enemy of the state by communist authorities; he was forbidden to ever return to Yugoslavia and all his properties were confiscated. Prince Paul died in Paris on 17 September 1976 and was buried in Switzerland. The Prince’s legacy is twofold; while it is true he tried to appease the Axis powers, it was only to save his country the horrors of war. Moreover, despite Yugoslavia’s declaration of neutrality, Prince Paul’s private sympathies were decidedly pro-Allies; he even went as far as to assist Greece after it was invaded by German forces.

Princess Olga and Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia

Princess Olga was born in Greece on 11 June 1903 as Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark to Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (third son of George I of Greece) and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia(daughter of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia, and granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia). Her family was forced into exile following the overthrow of the Greek monarchy. She married Prince Paul of Yugoslavia on 22 October 1923. They had three children together: Prince Alexander (one of the founders of the Serbian Unity Congress), Prince Nikola (a frequent companion and possible suitor of Princess Margaret – Queen Elizabeth’s sister, he died in a tragic car accident in 1954), and Princess Elizabeth (a human rights activist, a former presidential candidate for Serbia, and recipient of the first Nuclear Disarmament Forum Award).

To read more about the reburial, visit this thread – Royal Reburial for Prince Paul and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia.

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7 Responses to Reburial of Prince Paul and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia

  1. Father Andrew L. J. James, Ph.D. says:

    There is a Serbian Orthodox seminary, in Libertyville, Illinois. Libertyville is the seat of the Archdiocese of the Midwest. In that church (established for the seminary), lies buried, if my memory is not playing tricks on me: King Peter of Yugoslavia. Has he been taken home, at long last?

  2. Artemisia says:

    @ Father Andrew L. J. James, Ph.D.

    Your memory is not playing tricks: King Peter II of Yugoslavia is indeed interred at the St. Sava Monastery Church at Libertyville, Illinois – the only European monarch buried on American soil.

    Unfortunately, he is not back to Serbia yet; however, in 2007 Crown Prince Alexander II announced plans to return his father’s body to Serbia. It is expected the plan will be executed within the next two years and the late King will find a final resting place in Topola.

  3. amedeo miceli di serradileo says:

    While many comunist countries are reluctant to restore their former monarchies, this is an example of a well thought strategy to bring back some of the prestige the country earned in Europe before World War II. Whether the monarchy will be brought back to Serbia is still uncertain but this move makes a progress towards that idea.

  4. Artemisia says:

    @ amedeo miceli di serradileo
    Serbian royals – rather like those in Montenegro, Romania and to a degree, Albania – have a semi-official status in their country. Crown Prince Alexander II is supported by the Church and most of the country’s leading political parties, he often acts as official representative of the country, hosts foreign dignitaries, plays an active role in the country’s day-to-day life.

    In short, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one day Serbian Monarchy is restored.

  5. Mitar says:

    May Their Royal Highnesses rest in piece. This represents an and of an era and perhaps a begging of a new one.

    As much as I am aware of King Peter II stated in his will that he doesn’t want to be returned to Yugoslavia!

  6. As someone who had the honour to be invited to attend the reburial of Prince Pavle (Paul) and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia on October 6, 2012 in the most beautiful Oplenac I hope that some of your readers will enjoy the pictures posted on my google plus account at the above and following link.
    It was a beautiful sunny Serbian October day and so we had the opportunity to all dine togther at a local restaurant overlooking Belgrade after the rather long but beautiful 4 hour ceremony. I hope you enjoy teh pictures. Barrington .

  7. John Bosanac says:

    It has happened, King Peter has been exhumed and removed for St. Sava’s Monastery in Libertyville and is being brought back to Serbia. Under the cover of night with no notice to the people who have respected the King for many years. We the Serbians in America have been disrespected by Prince Aleksandar. And his fathers wishes were disrespected as well.

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