Mortal remains of HM King Peter II repatriated to Serbia, January 2013

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Jan 20, 2013
Serbia and Montenegro

HM Peter II (1923-1970)
King of Yugoslavia

HM King Peter II Returns Home after 72 Years

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 Republic of Serbia and Royal Houses.

King Peter II of Yugoslavia was the firstborn son of King Alexander I and Queen Maria of Yugoslavia. King Peter II was born in Belgrade 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 after which he went to Sandroyd School in England, 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 Yugoslavia.

In 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia 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.

The Yugoslav Army was unprepared to resist the ensuing invasion by Nazi Germany and Yugoslavia was occupied within eleven days. King Peter II was forced to leave the country along with the Yugoslav Government - initially to Greece, Palestine and then to Egypt. King Peter II joined other monarchs and leaders of Nazi occupied Europe in London in June 1941.

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 Belgrade 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 Yugoslavia remained a totalitarian single party state under the League of Communists for more than four decades.

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 Denmark 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.

King Peter II spent the last years of his life in America. After a long and grave illness, King Peter II died 3 November 1970 in Denver Hospital Colorado, and he was buried at the St. Sava Monastery Church in Libertyville (north of Chicago) Illinois. He was the only King buried in the United States.
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Hello Royaller,

Do we know if Queen Alexandra will eventually be returned to Serbia as well? I know she is buried at a private estate in Greece, but does anyone know if there is word about her being moved to the royal monastery as well?
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Alexandra is buried at Tatoi Palace in Greece. Due to the fact the building is apparently being sold, the remains of countless Greek royals may be moved elsewhere.
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Surprising news from the Serbian Royals: not just King Peter - Queen Alexandra and Queen Maria are to be reburied in Serbia as well.

Queen Alexandra and Queen Maria of Yugoslavia to be Reburied in Serbia
It was announced today that the remains of Queen Maria and Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia will be moved to Serbia. The State Funeral for the two Queens as well as Peter II of Yugoslavia will take place on May 26, 2013.
Date Announced for the State Funeral for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra and Queen Maria of Yugoslavia
The official website of the Serbian Royal Family announced today that the state funeral for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra and Queen Maria will take place on May 26 of this year. The late King and Queens of Yugoslavia are to be re-buried in the Royal Family Mausoleum in Oplenac. Before the reburial, they will lay in the Royal Chapel of the Royal Palace in Belgrade. The surprising news that the two Yugoslavian Queens are to be reburied as well was made public only today, along with the announcement of the date.
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Surprising news from the Serbian Royals: not just King Peter - Queen Alexandra and Queen Maria are to be reburied in Serbia as well.

Queen Alexandra and Queen Maria of Yugoslavia to be Reburied in Serbia

Date Announced for the State Funeral for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra and Queen Maria of Yugoslavia

This is fantastic news!

Glad to hear that not only will the King finally be laid to rest where he belongs, but his wife and mother as well! This is long overdue! This is fantastic news for the family and Serbia.

Thank you for sharing!
That's very interesting news!
Actually it was known since King Peter II. returned to Serbia that also Queen Maria and Queen Alexandra would return and that there would be a STate funeral for all three.
See this article from January: B92 - News - Remains of King Petar II transferred to Serbia
The article is from January but the part about the reburial of Alexandra, Maria and Andrej (the latter is news to me) was definitely added later, on Wednesday. :)
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Burial information translated from Serbian site Blic from CP Alexander II Facebook page:

17 February 2013
(Translated from Serbian)
17 February 2013
Author:Nebojsa Radisic


Aside to his mortal remains on May 26th HM Queen Alexandra his wife and HM Queen Maria his mother will also be reburied.
In the crypt it is precisely determined who will be buried where.TM King Peter II and Queen Alexandra will be buried next to each other while HM Queen Maria will be buried next to King Alexander I her husband.
According to Dragan Reljic, manager of the King Peter I endowment on the ground floor of the church, tombs for dynasty and founder of modern Serbia Karadjordje and founder of the church King Peter I are placed.
The crypt itself is dedicated to St Peter and is modeled according to the French Royal tomb Cathédrale royale de Saint-Denis and mausoleum of Aelia Galla Placidia from Ravenna. The crypt has 39 burial places, 23 of them are occupied.
Two other Serbian rulers found their final resting place in the tomb, son of Karadjordje Prince Alexander and HM King Peter I son HM King Alexander I, who was tragically killed in Marseille.
In world War I every fourth Serbian citizen died, inscribing their names in the walls was therefore impossible. Following the death of King Peter I his son King Alexander I remodeled the interior in Serb-Byzantine mosaic in the most expensive and durable technique.
The church was built in the period 1910-1912 it originally represents the memory of all fallen soldiers for Serbian liberty.
Oplenac’s mosaic is one of the largest areas covered with mosaic. The area of 3.570m2 is covered with 40 million mosaic tiles made from Murano glass with 15000 nuances and 725 compositions. The stone decorations are fmade out of marble and granite, onyx from former Yugoslavia, Europe and beyond says Reljic.

HM King Peter II

Peter as a boy with parents TM King Alexander and Queen Maria
The firstborn son of Alexander I and Queen Maria was born in Belgrade (1923)
Godparents were King George VI and his wife Elisabeth Bowes Lion. After his education at The Royal Palace he was schooled in England in Sandroyd School from which he returned upon his father’s assassination in 1934. The breakup of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia’s army, he was forced into exile from Niksic airport with the Government to Greece and then Egypt. The last years of his life he spent in United States. He died after long illness in Denver hospital on 3rd November 1970 and was buried in Libertyville (Illinois) in the Church of St Sava.
Queen mother, Maria Karadjordjevic
Queen Maria was very educated. Prior to her marriage she had the title of Princess of Romania. As a grandchild of Queen Victoria she was related to all the Royal families in Europe.
During World War i she volunteered at a hospital nursing wounded soldiers. She married the Yugoslav King Alexander I on June 6th 1922.They had three sons Peter, Tomislav and Andrej. After the tragic death of King Alexander in Marseille she brought up their sons. She was beloved among Serbian people. She was active in charity organizations. She died 22 June 1961 in London and buried in Frogmore in Windsor.
Queen Alexandra

The Last Yugoslav Queen Alexandra

HM Queen Alexandra was the last Yugoslav Queen, wife of HM King Peter II
She was a Princess of Greece and Denmark prior to her marriage. She was the Greek Princess with close ancestors that were Greek from her mother’s side. Her father was of German descent as were most of European rulers. Queen Alexandra gave birth to Crown Prince Alexander. She never set foot on Yugoslav soil, the land of which she was a Queen. She lived in exile with husband and son. Queen Alexandra died in East Sussex January 30th 1993.

Oplenac Tomb
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