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Serbia

Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine mark the 50th anniversary of the death of King Peter II


Photo: Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America officiated a memorial service on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the passing of King Peter II of Yugoslavia. The ceremony, on November 3rd 2020, took place in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine. Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine lit candles in memory of the Crown Prince’s father, King Peter II, at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava. His Majesty King Peter II was very close to the Cathedral during his time in the United States.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the passing of King Peter II of Yugoslavia, a memorial service for the late King was also officiated by Bishop Jovan of Sumadija at the Royal Family Mausoleum of St. George in Oplenac in Serbia. On behalf of Crown Prince Alexander, a wreath was laid on the tomb of the late King. The Kingdom of Serbia Association also laid a wreath on the tomb of King Peter II.

King Peter II of Yugoslavia was born in Belgrade on 6 September 1923 as the first born son of King Alexander I and Queen Maria of Yugoslavia. His godparents were King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother). His education commenced at The Royal Palace in Belgrade and he then went to Sandroyd School in England but left after his father’s assassination in 1934.

King Peter II was nearly killed when the Palace was bombed during the night by the Nazis. The Second World War forced King Peter II to leave the country along with the Yugoslav Government. He went initially to Greece, Palestine and then to Egypt. King Peter II then joined other monarchs and leaders of German occupied Europe in London in June 1941. There King Peter was regarded by the people of Yugoslavia as the symbol of resistance against Nazism. King Peter II completed his education at Cambridge University and joined the Royal Air Force.

King Peter II never abdicated. After the Second World War King Peter II lived in exile, initially in London, with his wife Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia and their son Crown Prince Alexander who was born in 1945. He 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, Illinois. He was the only king buried in the United States. The King’s remains were transferred to the Royal Family Mausoleum of St. George in Oplenac in 2013.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.