Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, accompanied by Crown Princess Katherine and members of the Serbian Crown Council, have visited the tomb of his father,King Peter II, at the family Mausoleum of St. George Church in Oplenac. The visit, which took place on Monday, commemorated the 97th anniversary of King Peter II’s birth.
For their Royal Highnesses, this was their first public appearance since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Serbia. In front of the St. George Church in Oplenac, they were solemnly welcomed by the new President of the municipality of Topola, Mr. Igor Petrovic, together with representatives of the Association of the Kingdom of Serbia.
On the occasion of the 97th anniversary of the birth of King Peter II, Crown Prince Alexander pointed out how sad his father was because of the impossibility of returning to his homeland. His Royal Highness said: “Son, do not leave me in a foreign country, take me home, even dead – my father often told me. My father’s heart was broken by his tragic fate. He wandered the world far from his roots and every day hoped to return to his people and homeland. I am grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to fulfil my father’s wish. Dad, you’re home.”
On this day, 6 September 1923 at dawn, the cannons announced the birth of the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and everything was pointing to a happy future. King Peter II was the firstborn son of King Alexander I and Queen Maria. The people of Belgrade greeted the good news with great enthusiasm and rejoicing spread throughout the country. On that day, bells rang in all the churches, songs were sung everywhere and there was jubilation in all the homes. A month later, the young Crown Prince was baptized by the Serbian Patriarch Dimitrije at the Royal Court Church of St. Nicholas and his godparent was King George V of Great Britain.
From his marriage to Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark in 1945, King Peter had a son, Crown Prince Alexander.
King Peter II never abdicated and continued to place the best interests of his people at the forefront of his actions. He died on 3 November 1970 and was buried at the St. Sava Monastery Church in Libertyville, Illinois, as the only monarch to be buried in the United States. In 2013 his son, Crown Prince Alexander, fulfilled his wishes and the King’s remains were reinterred in a state funeral at the Karadjordjevic dynasty Mausoleum of St. George in Oplenac.