Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
|Crown Prince of Serbia|
|Crown Prince Alexander at the celebrations of the wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling, 18 June 2010|
|Period||3 November 1970 – present|
|Predecessor||King Peter II|
|Heir||Hereditary Prince Peter|
|Spouse||Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans Bragança (m. 1972, div. 1985)
Katherine Clairy Batis (m. 1985)
|Hereditary Prince Peter
|House||House of Karađorđević|
|Father||Peter II of Yugoslavia|
|Mother||Alexandra of Greece and Denmark|
17 July 1945 |
London (Kingdom of Yugoslavia's territory), United Kingdom
The Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
|Reference style||His Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
Alexander II, Crown Prince of Serbia (Serbo-Croatian: Aleksandar Karađorđević, Serbian Cyrillic: Александар Карађорђевић; born 17 July 1945), was the last heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and is the head of the House of Karađorđević. Alexander is the only child of former King Peter II and his wife, Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark. He prefers to be known as "Crown Prince Alexander", the title he legally held in the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia for the first four-and-a-half months of his life, from 17 July 1945 (his birth) up-until his father's deposition by the communist single party Yugoslav Parliament in late November of the same year.
With the formation of a communist government and the subsequent disintegration of the state of Yugoslavia, Alexander is now a proponent of re-creating a constitutional monarchy in Serbia.
Status at birth
As with many other European monarchs during World War II, King Peter II left his country to establish a government-in-exile. He left Yugoslavia in April 1941 and arrived in London in June 1941. The Royal Yugoslav Armed Forces capitulated.
After the Tehran Conference, the Allies shifted support from royalist Chetniks to communist Partisans. Commenting on the event and what happened to his father, Crown Prince Alexander said, "He [Peter II] was too straight. He could not believe that his allies – the mighty American democracy and his relatives and friends in London – could do him in. But that's precisely what happened." In June 1944 Ivan Šubašić, the Royalist prime minister, and Josip Broz (Tito), the Partisan leader, signed an agreement that was an attempt to merge the royal and communist governments.
On 29 November 1943, AVNOJ (formed by the Partisans) declared themselves the sovereign government of Yugoslavia and announced that they would take away all legal rights from the Royal government. On 10 August 1945, less than a month after Karađorđević's birth, AVNOJ named the country Democratic Federal Yugoslavia. On 29 November 1945, the country was declared a republic and changed its name to People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
"Based upon the Decree of the Presidency of the Presidium of the National Assembly of the People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia nr. 392 from 8 March 1947, with which the Government of PFRY was entrusted the fulfillment of the decision about the removal of the citizenship of the PFRY and confiscation of the property of the members of the Karadjordjevic family, the Government of PFRY brings the following ORDER:
By the Decree of the Presidency of the Presidium of the National Assembly of the People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia nr. 392 from 8 March 1947 (Official Gazette nr. 64 from 1 August 1947), the citizenship of PFRY is being taken away from the members of the Karadjordjevic family and their entire property is being confiscated".
Birth and childhood
Alexander was born in Suite 212 of Claridge's Hotel in Brook Street, London. The British Government temporarily ceded sovereignty over the suite in which the birth occurred to Yugoslavia so that the prince would be born in Yugoslav territory.
He was christened at Westminster Abbey. His godparents were King George VI and Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II. He was the only child of King Peter II and Queen Alexandra and the only grandchild of King Alexander of Greece by his wife Aspasia Manos.
His parents were relatively unable to take care of him, due to their various health and financial problems, so Alexander was raised by his maternal grandmother. He was educated at Institut Le Rosey, Culver Military Academy, Gordonstoun, Millfield and Mons Officer Cadet School, Aldershot, and pursued a career in the British military.
On 1 July 1972 at Villamanrique de la Condesa, near Seville, Spain, he married Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans Bragança. They had three sons, Hereditary Prince Peter and fraternal twins Princes Philip and Alexander. By marrying a Roman Catholic, Alexander lost his place in line of succession to the British throne, which he had held as a descendant of Queen Victoria through her second son Alfred. Alexander is also descended from Queen Victoria's eldest daughter Victoria. His sons remain in the line of succession to the British throne.
Alexander and Maria da Gloria divorced in 1985. Crown Prince Alexander married for the second time, Katherine Clairy Batis, the daughter of Robert Batis and his wife, Anna Dosti, civilly on 20 September 1985, and religiously the following day, at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, Notting Hill, London. Since their marriage, she is known as Katherine, Crown Princess of Yugoslavia, as per the royal family's website.
Return to Yugoslavia
Alexander first came to Yugoslavia in 1991. He actively worked with the democratic opposition against the regime of Slobodan Milošević and moved to Yugoslavia after Slobodan Milošević was deposed in 2000.
On 27 February 2001, the parliament of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) passed legislation conferring FRY citizenship on members of the Karadjordjevic (royal) family. The legislation also purported to annul a decree stripping the family of its citizenship of the then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) in 1947. The latter purported annulment was the topic of some debate. Notably, the FRY was not the successor of the SFRY. Rather the FRY was a new state (and was admitted to the UN as a new state on that basis). Therefore some politicians questioned the jurisdiction of a new state to purportedly annul an action of another former state. It is sometimes described as citizenship having been "restored" to the Karadjordjevic (royal) family. However, this is not strictly correct. The FRY was a new state and could not restore citizenship of a state of which it was not the legal successor. In effect, the Karadjordjevic (royal) family had FRY citizenship conferred on them, nothing restored as such. The FRY legislation also related to restoring property to the Karadjordjevic family.
In March 2001 Yugoslavian (FRY) citizenship was finally conferred to him by the government and the property seized from his family, including royal palaces, was returned for residential purposes with property ownership to be decided by parliament at the some later date.
He currently lives in Kraljevski Dvor (Royal Palace) in Dedinje, an exclusive area of Belgrade. Kraljevski Dvor, which was completed in 1929, is one of two royal residences in the Royal Compound; the other is White Palace which was completed in 1936.
Belief in constitutional monarchy
Many members of political parties and organizations support a constitutional parliamentary monarchy in Serbia. The Serbian Orthodox Church has openly supported the restoration of the monarchy. The assassinated former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić was often seen in the company of the prince and his family, supporting their campaigns and projects, although his Democratic Party never publicly embraced monarchy. It seems no party is ready to energetically push the issue of constitutional monarchy either because the country has more pressing problems, or because they don't want to drive another wedge into the already fragmented electorate.
Crown Prince Alexander II has vowed to stay out of politics and has so far fulfilled this promise. He and Crown Princess Katherine spend considerable time associated with humanitarian work.
The Crown Prince however has increasingly participated in public functions alongside the leaders of Serbia, the former Yugoslav republics and members of the diplomatic corps. On 11 May 2006 he hosted a reception at the Royal Palace for delegates attending a summit on Serbia and Montenegro. The reception was attended by the Governor of the National Bank of Serbia, as well as ambassadors and diplomats from Slovenia, Poland, Brazil, Japan, United States and Austria. He later delivered a keynote speech in front of prime ministers Vojislav Koštunica and Milo Đukanović. In the speech he spoke of prospective Serbian membership of the European Union. He told delegates:
In addition, we in Serbia and Montenegro must take into account that whatever form we take within the European Union, we have only but one choice and that is to work for the common good of all member nations. It is also central to take into account that stability in our region will be enhanced when Serbia is fully at peace with itself.
Following Montenegro's successful independence referendum on 21 May 2006, the re-creation of the Serbian monarchy did find its way into daily political debate. A monarchist proposal for the new Serbian constitution has been published alongside other proposals. The document approved in October 2006 is a republican one. The Serbian people have not had a chance to vote on the system of government.
The Crown Prince raised the issue of a royal restoration in the immediate aftermath of the vote. In a press release issued on 24 May 2006 he stated:
It has been officially confirmed that the people of Montenegro voted for independence. I am sad, but I wish our Montenegrin brothers peace, democracy and happiness. The people of Montenegro are our brothers and sisters no matter what if we live in one or in two countries, that is how it was and that is how it will be forever.
I strongly believe in a Constitutional Parliamentary Kingdom of Serbia. Again, we need to be proud, a strong Serbia that is at peace with itself and with its neighbors. We were a proud, respected and happy country in the days of my great grandfather King Peter I. So, we can do it! Only if we have a form of governance close to the Serbian soul: the Kingdom of Serbia.
Simply, the King is above daily politics, he is the guardian of national unity, political stability and continuity of the state. In Constitutional Parliamentary Monarchies the King is the protector of public interest: there is no personal or party interest. What is most important is the interest of Serbia.
I am ready to meet all our politicians; we have to work together for the common good of Serbia, and to be friends in the name of the future of our country. I appeal for the end of the continuous political wrangling, division and arguments. I appeal for mature democratic debate in the interest of Serbia. Serbia must have clear and realistic objectives.
In 2011 an online open access poll by Serbian middle-market tabloid newspaper Blic showed that 64% of Serbians support restoring the monarchy. Another poll in May 2013 had 39% of Serbians supporting the monarchy, with 32% against it. The public also had reservations with Alexander's apparent lack of knowledge of the Serbian language.
|Ancestors of Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia|
- Monarchs of Yugoslavia
- Monarchs of Serbia
- Karađorđe Petrović
- History of the Balkans
- History of Europe
- Wars of Yugoslav succession
- Louda; Maclagan (1981), p. 296
- Fenyvesi (1981), p. 211
- Fenyvesi (1981), p. 212
- Fenyvesi (1981), p. 215
- "The decree on stripping the Karadjordjevic family of citizenship (translation)". The Royal Family of Serbia.
- "The royal family was stripped off their property (translation)". The Royal Family of Serbia.
- Vlada Federativne Narodne Republike Jugoslavije, Pov. Br. 1433, 2. avgusta 1947. godine, Beograd. – Translation of the official document of the Government of the People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; the original is kept at the Archives of Yugoslavia in Belgrade.
- Louda; Maclagan (1981), p. 286 Table 144
- News Report of B92 as reproduced on Royal Family website
- EXCERPTS FROM THE MINUTES OF THE DEBATE AT THE SESSION OF THE CHAMBER OF CITIZENS AND THE CHAMBER OF REPUBLICS OF THE FEDERAL ASSEMBLY ON 26TH AND 27TH FEBRUARY 2001
- McKinsey, Kitty (27 June 1997). "Kings Try for Comeback". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Letter from Patriarch Pavle to HRH Crown Prince Alexander II, 29 November 2003
- Luxmoore, Jonathan (8 December 2003). "Serbian Orthodox Leader Calls For Monarchy To Be Reintroduced". Ecumenical News International.
- "Reception at the White Palace for the sixth summit state union of Serbia and Montenegro" (Press release). The Chancellery of H.R.H. Crown Prince Alexander II of Yugoslavia. 11 May 2006.
- "Statement of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander II following the announcement of the Montenegro referendum results" (Press release). The Chancellery of H.R.H. Crown Prince Alexander II of Yugoslavia. 24 May 2006.
- Roberts, Michael (5 September 2011). "64% of Serbians polled vote Monarchy over Republic". Balkans.com Business News.
- 39 percent of Serbians in favor of monarchy, poll shows. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
Books, letters and articles
- Fenyvesi, Charles (1981). Royalty In Exile. London: Robson Books Ltd. ISBN 0-86051-131-6.
- Louda, Jiri; Maclagan, Michael (1981). Lines of Succession. London: Orbis Publishing. ISBN 0-85613-276-4.
- Pavle, Patriarch (29 November 1981). Letter to HRH Crown Prince Alexander II. Belgrade.
- Luxmoore, Jonathon (8 December 1981). Serbian Orthodox Leader Calls For Monarchy To Be Reintroduced. Belgrade: Ecumenical News Daily Service.
- Official Royal Family website
- Royal Mausoleum Oplenac
- Crown Prince Alexander II Foundation for Education
Alexander, Crown Prince of YugoslaviaBorn: 17 July 1945
|Titles in pretence|
King Peter II
|— TITULAR —
King of Serbia
24 May 2006 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Title abolished, merger of Kingdom into that of Yugoslavia
Hereditary Prince Peter
|— TITULAR —
King of Yugoslavia
3 November 1970 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Communists abolished the Kingdom in 1945
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