Alexandra of Yugoslavia

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Alexandra of Yugoslavia
Aspasia and Alexandra.jpg
Alexandra with her son
Queen consort of Yugoslavia
Tenure 20 March 1944 – 29 November 1945
Spouse Peter II of Yugoslavia
Issue Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
House Glücksburg (by birth)
Karađorđević (by marriage)
Father Alexander of Greece
Mother Aspasia Manos
Born (1921-03-25)25 March 1921
Athens, Greece
Died 30 January 1993(1993-01-30) (aged 71)
East Sussex, England
Burial Royal Cemetery, Tatoi Palace, Greece (in May 2013 moved to Belgrade, Serbia, before burial in Oplenac, Serbia on 26 May 2013)
Religion Eastern Orthodox
Monarchical styles of
Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg
Reference style Her Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Ma'am

Alexandra of Greece and Denmark (Greek: Αλεξάνδρα, Serbian: Александра/Aleksandra; 25 March 1921 – 30 January 1993) was Queen of Yugoslavia as the wife of the last King of Yugoslavia, Peter II, and mother of Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia.

Birth and inheritance[edit]

She was born five months after the death of her father, King Alexander of Greece, to his morganatic widow, Aspasia Manos.[1] His father, King Constantine I, was restored to the Greek throne a month after Alexander's death and returned to Greece from exile. His government officially treated the brief reign of his late son as a regency, which meant that Alexander's marriage, contracted without his father's permission, was technically illegal, the marriage void, and the couple's posthumous daughter, Alexandra, illegitimate.

Royal Standard of the Queen

At the behest of Alexander's mother, Queen Sophia, a law was passed in July 1922 which allowed the King to recognize the validity of marriages of members of the Royal family contracted without the Royal assent, even retroactively, although on a non-dynastic basis. King Constantine then issued a decree, gazetted on 10 September 1922, recognizing Alexander's marriage to Aspasia. Thus Alexandra became legitimate in the eyes of Greek law, but continued to be shunned and lacked the right of succession to the throne that dynastic princesses enjoyed under the monarchist constitution.[citation needed] As a result, instead of a first Greek queen regnant, she eventually became Yugoslavia's last queen consort.[2][3]

Hence, she and her mother were accorded the title "Princess of Greece and Denmark" and the style of Royal Highness.[4] This title was borne by non-reigning members of the Greek Royal Family, who also happened to be members of a cadet branch of the reigning dynasty of Denmark. They moved to Italy, then London, then lived at the Hotel Crillon in Paris.[1]

She was educated at Heathfield School, Ascot, but disliked it so much her mother removed her and sent her to a finishing school in Paris.[1][5]

Marriage and later life[edit]

In 1944, she moved to London, where on 20 March at the Yugoslav Legation[6] she married the King of Yugoslavia, Peter II, whom she had met in 1942. Guests at the wedding included members of the British royal family, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester with Prince Richard of Gloucester; Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent; as well as other European royalty in exile, King Haakon VII of Norway and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. [7]

On 17 July 1945 she gave birth to the Crown Prince in Suite 212 of Claridge's Hotel in Brook Street. The British Government ceded sovereignty over the suite to Yugoslavia just for one day, so that the prince would be born in Yugoslav territory, which was to be the only time Queen Alexandra was in Yugoslavia.[1]

The marriage deteriorated after the war and the declaration of a Communist republic in Yugoslavia; in the late 1940s Queen Alexandra left her husband, taking their son with her, after he had sold her jewels and most of their other remaining property.

After his death in 1970, she settled in East Sussex, where she died on 30 January 1993 after suffering for several years from cancer.[1][6]

She was buried in the former private Greek royal residence at Tatoi in Greece. In May 2013, her remains were transferred to Serbia for reburial in the crypt of the Royal Mausoleum at Oplenac. The reburial of HM King Peter II and HM Queen Maria of Yugoslavia also took place at the same time, on 26 May 2013.[8]

Publications[edit]

She published an autobiography in 1956[9] and a biography of her cousin, Prince Philip, in 1961.[10]

Titles, styles, and honours[edit]

Honours

Ancestry[edit]

As daughter of Aspasia and granddaughter of Petros Manos and Maria Argyropoulos, she was the only scion of the Royal Family of Greece to be of recent Greek descent.[citation needed] Through her mother she descended from, among others, Phanariote Greeks from Constantinople. Like most European royal families, the Glücksburg dynasty, to which her husband belonged, was of predominantly German extraction.[citation needed]

Sources[edit]

  • Marlene Eilers König, Descendants of Queen Victoria.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituary: Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia". The Independent. 2 February 1993. 
  2. ^ Diesbach, Ghislain de (1967). Secrets of the Gotha. translated from the French by Margaret Crosland. London: Chapman & Hall. p. 225. 
  3. ^ Valynseele, Joseph (1967). Les Prétendants aux trônes d'Europe (in French). Paris. p. 442. 
  4. ^ Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh, ed. (1973-03-06). Burke's Guide to the Royal Family. London: Burke's Peerage. ISBN 978-0-220-66222-6. 
  5. ^ a b c "Repatriation of HM Queen Alexandra Remains to Serbia". The Royal Family of Serbia. 9 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Alexandra of Yugoslavia Is Dead; Queen Without a Throne Was 71". The New York Times. 1 February 1993. 
  7. ^ "Wedding of HRH Princess Alexandra of Greece & Denmark to King Peter II of Yugoslavia. 20th March 1944, London". Flickr.com. 
  8. ^ Mendick, Robert; Sawer, Patrick (28 April 2013). "Yugoslavia's exiled Queen returns home at long last". The Daily Telegraph. 
  9. ^ Alexandra, Queen Consort of Peter II, King of Yugoslavia (1956). For a king's love: the intimate recollections of Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia. London: Odhams. OCLC 752753235. 
  10. ^ Alexandra, Queen Consort of Peter II., King of Yugoslavia (1961). Prince Philip. London: May Fair. OCLC 752753242. 
Alexandra of Yugoslavia
Cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg
Born: 25 March 1921 Died: 30 January 1993
Yugoslavian royalty
Vacant
Title last held by
Maria of Yugoslavia
Queen consort of Yugoslavia
20 March 1944 – 29 November 1945
Monarchy abolished
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
— TITULAR —
Queen consort of Yugoslavia
29 November 1945 – 3 November 1970
Vacant
Title next held by
Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans-Braganza

External links[edit]