Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia
|Spouse||Princess Margarita of Baden
Linda Mary Bonney
(1982-2000, his death)
|Issue||with Princess Margarita of Baden:
with Linda Mary Bonney:
|House||House of Karageorgevitch|
|Father||Alexander I of Yugoslavia|
|Mother||Maria of Yugoslavia|
|Born||19 January 1928|
|Died||12 July 2000(aged 72)|
|Burial||St. George′s Church|
Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia
|Reference style||His Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
Early life and education
Prince Tomislav was born on 19 January 1928, on Epiphany according to the Julian calendar used by the Serbian Orthodox Church, at 1 A.M., as the second son of the sovereign of the then Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), Alexander I (1888–1934) and Queen Maria (1900–1961), the second daughter of King Ferdinand of Romania (1865–1927) and Queen Maria (1875–1938).
He was baptized on 25 January in a salon of the New Palace in Belgrade, with the British Minister to the Yugoslav Court, Kennard, representing the godfather King George V, with water from the Vardar and Danube rivers and the Adriatic Sea. The Prince was named after Tomislav of Croatia, the King of medieval Croatia.
Although King Peter and his advisors were opposed to Nazi Germany, Regent Prince Paul under German pressure declared that Yugoslavia would adhere to the Tripartite Pact.
On 27 March 1941 Peter, then 17, was proclaimed of age, and participated in a British-supported coup d'état opposing the Tripartite Pact.
Postponing Operation Barbarossa, Germany simultaneously attacked Yugoslavia and Greece. From 6 April Luftwaffe pounded Belgrade for three days and three nights, Operation Punishment. Within a week, Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary and Italy invaded Yugoslavia and the government was forced to surrender on 17 April. Yugoslavia was divided to satisfy Italian, Bulgarian, Hungarian and German demands and puppet Croat, Montenegrin and Serb states proclaimed.
Peter was forced to leave the country with the Yugoslav Government following the Axis invasion; initially the King went with his government to Greece, and Jerusalem, then to the British Mandate of Palestine and Cairo, Egypt. He went to England in June 1941, where he joined numerous other governments in exile from Nazi-occupied Europe. The King completed his education at Cambridge University and joined the Royal Air Force.
Despite the collapse of the Yugoslav army, two rival resistance groups to the occupying forces formed. The first was the Royalist Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland (better known as the Chetniks) led by loyalist General Draža Mihailović, the Minister of Defence in the exile government. The other was the revolutionary Partisans led by the communist Josip Broz, later known as Tito. The Allies, having initially supported Mihailovic, threw their support behind Tito in 1943, as their sources came to indicate that the Partisans were more engaged in fighting the German enemy than were the rival Chetniks.
Life in exile
After Cambridge, Prince Tomislav devoted himself to fruit growing. While he attended agricultural college, he worked summers as an ordinary field hand in an orchard in Kent. In 1950, he bought a farm at Kirdford, near Petworth, in West Sussex, and subsequently specialized in growing apples, having at one point 17,000 trees on 80 hectares of land. 
Return to Yugoslavia
He frequently visited the Serb soldiers in Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serb Krajina, and dispensed aid with his wife, Princess Linda. There were initiatives for him to be crowned Prince of the Serb-held part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which were rejected by the local political leadership.
After publicly accusing Serbian president Slobodan Milošević of having betrayed the Republic of Serb Krajina, after it fell to the joint Croatian Army operation "Storm" at the beginning of August 1995, his media presence was drastically reduced.
He became terminally ill; however, he turned down offers for surgery abroad at the time NATO forces began their bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 24 March 1999, choosing to remain and share the lot of the nation, touring bombing sites even while seriously ill.
He died after five years of illness on 12 July 2000, on Ss. Peter and Paul Day in the Julian Calendar, the patron saints of the family crypt on Oplenac, where he was buried, in a funeral attended by several thousand mourners.
Marriage and issue
- Prince Nikolas of Yugoslavia (born 15 March 1958, London); married to Ljiljana Licanin (born 12 December 1957 in Zemun, Serbia) on 30 August 1992 in Denmark. They have a daughter:
- Princess Marija (b. 31 August 1993, Belgrade)
- Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia and Serbia (born 28 November 1959, London). She was married for several years to Sir Desmond de Silva QC, KStJ (b. 13 December 1939 Sri Lanka), has a daughter and works in public relations. The couple is now divorced.
- Victoria Marie Esme de Silva (b. 6 September 1991)
On 16 October 1982, he married Linda Mary Bonney (born 22 June 1949, London); they had two sons:
- Prince George of Yugoslavia (born 25 May 1984 at Portland Hospital, London).
- Prince Michael of Yugoslavia (born 15 December 1985, London).
Notes and references
- Yust, Walter (ed.) Encyclopædia Britannica: A New Survey of Universal Knowledge, Vol 1, 1951, p 573
- "Obituary: Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia". Daily Telegraph.
- Katerina Karageorgievich, Princess of Yugoslavia, ThePeerage.com
- Princess Katarin on LinkedIn