Prince Paul of Yugoslavia
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia in 1935
|Prince Regent of Yugoslavia|
|Tenure||9 October 1934 – 27 March 1941|
27 April 1893|
Saint Petersburg, Russia
14 September 1976 (aged 83)|
|Burial||St. George's Church, Serbia|
|Spouse||Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark|
|Father||Prince Arsen of Yugoslavia|
|Mother||Aurora Pavlovna Demidova|
Kingdom of Serbia|
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
|Years of service||1911–1935 (active service)|
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia
|Reference style||His Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, also known as Paul Karađorđević (Serbo-Croatian: Pavle Karađorđević, Serbian Cyrillic: Павле Карађорђевић, English transliteration: Paul Karageorgevich; 27 April 1893 – 14 September 1976), was Prince Regent of Yugoslavia during the minority of King Peter II. Paul was a first cousin of Alexander I and thus a first cousin-once-removed of Peter II.
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia was the only son of Prince Arsen (brother of King Peter I) and Princess and Countess Aurora Pavlovna Demidova (a granddaughter of the Finnish philanthropist Aurora Karamzin and her Russian husband Prince and Count Pavel Nikolaievich Demidov, and Russian Prince Peter Troubetskoy and his wife Elisabeth Esperovna, née Princess Belosselsky-Belozersky). He married Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark, a sister of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, in 1923. King George VI, when Duke of York, was best man at his wedding in Belgrade.
Paul was educated at the University of Oxford, where he was a member of the exclusive Bullingdon Club - a dining club notorious for its wealthy members, grand banquets and boisterous rituals. Cultivated and bisexual like his closest friends Prince George, Duke of Kent, and Sir Henry Channon, his outlook on life was said to be British. He was installed as a Knight of the Garter in 1939.
Regent of Yugoslavia
On 9 October 1934 Vlado Chernozemski assassinated Paul's first-cousin, King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, in Marseille in France, and Prince Paul took the regency, as Alexander had stipulated in his Will that on his death a council of regents chaired by Paul should govern until Alexander's son Peter II came of age.
Prince Paul, far more than Alexander, was Yugoslav rather than Serb in outlook. However, unlike Alexander, he inclined much more toward democracy. In its broadest outline, his domestic policy worked to eliminate the heritage of the Alexandrine dictatorship's centralism, censorship, and military control, and to pacify the country by solving the Serb-Croat problem.
In August 1939, the Cvetković-Maček Agreement set up the Banovina of Croatia. The central government retained control of the monarchy, foreign affairs, national defence, foreign trade, commerce, transport, public security, religion, mining, weights and measures, insurance, and education policy, but Croatia was to have its own legislature in Zagreb, with a separate budget.
When World War II broke out in 1939, Yugoslavia declared its neutrality. On March 25, 1941, the Yugoslav government signed the Axis Tripartite Pact, with significant reservations as three notes were appended. The first note obliged the Axis powers to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Yugoslavia. In the second note the Axis powers promised not to ask Yugoslavia for any military assistance, and in the third they promised not to ask permission to move military forces across Yugoslav territory during the war.
Paul's foreign policy, including the signing of the Tripartite Pact, aimed to give his country as much leeway as possible in thoroughly adverse circumstances. After the Fall of France in 1940 left the British Empire essentially alone to face the Axis, Paul saw no way of saving Yugoslavia except through adopting policies of accommodation to the Axis powers. But even under those circumstances, Paul, outwardly neutral, remained determinedly pro-Allied. He aided Greece after Italian forces had invaded that country on 28 October 1940; he fostered military collaboration between the Royal Yugoslav Army and the French and spent almost three years parrying the Axis thrust toward Yugoslavia.
Nonetheless, the signing of the pact did not sit well with several elements of the Royal Yugoslav Army. On 27 March 1941, two days after Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact, Yugoslav military figures with British support forcibly removed Paul from power and declared Peter II of age.
For the remainder of the war, Prince Paul was kept, with his family, under house arrest by the British in Kenya. His sister-in-law the Duchess of Kent and her husband the Duke, appealed to Winston Churchill, hoping he would allow Paul and Olga to take refuge in Britain. However, Churchill rejected the request in no uncertain manner; he viewed Paul as a traitor and war criminal. After the Duke of Kent's death in 1942, Churchill relented to King George's insistence and allowed Princess Olga to fly to London to comfort her sister–although without her husband, who had been extremely close to the late Duke.
Princess Elizabeth, his only daughter, obtained information from the Special Operations Executive files in the Foreign Office in London and published them in Belgrade, in the 1990 edition of the Serbian-language biography of her father. The original book Paul of Yugoslavia was written by Neil Balfour, the first was published by Eaglet Publishing in London in 1980.
The post-war Communist authorities had Prince Paul proclaimed an enemy of the state, barred him from ever returning to Yugoslavia, and confiscated all of his property. He died in Paris on 14 September 1976, aged 83 and was buried in Switzerland. He was rehabilitated by Serbian courts in 2011, and was reburied at the family crypt in Oplenac, Serbia, near Topola in central Serbia, on 6 October 2012, together with his wife Olga and son Nikola.
Prince Paul, together with King Alexander I of Yugoslavia collected, donated and dedicated a large number of art works to Serbia and the Serbian people, including foreign masterpieces. There are especially significant Italian, French and Dutch/Flemish pieces. Most of the works are in the National Museum of Serbia, including work by artists such as Rubens, Renoir, Monet, Titian, Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin etc.
|Serbian and Yugoslavian decorations|
|Order of the Karađorđe's Star, Knight Grand Cross|
|Order of the White Eagle, Knight Grand Cross|
|Order of the Yugoslav Crown, Knight Grand Cross|
|Order of St. Sava, Knight Grand Cross|
|Serbian Service Medals|
|Commemorative Medal of the Election of Peter I as King of Serbia|
|Commemorative Medal of the Albanian Campaign|
|Order of Carol I, Grand Collar|
|Royal Victorian Order, Knight Grand Cross|
|Order of St Michael and St George, Knight Grand Cross|
|Order of the Garter, Knight|
|Order of Saint Stephen, Knight|
|Order of Saint John, Bailiff Grand Cross|
|Order of the Elephant, Knight|
|Legion of Honour, Grand Cross|
|Order of the Redeemer, Knight Grand Cross|
|Order of George I, Knight Grand Cross|
|Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation, Knight Grand Cross|
|Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Knight Grand Cross|
|Order of the Crown of Italy, Knight Grand Cross|
|Ancestors of Prince Paul of Yugoslavia|
- Bradford, Sarah Elizabeth: A Biography of Britain's Queen, Riverhead Books 1997, p46
- Channon, Paul Chips: The Diaries of Sir Henry Channon, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1967, p192
- Hoptner, J.B, "Yugoslavia in crisis 1934-1941"., Columbia University Press, 1962, p. 25
- Hoptner, p. 26
- Hoptner, p. 154
- Hoptner, p. 167
- Hoptner, p. 240
- Hoptner, p. 298
- Hoptner, p. 266
- "Obituary: Princess Paul of Yugoslavia". The Independent. 1997.
- Aronson, Theo (2014). The Royal Family at War. Thistle Publishing. pp. 204, 205.
- The Times, Thursday, 16 September 1976, p. 16
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Prince Paul of Yugoslavia.|
- Newspaper clippings about Prince Paul of Yugoslavia in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
Prince Paul of YugoslaviaBorn: 27 April 1893 Died: 14 September 1976
as King of Yugoslavia
| Acting head of state of Yugoslavia
as Prince regent
9 October 1934 – 27 March 1941
as King of Yugoslavia
| Deputy Commander in Chief of the Yugoslavian Armed Forces