Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia

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Princess Elizabeth
Born (1936-04-07) 7 April 1936 (age 80)
Belgrade, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Spouse Howard Oxenberg
(m. 1960; div. 1966)
Neil Balfour
(m. 1969; div. 1978)
Manuel Ulloa Elías
(m. 1987–1992; his death)
Issue Catherine Oxenberg
Christina Oxenberg
Nicholas Augustus Balfour
Full name
English: Elizabeth Karageorgevich
Serbian: Јелисавета Карађорђевић
House Karađorđević
Father Prince Paul of Yugoslavia
Mother Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark
Religion Serbian Orthodox

Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia (Serbian: Kneginja Jelisaveta Karađorđević / Кнегиња Јелисавета Карађорђевић; born 7 April 1936) is a member of the House of Karageorgevich, a human rights activist and a former presidential candidate for Serbia. She is also known as Jelisaveta Karađorđević .

Biography[edit]

She was born in Belgrade as the third child and the only daughter of Prince Pavle of Yugoslavia (prince regent of Yugoslavia 1934–1941) and Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark. Her older brother is Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, who married, firstly, Princess María Pia of Savoy and, secondly, Princess Barbara of Liechtenstein. She is a second cousin of Queen Sofía of Spain and Charles, Prince of Wales. She is a first cousin of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and his siblings, Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy. She is a great-great-granddaughter of Karađorđe, who started the first Serbian uprising against the Turks in 1804.

A businesswoman and writer, she is the author of four storybooks for children[1] and she has created two perfumes- "Jelisaveta" and "E".[2]

She lives in Belgrade, where she has caused some friction within her family by demanding to set up residence in the White Palace, her childhood home but not her property, and for running for public office.

Education[edit]

Her education started in Kenya, then in The United Kingdom and Switzerland, finally she studied the history of fine art in Paris. She speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian and Serbian. She is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Serbia.

Marriages[edit]

Yugoslav Royal Family
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg

HRH The Crown Prince
HRH The Crown Princess

Princess Elizabeth married Howard Oxenberg on 21 January 1961 and were divorced in 1966. They have two daughters and three granddaughters:

  • Catherine Oxenberg (b. 22 September 1961) briefly married Robert Evans in July 1998 and had the marriage annulled nine days later. She married Casper Van Dien on 8 May 1999. They had two daughters and divorced in 2015. She also has a daughter, born in 1991, from a previous relationship.
  • Christina Oxenberg (b. 7 December 1962) married Damian Elwes in May 1986. They divorced in 1991.

Princess Elizabeth's second marriage was to Neil Balfour (born 1944) on 23 September 1969 and were divorced in November 1978. They have one son and four granddaughters:

  • Nicholas Augustus Balfour (b. 6 June 1970) married Stéphanie B. V. de Brouwer in 2000. They have four daughters:
    • India Lily Balfour (b. 17 October 2002)
    • Gloria Elizabeth Balfour (b. 11 November 2005)
    • Olympia Rose Balfour (b. 27 June 2007)
    • Georgia Veronika Stefania Balfour (b. 10 September 2010)

Princess Elizabeth married a third time, to former Prime Minister of Peru Manuel Ulloa Elías (1922–1992) on 28 February 1987. They separated in 1989, although the marriage was never officially dissolved. In 1992 Ulloa Elías died, which made the princess officially a widow.

Property status[edit]

After the death of King Alexander I, and during the Regency administration (of Regent Prince Paul, Radenko Stanković and Ivo Perović) that followed, the City of Belgrade District Court issued Decree No. 0.428/34 on 27 October 1938. The decree, which became official law on 4 March 1939, pronounced King Alexander I’s underage sons King Peter II, Prince Tomislav and Prince Andrew, in equal parts, heirs to his entire estate. This included all real estate at Dedinje: the Royal Palace (Old Palace) in Belgrade, its surrounding land and forest, and the White Palace, with its appertaining houses.

On 2 August 1947, Edvard Kardelj, then vice president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, issued a decree that confiscated all these properties from the royal Karadjordjević family. This followed an earlier decree in March 1947, stripping the family of their citizenship.[3]

His decree, the ‘National Assembly of the Presidency of the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,’ was abolished in 2001 after the deposing of Slobodan Milošević. The new government of Yugoslavia restored to all members of the royal family both their citizenship and the use of the entire royal complex in Dedinje.[3]

In 2013, it was announced that the villa "Crnogorka", in Uzicka Street, Dedinje, was to be returned to Princess Elizabeth. The villa was bought by Princess Olga in 1940, and taken by the state in 1947. It is currently owned by the Serbian government and used as the official residence of the Ambassador of Montenegro.[4]

Politics[edit]

Princess Elizabeth recognized early the dangerous signs that would turn the former Yugoslavia upside down in a bloodbath of historic religious and ethnic rivalries long suppressed by Communist rule. She spoke out in Europe and America on behalf of bridging the gap between ethnic hatreds. Working behind the scenes through United Nations programs, she also journeyed to the Vatican in 1989 to ask Monsignor Tauran, then Holy See Secretary for Relations with States, to help improve relations between Catholic and Orthodox communities in Yugoslavia.[5]

At the end of 1990, she created the Princess Elizabeth Foundation, a non-political, not-for-profit organization after foreseeing the crucial importance of a vehicle to address the tension brewing just below the surface. Since the subsequent civil wars, her efforts have focused heavily on transporting medical supplies, food, clothing and blankets to refugee camps, in addition to finding homes for children victimized by war and placing older students in schools and colleges in America.[6]

Before the breakup of Yugoslavia began in 1991, she invited the Orthodox Bishop Sava and the Mufti of Belgrade, along with the Yugoslav Minister for Religious Affairs to attend a conference in Moscow that was hosted by Mikhail Gorbachev.[citation needed] This was the second international gathering of political and religious leaders committed to world reform that included Mother Teresa, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Dalai Lama, Al Gore and Carl Sagan.[7]

Styles of
Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia
Royal Monogram of Princess Elizabeth (b. 1936) of Yugoslavia.svg
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am

She decided to run for President of Serbia in the 2004 Serbian presidential election, despite her cousin Alexander's objections, stating that the Royal Family should stay out of politics. After the end of World War II, the Royal Family was banished from the country, and their goods confiscated. "In case of victory," she stated, "my priority would not be to return to a monarchy, but to form a real State." She got 63,991 votes or 2.1%, finishing in 6th place out of fifteen candidates.[8]

In 2002, Princess Elizabeth received the first Nuclear Disarmament Forum Award, the Demiurgus Peace International, (accompanying president Vladimir Putin, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ted Turner and others) for outstanding achievements in the field of strengthening peace among nations in Zug, Switzerland.

Arms[edit]

Coat of arms of Princess Elizabeth

HRH Princess Elizabeth was granted heraldic arms in June 2008.[9] Her motto translates into English as Service Is Love In Action.

Ancestry[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]