King Peter II of Yugoslavia

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Peter II . Karađorđević, King of Yugoslavia

German: Peter ll. Karađorđević, Exil König von Jugoslavien, Russian: Петр 2 Карагеоргиевич, King of Yugoslavia
Birthdate: (47)
Birthplace: Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia
Death: November 3, 1970 (47)
Denver, Colorado, United States (cirrhosis of liver, liver transplant)
Place of Burial: Serbia Monastery Libertyville, Illinois
Immediate Family:

Son of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia and Queen Maria of Yugoslavia
Husband of Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia
Father of Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia and <private> Yugoslavia
Brother of Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia and Prince Andrew of Yugoslavia

Occupation: King of Yugoslavia 1934-1945, King of Yugoslavia
Managed by: Günther Kipp
Last Updated:

About King Peter II of Yugoslavia

Petar II Karageorgievich, King of Yugoslavia gained the title of King Peter II of Yugoslavia in 1934. He was acceded to the title of King of Yugoslavia on 9 October 1934. He abdicated as King of Yugoslavia on 9 November 1945


Predecessor :Alexander I Successor: Monarchy abolished

Peter II was the last King of Yugoslavia, and the last reigning member of the Karađorđević dynasty which came to prominence in the early 19th century.

Peter II was the eldest son of Alexander I of Yugoslavia and Maria of Romania; his godfather was the British king George V.

Prince Peter was initially tutored at the Royal Palace, Belgrade, before attending Sandroyd School then in Cobham, Surrey where Reed's School now stands. When he was 11 years old, Prince Peter succeeded to the Yugoslav throne in 1934 upon the assassination of his father King Alexander I in Marseille during a state visit to France. In view of the new monarch's young age, a regency was set up under his father's cousin Prince Paul.

Although King Peter II and his advisors were utterly opposed to Nazi Germany, Regent-Prince Paul declared that the kingdom of Yugoslavia would join the Tripartite Pact on 25 March 1941. Two days later, King Peter, at age 17, was proclaimed of age, after a British-supported coup d'état.

Postponing Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany simultaneously attacked Yugoslavia and Greece on 6 April 1941. Within a week, Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary and Italy invaded Yugoslavia, and the government was forced to surrender on 17 April. Parts of Yugoslavia were annexed by Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary and Germany. In the remaining parts of the kingdom of Yugoslavia, Croatia and Serbia, two Nazi-puppet governments were installed.

Peter left the country with the Royal Yugoslav Government's ministers following the Axis invasion. Initially the Yugoslav king and his government ministers went to Greece en route to British-ruled Jerusalem in Palestine, and then Cairo in Egypt. In June 1941, King Peter arrived in London where he joined numerous other governments in exile from Nazi-occupied Europe.

The King completed his education at Cambridge University before being commissioned in the Royal Air Force. In 1942 he made a diplomatic visit to America and Canada, where he met American President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. The whirlwind tour was unsuccessful in securing Allied support for the exiled Yugoslav monarchist cause. Roosevelt and Churchill had already engaged the support of the Communist Yugoslav Government in the Allied effort to defeat Nazi Germany, with a view to ending the hostilities.

Peter married his third cousin, Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark in London on 20 March 1944. They had one son, Crown Prince Alexander, who was born on 17 July 1945.

Peter filed for divorce in 1953. He hired attorney René de Chambrun, the son-in-law of Vichy France Prime Minister Pierre Laval. However, the couple reconciled in 1955.

Though the war ended, Peter was not allowed to return home. He was deposed by Yugoslavia's Communist Constituent Assembly on 29 November 1945. After that, he settled in the United States. From 1962 to his death he served as the Royal Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem in the United States.

After many years of suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, he died in Denver, Colorado, on 3 November 1970, after a failed liver transplant.

He was interred in Saint Sava Monastery Church at Libertyville, Illinois, the only European monarch so far to have been buried in United States.

On 4 March 2007, former Crown Prince Alexander announced plans to have his father's remains repatriated to Serbia. The plan upset some Serbian-Americans. Peter II had chosen St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery as his interim resting place because of the extenuating circumstances that afflicted his homeland. After talks with the Serbian government, the move was confirmed in January 2013 with the burial place being the Royal Family Mausoleum in Oplenac.

On 22 January 2013, Peter's remains were returned to Belgrade, Serbia. He lay in state in the Royal Chapel in Dedinje before being buried in the Royal Family Mausoleum at Oplenac on 26 May 2013 along with his wife, Queen Alexandra. His mother, Queen Marie, and his brother, Prince Andrej, lie nearby. The Serbian Royal Regalia were placed over Peter's coffin. Present at the return ceremony were the Prime Minister Ivica Dačić, Peter's son Alexander with his family, and Serbian Patriarch Irinej. The latter openly advocated for the restoration of the Serbian monarchy.

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King Peter II of Yugoslavia's Timeline

September 6, 1923
Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia
October 21, 1923
Belgrade - Godfather George VI Duke of York
October 9, 1934
- November 9, 1945
Age 11
July 17, 1945
Age 21
Westminster, London, United-Kingdom
November 3, 1970
Age 47
Denver, Colorado, United States
November 5, 1970
Age 47
Serbia Monastery Libertyville, Illinois