19 December 2011
By Ljiljana Staletovic
THE STATE DOES NOT RESPOND ON THE REQUEST FOR FUNERAL OF THE LAST SERBIAN KING IN THE HOMELAND
Oplenac is waiting King Peter II
"With the act of re-burial of King Peter II and Queen Maria in the endowment of King Peter I in Oplenac, national pride would be returned to Serbia, in the time when it fell to the lowest branches," stated the Privy Council member Mr. Dusan Babac.
With the transfer to the homeland of the human remains of Slobodan Jovanovic, the President of the Council of Ministers in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in London, during the period of January 11 , 1942, to June 26, 1943, it was raised again the question of the eternal resting place of King Peter II Karadjordjevic and his mother Queen Maria.
HM King Peter II died in 1970, in Denver during exile, and was buried by his own request in the monastery of St. Sava in Libertyville, the oldest monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North America. He is the only king buried in the United States. His mother, Queen Maria Karadjordjevic died in 1961 in London, and was buried at Royal Cemetery Frogmore in Windsor. The initiative for bringing their remains to the homeland and request for a decent burial in Oplenac, where lie six generations of the Karadjordjevic dynasty, was started long ago.
The state remains silent
In the last two decades, several times the initiative was made that the remains of King Peter II should be transferred to Oplenac, the endowment of his grandfather King Peter I, stated for "Akter" Mr. Dusan Babac, a member of the Privy Council.
The initiative of Crown Prince Alexander for the post mortal return of his father King Peter II in Serbia was launched in 2004, at the time of the celebration of two centuries since the First Serbian Uprising. The applications about starting the procedure of transfer the remains of King Peter II Crown Prince Alexander sent to the Serbian President Boris Tadic, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Serbian Liberal Council and several non-governmental organisations addressed the same request to the Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs Vuk Jeremic and the President of the Republic Parliament Slavica Djukic Dejanovic. Until now there has been no response from the state.
"We received the approval from the top of Serbian Orthodox Church that the body of King Peter II should be transferred to his homeland and buried in Oplenac. This agreement was again confirmed by the current Patriarch Irinej. However, from the state authorities we have not received any response. Without it we cannot conduct the transfer of the human remains and burial, because he is not an ordinary man. This is not just about fulfilling the wishes of the king's son, but the funeral of a Leader. The king cannot be buried as an ordinary citizen; he is entitled to have a state funeral, “said Babac.
Legacy of King Peter I
Our source stated as a positive example the funeral of the Montenegrin King Nikola and Queen Milena, whose remains were transferred to Montenegro in 1989. "Then the communists were in the leading positions and they did not obstruct the royal funeral. I do not see any reason why the authorities in Serbia would make a problem. By the act of re-burial of King Peter II and Queen Maria in Oplenac, national pride would be returned to Serbia, at a time when it has fallen to the lowest branches ", said Babac.
With the burial in Oplenac, of King Peter II and his mother, and also other members of the Karadjordjevic dynasty whose tombs are scattered across the world, the legacy of King Peter I will come to realisation.
We recall that King Peter I transferred the remains of his parents Prince Alexander and Princess Persida from Vienna to Oplenac, and buried them in the church which he built with the desire to be the family tomb of Karadjordjevic dynasty.
In the crypt of the endowment of King Peter I, in the church of St. George in Oplenac, there are 39 graves where 22 members of the Karadjordjevic dynasty are buried; six generations from Marica, born as Zivkovic, mother of the dynasty founder Karadjordjevic Djordje Petrovic, who died in the 1811, through Karadjordje and his wife Jelena, and son of King Alexander I, Prince Tomislav, who was buried in 2000.
At the Oplenac are also buried nine children of Prince Alexander and Princess Persida: Cleopatra (1835-1855), Aleksije (1836-1840), Svetozar (1841-1847), King Peter I and his wife Princess Zorka (1864-1890), daughter of Montenegro Prince Nikola Petrovic, then Jelena (1845-1867), Andrew (1848-1864), Elizabeth (1851-1852), Djordje (1856-1888) and Arsen (1859-1938). Beside the parents in the same crypt are buried the children of King Peter I and Princess Zorka: Milena (1886-1887), Djordje (1887-1972) and his wife Radmila, King Alexander I (1888-1934) and Andrew (1890-1890).
Next year will mark one hundred years since the consecration of the church of St. George in Oplenac, and the first burial in it; it is expected to have by then a response of the state authorities about return of the remains of King Peter II and Queen Maria and their funeral with all states honors.
Karadjordjevic Family celebrated Patron Saint Day
Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine celebrated last Tuesday the Patron Saint Day of the Royal House of Karadjordjevic - Saint Andrew the First-Called. The Holy Liturgy in the chapel of the Royal Palace was served by Bishop Lavrentije of Sabac and Bishop Jovan of Sumadija. In the presence of representatives of religious communities, the members of Crown bodies, Bishop Lavrentije cut the Slava cake at the Royal Palace. The Royal Couple then hosted a reception at the White Palace for members of the government, diplomatic corps, and representatives of public and economic life in Serbia, international and national organisations.
"I am very happy that we all gathered. The Patron Saint Day is a celebration of every household, the spiritual fire around which we gather, and I want to express on this occasion my gratitude to all who are gathered today at the White Palace, "Said Crown Prince Alexander.
Prince Paul is rehabilitated
The High Court in Belgrade rehabilitated Prince Paul Karadjordjevic, a former regent of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and with this act is annulled the decision of the State Commission from September, 1945, which declared Prince Paul as a war criminal.
By decision about the Rehabilitation Act, all the legal consequences are canceled by of this decision, including the penalty of confiscation of property.
"I lived for this moment and I hoped for it. You cannot imagine how happy I am that finally it is corrected the injustice committed to my father Prince Paul," said Princess Elizabeth Karadjordjevic, and added that she will do anything to get her father back and to bury him in Serbia.