“Vecernje novosti”, 25 August 2003
The remains of Queen Maria and King Peter II Karadjordjevic will be brought home
PUTTING RIGHT THE HISTORICAL INJUSTICE
I am sure that many will see the transfer of my grandmother’s and my father’s remains as the end to a very sad episode of our history – says Prince Alexander for “Novosti”. The burial in the crypt of Saint George’s Church in Oplenac. The transfer with the Government of Serbia’s cooperation
The remains of Queen Maria and King Peter II Karadjordjevic will finally rest in peace in their homeland. The descendants of the famous Serbian dynasty have already taken steps to bring them home, and , as Prince Alexander says for “Novosti”, bury them in the crypt of Saint George’s Church in Oplenac.
The whole procedure will of course be done in agreement with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, where the initiative for transfer of their remains was welcomed. The grandmother and the father of Prince Alexander II, due to twist of fate and international politics, spent their last days abroad, deprived of the possibility to be buried among their kin.
THE QUEEN MOTHER
When exactly their remains will be transferred, depends on many circumstances, but the wish is openly expressed from Dedinje Palaces that it happens during the celebration of the bicentennial of the First Serbian Uprising, led by Karadjordje, on the day of the Presentation of Our Lord next year. The host of the celebration, by the decision of Serbian Government, will be Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic.
- My grandmother, Queen Maria, was buried in Windsor, in Frogmore, where Queen Victoria was buried and the other members of the British Royal Family – says Prince Alexander. – My father, King Peter II was buried in Serbian monastery in Libertyville, Illinois, and it is my great wish that both of them are brought home. I am sure that many will see the transfer of their remains as the end to a very sad episode of our history.
There are many reasons why the Karadjordjevics believe that this act would put right a great historical injustice. There are very few personages, they say, so committed to their people, like the wife of King Alexander I Unifier, Queen Maria, former Romanian Princess who came to the Serbian throne by marriage. She belonged to the group of the greatest Serbian humanitarians: she used to help orphans, handicapped people, she built homes for senior citizens, hospitals and schools. Because of her care for the people in the difficult times in our past, she was rightfully called “the Queen Mother”.
Frequent guest at the European courts and one of the finest ladies there, Queen Maria was never into politics, and she had full support of her husband for her charities. She didn’t care for luxury. She was known as a great patron of our education, she helped the Church, and privately she loved cars and used to paint and sculpt. She never complained of anything, not even during those unfortunate years when Serbia, devastated after the WWI had 264 thousand of handicapped people.
A TORN LIFE
Bad luck followed King Peter II Karadjordjevic who was ill, wandered around the world and was remembered in our history as a tragic figure. His marriage to Greek Princess Alexandra in 1944 in London, where he took refuge after Nazi occupation of our country, failed (Crown Prince Alexander was born out of that marriage). He spent his life torn, traveling in England, France and the USA, accompanied by Serbian emigrants. They buried him.
When he got gravely ill in America, Peter turned down his mother’s wish to be buried in England: “Who will light a candle for me there? I shall stay here with my emigrant friends” – he said. The dispute on where and how to bury him lasted among the divided emigrants for eleven days, some say.
- I am sure the preparations for transfer of my father’s and my grandmother’s remains to the country will be done on time, and that efficient cooperation with all official instances will be established – says Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic. I have no doubt that HM Queen Elizabeth II will take great interest in this matter, having in mind that it was thanks to her kindness that HM Queen Maria was buried in Frogmore in 1961. I am deeply grateful for the understanding I encountered regarding this issue here, but also in Great Britain and the USA, including our Church’s dignitaries there.
Copyright © 1998 NJ.K.V. Prestolonaslednik Aleksandar II
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