PROFESSOR GASIC ATTENDED MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR HM KING
PETER II ON BEHALF OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
Belgrade, 3 November 2007 – His Royal Highness Crown
Prince Alexander delegated Prof. Miroslav Gasic, member of the Crown Council
to attend a memorial service for HM King Peter II of Yugoslavia who died on
3 November 1970.
The memorial service for His Majesty King Peter II was
held at the Saint George Church at Oplenac, the mausoleum and foundation of
the Serbian Royal Family Karadjordjevic .
King Peter II was the eldest son of Their Majesties King
Alexander I and Queen Maria (formerly a Romanian Princess).
His Godparents were Their Majesties King George VI and
Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain. At the early age of 11, his father King
Alexander I of Yugoslavia was assassinated in Marseille in 1934. It was at
that moment that the young King Peter had lost not only his father, but his
childhood. He returned to Belgrade, as King Peter II of Yugoslavia. He was
still not of age; a Regency was formed and headed by his great uncle Prince
Regent Paul of Yugoslavia and two other regents.
On 27 March 1941 the people took to the streets and
demonstrated against the signing of the Tripartite Pact. Across Yugoslavia,
and especially among the Serbian people, the siding with Nazi Germany and
Hitler was considered treason. With the help of the Royal Yugoslav Air
Force, King Peter II assumed full Royal duties, even though he was just
short of legal age (18). Prince Regent Paul was sent into exile to Kenya
with his family for the rest of the war, while young King Peter II took hold
of the country that was about to fall apart under internal and external
troubles, and the Second World War was approaching the country. The
Communists would later celebrate this date, but it is clear from historical
film found recently that it was the brave ordinary people who took to the
streets, calling out King Peter’s name and carrying his posters.
On 6 April 1941 Hitler bombed Belgrade, mercilessly,
without declaring war. In two weeks, Yugoslavia fell and was torn up and
divided among Germany and its satellites. On the advice of the Royal
Yugoslav Government and most influential figures of the time, King Peter II
was asked to lead the country from abroad, where he would get in touch with
the Allies and ask for help. King Peter II decided with a heavy heart to
leave the Palace in Belgrade – the only Royal Palace that was bombed during
the Second World War, and he left for London via Athens, Jerusalem and
Cairo. He was greeted as a hero whose country and people dared to oppose
Nazi Germany and Hitler. Even today, memories of his meeting with Churchill,
or his addressing the United States Congress, remain vivid.
King Peter’s wife was Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia
(formerly a Princess of Greece and Denmark), whom King Peter married on 20
March 1944 in London and they had only one child Crown Prince Alexander II.
King Peter II rests at the St. Sava church in
Libertyville, Illinois, United States of America – the only European monarch
buried on American soil. He will be brought back to rest at the St. George
church at Oplenac. King Peter II had never abdicated. The moment he
surrendered his tormented soul to the Lord, his son Alexander became King.
But, he chose a title of Crown Prince. Even though King Peter II had never
managed to fulfil his dream of returning home, it came true for his son
Crown Prince Alexander and his family.
Crown Prince Alexander II thanks everyone who remember
King Peter II.