Belgrade, 2 November 2007 â€“ His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander delegated Mr. Dragomir Acovic, member of the Privy Council, and Dr. Nikola Moravcevic, 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 will be held on 3 November 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 Peterâ€™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 â€“ 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 Peterâ€™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 â€“ 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.