Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia

Crown Prince of Yugoslavia

Crown Prince Alexander receiving the rank of Commander of the Légion d’Honneur, 15 May 2015
Head of the House of Karađorđević
Period 3 November 1970 – present
Predecessor Peter II
Born (1945-07-17) 17 July 1945
Claridge's, London, United Kingdom
Spouse Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans-Braganza
(m. 1972; div. 1985)

Katherine Clairy Batis
(m. 1985)
Issue Hereditary Prince Peter
Prince Philip
Prince Alexander
House Karađorđević
Father Peter II of Yugoslavia
Mother Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark
Religion Serbian Orthodox
Styles of
Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir
Yugoslav Royal Family

HRH The Crown Prince
HRH The Crown Princess

Royal Standard of the Crown Prince

Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia, also named Alexander II Karađorđević (Serbian Cyrillic: Александар II Карађорђевић; born 17 July 1945), was the last heir-apparent or heir-presumptive to the defunct throne of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and is currently the claimant to the abolished throne of the precursor Kingdom of Serbia. He is the head of the House of Karađorđević. Alexander is the only child of former King Peter II and his wife, Alexandra of Greece and Denmark. He legally held the title “Crown Prince Aleksandar” in the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia for the first four-and-a-half months of his life, from 17 July 1945 (his birth) until his father's deposition by Yugoslavia's communist authorities in late November of the same year.

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, he enjoys close relationships with his relatives in the British royal family, and is known for his support of monarchism and his humanitarian work. His godfather was King George VI and his godmother is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Charles, Prince of Wales is his second cousin, as are the former King of Greece, and the former King of Romania.

Status at birth

As with many other European monarchs during World War II, King Peter II left his country to establish a government-in-exile.[1] He left Yugoslavia in April 1941 and arrived in London in June 1941. The Royal Yugoslav Armed Forces capitulated.

After the Tehran Conference, the Allies shifted support from royalist Chetniks to communist Partisans.[2] Commenting on the event and what happened to his father, Crown Prince Alexander said, “He [Peter II] was too straight. He could not believe that his allies –- the mighty American democracy and his relatives and friends in London –- could do him in. But that's precisely what happened.”[3] In June 1944 Ivan Šubašić, the Royalist prime minister, and Josip Broz Tito, the Partisan leader, signed an agreement that was an attempt to merge the royal government and communist movement.

On 29 November 1943, AVNOJ (formed by the Partisans) declared themselves the sovereign communist government of Yugoslavia and announced that they would take away all legal rights from the Royal government. On 10 August 1945, less than a month after Karađorđević's birth, AVNOJ named the country Democratic Federal Yugoslavia. On 29 November 1945, the country was declared a republic and changed its name to People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[4]

In 1947, Alexander's whole family except for his grand-uncle Prince George, was deprived of Yugoslavian citizenship[5] and their property was confiscated.[6]

As of 8 July 2015 the High Court in Belgrade rendered the decision that decree nr. 392 depriving King Alexander and members of the House of Karađorđević, issued by the Presidency of the Presidium of the National Assembly of the FPRY of 3 August 1947, is null and void from the moment of its adoption, in the parts pertaining to HRH Crown Prince Alexander, and all legal consequences thereof are null and void.[7]

Prince Alexander with his wife Princess Katherine.

Birth and childhood

Alexander was born in Suite 212 of Claridge's Hotel in Brook Street, London. The British Government is said to have temporarily ceded sovereignty over the suite in which the birth occurred to Yugoslavia so that the crown prince would be born on Yugoslav territory,[2][8] though the story may be apocryphal, as there exists no documentary record of this.[9]

He was christened at Westminster Abbey. His godparents were King George VI and Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II.[2] He was the only child of King Peter II and Queen Alexandra and the only grandchild of King Alexander of Greece by his wife Aspasia Manos.

His parents were relatively unable to take care of him, due to their various health and financial problems, so Alexander was raised by his maternal grandmother. He was educated at Institut Le Rosey, Culver Military Academy, Gordonstoun, Millfield and Mons Officer Cadet School, Aldershot, and pursued a career in the British military.

Military service

Crown Prince Alexander graduated from the British Royal Military Academy and in 1966 was commissioned an officer in the British Army. He served in the 16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers rising to the rank of captain. His tours of duty included West Germany, Italy, Middle East and Northern Ireland. After leaving the army in 1972, Crown Prince Alexander II, who speaks several languages, pursued a career in international business.[10]


On 1 July 1972 at Villamanrique de la Condesa, near Seville, Spain, he married Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans-Braganza. They had three sons,

and fraternal twins

By marrying a Roman Catholic, Alexander lost his place in line of succession to the British throne, which he had held as a descendant of Queen Victoria through her second son Alfred, although forfeiture of succession rights on the basis of marriage to a Roman Catholic was retroactively rescinded in 2015. Alexander is also descended from Queen Victoria's eldest daughter Victoria.[11] His sons remain in the line of succession to the British throne.

Alexander and Maria da Gloria divorced in 1985. Crown Prince Alexander married for the second time, Katherine Clairy Batis, the daughter of Robert Batis and his wife, Anna Dosti, civilly on 20 September 1985, and religiously the following day, at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, Notting Hill, London. Since their marriage, she is known as Princess Katherine, as per the royal family's website.

Return to Yugoslavia

World Heart Day in Belgrade, 2005. Front row, left to right: Tomica Milosavljević, Serbia's Minister of Health; Crown Prince Alexander; United States Ambassador to Serbia Michael C. Polt; Mrs. Polt. Back row: Basketball player Vlade Divac.

Alexander first came to Yugoslavia in 1991. He actively worked with the opposition to Slobodan Milošević and moved to Yugoslavia after Milošević had been deposed in 2000.

On 27 February 2001,[12] the parliament of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) passed legislation conferring citizenship on members of the Karađorđević family. The legislation may also have effectively annulled a decree stripping the family of its citizenship of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) in 1947.

The annulment was the topic of some debate. Notably, the FRY was not the successor of the SFRY; rather the FRY was a new state (and was admitted to the United Nations as a new state on that basis). Therefore, the jurisdiction of a new state to annul an action of a different former state was questioned. In effect, the Karađorđević family had FRY citizenship conferred upon them, not "restored" as such.

The FRY legislation also addresses restoration of property to the Karađorđević family. In March 2001, the property seized from his family, including royal palaces, was returned for residential purposes with property ownership to be decided by parliament at some later date.

He currently lives in Kraljevski Dvor (Royal Palace) in Dedinje, an exclusive area of Belgrade. Kraljevski Dvor, which was completed in 1929, is one of two royal residences in the Royal Compound; the other is White Palace, which was completed in 1936.

Belief in constitutional monarchy

Alexander is a proponent of re-creating a constitutional monarchy in Serbia and sees himself as the rightful king. He believes that monarchy could give Serbia "stability, continuity and unity".[13]

A number of political parties and organizations support a constitutional parliamentary monarchy in Serbia. The Serbian Orthodox Church has openly supported the restoration of the monarchy.[14][15] The assassinated former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić was often seen in the company of the prince and his family, supporting their campaigns and projects, although his Democratic Party never publicly embraced monarchy.

Crown Prince Alexander has vowed to stay out of politics. He and Princess Katherine spend considerable time engaging in humanitarian work.

The Crown Prince has, however, increasingly participated in public functions alongside the leaders of Serbia, the former Yugoslav republics and members of the diplomatic corps. On 11 May 2006, he hosted a reception at the Royal Palace for delegates attending a summit on Serbia and Montenegro. The reception was attended by the Governor of the National Bank of Serbia, as well as ambassadors and diplomats from Slovenia, Poland, Brazil, Japan, United States, and Austria. He later delivered a keynote speech in front of prime ministers Vojislav Koštunica and Milo Đukanović. In the speech he spoke of prospective Serbian membership of the European Union. He told delegates:[16]

In addition, we in Serbia and Montenegro must take into account that whatever form we take within the European Union, we have only but one choice and that is to work for the common good of all member nations. It is also central to take into account that stability in our region will be enhanced when Serbia is fully at peace with itself.

Following Montenegro's successful independence referendum on 21 May 2006, the re-creation of the Serbian monarchy found its way into daily political debate. A monarchist proposal for the new Serbian constitution has been published alongside other proposals. The document approved in October 2006 is a republican one. The Serbian people have not had a chance to vote on the system of government.

The Crown Prince raised the issue of a royal restoration in the immediate aftermath of the vote. In a press release issued on 24 May 2006 he stated:[17]

It has been officially confirmed that the people of Montenegro voted for independence. I am sad, but I wish our Montenegrin brothers peace, democracy and happiness. The people of Montenegro are our brothers and sisters no matter what if we live in one or in two countries, that is how it was and that is how it will be forever.

I strongly believe in a Constitutional Parliamentary Kingdom of Serbia. Again, we need to be proud, a strong Serbia that is at peace with itself and with its neighbors. We were a proud, respected and happy country in the days of my great grandfather King Peter I. So, we can do it! Only if we have a form of governance close to the Serbian soul: the Kingdom of Serbia.

Simply, the King is above daily politics, he is the guardian of national unity, political stability and continuity of the state. In Constitutional Parliamentary Monarchies the King is the protector of public interest: there is no personal or party interest. What is most important is the interest of Serbia.

I am ready to meet all our politicians; we have to work together for the common good of Serbia, and to be friends in the name of the future of our country. I appeal for the end of the continuous political wrangling, division and arguments. I appeal for mature democratic debate in the interest of Serbia. Serbia must have clear and realistic objectives.

In 2011 an online open access poll by Serbian middle-market tabloid newspaper Blic showed that 64% of Serbians support restoring the monarchy.[18] Another poll in May 2013 had 39% of Serbians supporting the monarchy, with 32% against it. The public also had reservations with Alexander's apparent lack of knowledge of the Serbian language.[19] On 27 July 2015, newspaper Blic published a poll "Da li Srbija treba da bude monarhija?" ("Should Serbia be a monarchy?"); 49.8% respondents expressed support in a reconstitution of monarchy, 44.6% were opposed and 5.5% were indifferent.[20]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles


Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Order of St. Prince Lazar, Collar
Order of the Karađorđe's Star, Grand Master
Order of the Karađorđe's Star with Swords, Grand Master
Order of the White Eagle, Grand Master
Order of the White Eagle with Swords, Grand Master
Order of the Yugoslav Crown, Grand Master
Order of St. Sava, Grand Master
International and Foreign Awards
Legion of Honour, Commander (France)
Order of the Most Holy Annunciation, Knight (House of Savoy)
Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Grand Cross (House of Savoy)
Order of the Crown of Italy, Grand Cross (House of Savoy)
Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, Grand Cross (Kingdom of the Two Sicilies)
Order of Saint Januarius, Knight (Kingdom of the Two Sicilies)
Order of Pedro I, Grand Cross (Brazilian Imperial Family)
Order of the Rose, Grand Cross (Brazilian Imperial Family)
Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa, Grand Cross (Portuguese Royal Family)
Order pro merito Melitensi, Collar (Sovereign Military Order of Malta)
General Service Medal (United Kingdom)
Commemorative Medal of the Wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling (Sweden)
Recipient of the 70th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf (Sweden)
Еcclesiastical Awards
Order of Tsar Constantine (Serbian Orthodox Church)
Order of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel (Greek Orthodox Church)
Order of Saint Tsar Nicholas (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia)
Order of Saint Sava (First Grade) (Serbian Orthodox Church)
Order of St. Prince Lazar (Eparchy of Raška and Prizren, Serbian Orthodox Church)


See also


    1. Louda; Maclagan (1981), p. 296
    2. 1 2 3 Fenyvesi (1981), p. 211
    3. Fenyvesi (1981), p. 212
    4. Fenyvesi (1981), p. 215
    5. "The decree on stripping the Karađorđević family of citizenship (translation)". The Royal Family of Serbia.
    6. "The royal family was stripped off their property (translation)". The Royal Family of Serbia.
    7. Rehabilitation of Crown Prince Alexander
    8. Tomlinson, Richard (2 February 1993). "Obituary: Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia". The Independent.
    9. "Did a London hotel room become part of Yugoslavia? - BBC News". Retrieved 2016-07-18.
    10. The Royal Family of Serbia
    11. Louda; Maclagan (1981), p. 286 Table 144
    12. News Report of B92 as reproduced on Royal Family website
    13. McKinsey, Kitty (27 June 1997). "Kings Try for Comeback". San Francisco Chronicle.
    14. Letter from Patriarch Pavle to HRH Crown Prince Alexander II, 29 November 2003
    15. Luxmoore, Jonathan (8 December 2003). "Serbian Orthodox Leader Calls For Monarchy To Be Reintroduced". Ecumenical News International.
    16. "Reception at the White Palace for the sixth summit state union of Serbia and Montenegro" (Press release). The Chancellery of H.R.H. Crown Prince Alexander II of Yugoslavia. 11 May 2006.
    17. "Statement of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander II following the announcement of the Montenegro referendum results" (Press release). The Chancellery of H.R.H. Crown Prince Alexander II of Yugoslavia. 24 May 2006.
    18. Roberts, Michael (5 September 2011). "64% of Serbians polled vote Monarchy over Republic". Business News.
    19. 39 percent of Serbians in favor of monarchy, poll shows. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
    20. ANKETA Da li Srbija treba da bude monarhija?. Blic. (in Serbian). July 2015.

    Books, letters and articles

    External links

    Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia.
    Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
    Born: 17 July 1945
    Titles in pretence
    Title last held by
    Peter I of Serbia
    as King of Serbia
    King of Serbia¹
    4 February 2003 – present
    Reason for succession failure:
    Title abolished, merger of Kingdom of Serbia into Kingdom of Yugoslavia
    Crown Prince Peter
    Yugoslavian royalty
    Preceded by
    Peter II of Yugoslavia
    as King of Yugoslavia
    King of Yugoslavia²
    3 November 1970 – 4 February 2003
    Reason for succession failure:
    Communists abolished the Kingdom in 1945, SFR Yugoslavia Breakup on 1992 and Federal Republic Yugoslavia split in 2003 and Montenegro declare independence in 2006
    Succeeded by
    Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia
    as Hereditary Prince
    until 5 February 1980
    Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
    29 November 1945 – 3 November 1970
    Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
    17 July 1945 – 29 November 1945
    Monarchy abolished
    Notes and references
    1. After FRY was split in 2006 he is current monarch pretender he should be styled as King of Serbia because he is only son of former king. Alexander II choose to uses title Crown Prince until monarchy is restored.
    2. When his father died in 1970, he automatically took title of King but he refused to use it in public.
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