Obrenović dynasty

Country Serbia
Founded 23 April 1815
Founder Miloš Obrenović I
Final ruler Alexander I
Deposition 11 June 1903
Ethnicity Serbian

The Obrenović (Serbian pronunciation: [obrěːnoʋit͡ɕ], Serbian: Обреновићи/Obrenovići; often spelled in English as Obrenovich or Obrenovitch) was a Serbian dynasty that ruled Serbia from 1815 to 1842, and again from 1858 to 1903. They came to power through the leadership of their progenitor Miloš Obrenović I in the Serbian Uprising of (1815–1817) against the Ottoman Empire, which led to the formation of the Principality of Serbia in 1817. The monarchs tended to rule autocratically, their popularity waxing and waning over their decades in power.

The family's rule came to an end in a coup d’état by the military conspirators[1] who invaded the royal palace and murdered king Alexander, who died without an heir.[2][3] The National Assembly of Serbia invited Peter Karađorđević to become a king of Serbia.[4] After the breakup of Yugoslavia, some descendants from Jakov Obrenović, Miloš Obrenović's half-brother, declared themselves successors of the Royal House of Obrenović and elected their pretender to the defunct throne of Serbia.

Unlike other Balkan states such as Greece, Bulgaria, or Romania, Serbia did not import a member of an existing European royal family to take its throne; the Obrenović dynasty, like its Karađorđević rival, was an indigenous Serbian family.


Picture TitleName Reign Notes
Prince of Serbia
Miloš I
First reign
November 6, 1817 – June 25, 1839

Second reign
December 23, 1858 – September 26, 1860
Leader of the Second Serbian Uprising.

Died due to old age.
Prince of Serbia
Milan II
June 25, 1839 – July 8, 1839 Ruled for only 26 days.
Prince of Serbia
Mihailo III
First reign
July 8, 1839 – September 14, 1842

Second reign
September 26, 1860 – June 10, 1868
Deposed by the Defenders of the Constitution.

Assassinated in Košutnjak
Prince of Serbia
King of Serbia
Milan I
June 10, 1868 – March 6, 1889 Proclaimed King of Serbia in March 6, 1882.
King of Serbia
Alexander I
March 6, 1889 – June 11, 1903 Assassinated together with Queen Draga in the May Coup.
The end of Obrenović dynasty.

Unlike most other dynasties in Europe, where a regnal number is used to distinguish different monarchs who shared the same given name, the Obrenović dynasty assigned subsequent regnal numbers to each ruling prince. Thus, there was never a Milan I, Milan III, a Mihailo I or a Mihailo II. Milan II and Mihailo III were simply the second and third ruling prince from the Obrenović dynasty. This practice was discontinued when prince Milan Obrenovic IV proclaimed himself king and declared the principality of Serbia a kingdom (1882).

Other family members

See also


  1. Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. Dragutin Dimitrijevic. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  2. Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. Alexander. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  3. Thomas M. Poulsen; John R. Lampe; John B. Allcock. Serbia. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  4. Thomas M. Poulsen; John R. Lampe; John B. Allcock. Serbia. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  5. "Ex-King Milan", The Evening Post, LV (6), p. 5, 8 January 1898
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