Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia

Prince Tomislav
Born (1928-01-19)19 January 1928
Belgrade, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Died 12 July 2000(2000-07-12) (aged 72)
Topola, FR Yugoslavia
Burial St. George's Church
Spouse Princess Margarita of Baden
(m. 1957; div. 1981)

Linda Mary Bonney
(m. 1982)
Issue with Princess Margarita of Baden:
Prince Nikolas
Princess Katarina
with Linda Mary Bonney:
Prince George
Prince Michael
House Karađorđević
Father Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Mother Maria of Yugoslavia
Styles of
Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia (Serbian Cyrillic: Томислав Карађорђевић; Belgrade, 19 January 1928 – 12 July 2000) was a member of the House of Karađorđević; the second son of Alexander I and Maria of Yugoslavia. He was a younger brother of Peter II of Yugoslavia and a former nephew-in-law to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Early life and education

Prince Tomislav was born on 19 January 1928, on Epiphany according to the Julian calendar used by the Serbian Orthodox Church, at 1 A.M., as the second son of the sovereign of the then Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), Alexander I (1888–1934) and Queen Maria (1900–1961), the second daughter of King Ferdinand of Romania (1865–1927) and his wife Queen Marie (1875–1938).

He was baptized on 25 January in a salon of the New Palace in Belgrade, with the British Minister to the Yugoslav Court, Kennard, representing the godfather King George V, with water from the Vardar and Danube rivers and the Adriatic Sea. The Prince was named after Tomislav of Croatia, the King of medieval Croatia.[1]

He began his elementary education at the Belgrade Palace but in 1937 he started to attend Sandroyd School in Cobham, England. He stayed in the UK throughout World War II and after King Peter was deposed, moving on to Oundle School from 1941–1946 and Clare College, Cambridge in 1946-1947.

Events in Yugoslavia

In 1934 when he was only six, Prince Tomislav's father, Alexander I, was assassinated and his elder brother Peter succeeded to the throne as King Peter II of Yugoslavia. As he was still only 11, because of his young age, a regency was established, headed by their father's cousin Prince Paul of Yugoslavia.

After initially declaring neutrality, on 25 March 1941, although King Peter and his advisors were opposed to Nazi Germany, the Regent, Prince Paul, under immense German pressure signed the Tripartite Pact originally signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan. Two days later, in a British-supported coup d'état opposing the Tripartite Pact, King Peter, then 17, was proclaimed of age, and the regency overthrown. Postponing Operation Barbarossa, Germany simultaneously attacked Yugoslavia and Greece. From 6 April Luftwaffe pounded Belgrade for three days and three nights, Operation Punishment. Within a week, Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary and Italy invaded Yugoslavia and the government was forced to surrender on 17 April. Yugoslavia was divided to satisfy Italian, Bulgarian, Hungarian and German demands and puppet Croat, Montenegrin and Serb states proclaimed.

King Peter was forced to leave the country with the Yugoslav government following the Axis invasion; initially the King went with his government to Greece, and Jerusalem, then to the British Mandate of Palestine and Cairo, Egypt. He went to England in June 1941, where he joined numerous other governments in exile from Nazi-occupied Europe. Local Yugoslav forces continued to resist the occupying Axis powers. Initially the monarchy preferred Draža Mihailović and his Serb-dominated Četnik resistance. However, in 1944, the Tito–Šubašić agreement recognised the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia as a provisional government, with the status of the monarchy to be decided at a later date. Three regents, Srđan Budisavljević, a Serb, Ante Mandić, a Croat, and Dušan Sernec, a Slovene, were sworn in at Belgrade on 3 March 1945. They appointed the new government, to be headed by Tito as prime minister and minister of war, with Šubašić as foreign minister, on 7 March.[2]

On 29 November 1945, while still in exile, King Peter II was deposed by the constituent assembly. The Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was internationally recognized as Yugoslavia while Peter II became a pretender.

Life in exile

After Cambridge, and not being able to return to Yugoslavia following the abolition of the Monarchy, Prince Tomislav remained in the UK and devoted himself to fruit growing. While he attended agricultural college, he worked summers as an ordinary field hand in an orchard in Kent. In 1950, he bought a farm at Kirdford, near Petworth, in West Sussex, and subsequently specialized in growing apples, having at one point 17,000 trees on 80 hectares of land.[3]

He supported the Serbian community and the Serbian Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, helping found St Lazar's Church, Bournville where he married his second wife, Linda Bonney, in 1982.

Prince Tomislav's Coat of arms. First displayed at his funeral.

Return to Yugoslavia

He was the first member of the ex-royal family who permanently moved back to Serbia, in early 1992, making his residence at the King Peter I Foundation Complex in Oplenac, Serbia.

He frequently visited the Serb soldiers in Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serb Krajina, and dispensed aid with his wife, Princess Linda. There were initiatives for him to be crowned Prince of the Serb-held part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which were rejected by the local political leadership.

After publicly accusing Serbian president Slobodan Milošević of having betrayed the Republic of Serb Krajina, after it fell to the joint Croatian Army operation "Storm" at the beginning of August 1995, his media presence was drastically reduced.

He became terminally ill; however, he turned down offers for surgery abroad at the time NATO forces began their bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 24 March 1999, choosing to remain and share the lot of the nation, touring bombing sites even while seriously ill.

He died after five years of illness on 12 July 2000, on Ss. Peter and Paul Day in the Julian Calendar, the patron saints of the family crypt on Oplenac, where he was buried, in a funeral attended by several thousand mourners.

Marriage and issue

He was married on 7 June 1957, in Salem, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany, to Princess Margarita of Baden. Tomislav and Margarita were divorced in 1981. They had two children;

On 16 October 1982, he married Linda Mary Bonney (born 22 June 1949, London); they had two sons:

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles



Notes and references

  1. Yust, Walter (ed.) Encyclopædia Britannica: A New Survey of Universal Knowledge, Vol 1, 1951, p 573
  2. Josef Korbel, Tito's Communism (University of Denver Press, 1951), 22.
  3. "Obituary: Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia". Daily Telegraph.
  4. Katerina Karageorgievich, Princess of Yugoslavia,
  5. Princess Katarin on LinkedIn
Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia
Born: 19 January 1928
Yugoslavian royalty
Preceded by
King Peter II of Yugoslavia
Hereditary Prince of Yugoslavia
9 October 1934 – 17 July 1945
Succeeded by
Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
Hereditary Prince of Yugoslavia
3 November 1970 – 5 February 1980
Succeeded by
Peter, Hereditary Prince of Yugoslavia
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