After writing about the topic of the reburial of the last King of Yugoslavia, I should at least finish the series, even when it is some time ago since it happened.
On 14 May the press office of Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia announced that also Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia (1929-1990) would be reburied on 26 May at the Royal Mausoleum of St. George’s Chapel in Oplenac, Serbia. His remains were transferred to the Royal Chapel in Dedinje, Serbia on 15 May. He was previously buried at the Nova Gracanica Cemetery in Illinois, USA. The transfer happened with the permission of the prince’s children Prince Dimitri, Princess Lavinia-Maria and Princess Tatiana-Marie. They stated: “This is truly an emotional, extraordinary and momentous event, not only for us as Prince Andrej’s children and the Royal Family, but also for the Serbian nation and Serbs everywhere. The return of our Father completes the jigsaw in the righting of an historic injustice. Our beloved father was always homesick for his homeland, and although this was not possible in life, at last he will join his family in eternal peace on Sunday 26 May in the Royal Mausoleum in Oplenac, where he rightfully belongs with his family and ancestors. We would also like to acknowledge our cousin HRH Crown Prince Alexander, without whom this would not have been possible.” Although the eldest son Prince Vladimir hadn’t agreed with the transfer of his father’s remains right now he was like his three siblings present when they arrived at Nikola Tesla airport, Belgrade on 15 May. Also present were Prince Andrej’s grandson Luka Austin Prichard, Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine, Princess Elizabeth, Prince George, Prince Michael and India Oxenberg.
On 24 May the coffins of King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia left the Royal Chapel after a service and were transfered to the Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Belgrade. The bells of the cathedral marked the royal arrival. In the cathedral a memorial requiem was being held. Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine, Princess Katarina, Prince George, Prince Michael, Prince Vladimir and Princess Brigitta as well as Princess Elizabeth were present. After the service citizens could pay their respect. A holy liturgy and a requiem were being held on 25 May. Afterwards the remains of the royals were transferred to St. George Church in Oplenac. On their way from Belgrade to Oplenac the motorcade was escorted by sound of church bells. Many people stood on the side of the roads. The royal coffins were placed on special carts in Topola. From there the coffin of King Peter II was escorted by members of the Serbian Army Guard on horses. Members of the royal family walked behind the procession. A requiem service was also being held in Oplenac. Present wereCrown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Hereditary Prince Peter and Prince Alexander, Princess Katarina, Prince George, Prince Michael, Princess Linda, Prince Vladimir and Princess Brigitta, Prince Dimitri, Princess Lavinia and Mr. Austin Pritchard-Levy and Luca Pritchard-Levy, and Princess Elizabeth.
On Saturday 26 May the actual reburial at the Royal Mausoleum in Oplenac took place. The service at St. George Church was attended by Crown Prince Alexander II, Crown Princess Katherine, Hereditary Prince Peter, Prince Philip and Prince Alexander, Princess Linda, Prince Nicholas, Princess Katerina, Prince Vladimir and Princess Brigitta, Princess Lavinia, Mr. Austin Prichard-Levy and Luca Prichard-Levy, Prince Dimitri, Princess Elizabeth, Prince Michel, Prince Serge and Prince Dushan. Also members of foreign royal families were present: King Simeon and Queen Margarita of the Bulgarians, King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu of Romania, Archduke Sandor and Archduchess Herta of Austria, the Margrave and Margravinne of Baden, Prince Philipp Erasmus and Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein, Princess Ira von Fürstenberg, Prince Pierre d’Arenberg, Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad al Khalifa of Bahrain and Prince Mabandla Dlamini of Swaziland. Also present were the ambassadors of the United Kingdm and Denmark, and the Defense Minister of Greece Panos Panayotopoulus.
Before the start of the ceremony Hereditary Prince Peter placed the crown of King Peter I, Prince Philip the scepter and the orb, and Prince Alexander the diamond sabre of King Alexander I on the coffin of their grandfather King Peter II. After the liturgy and requiem there were several speakers, including Crown Prince Alexander II. He said: “We are gathered today here in Oplenac to pay our last respects and bid farewell to King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej. The Karadjordjevic’s, whose destiny throughout history has been closely tied to the destiny of the entire nation, as well as to the establishment of the modern Serbian State. Their lives are the reflection of what happened to their people and their homeland. Their wanderings and their exile lasted for too long. They lived and died in different parts of the world. Today they are here in Oplenac, among their family and among their Serbs. For me, as the Head of the Royal Family and for my whole family this a great day. Sad, but solemn. Full of emotions and reverence. Full of personal memories. This is not only a historic moment for Royal Family, but also for the whole Serbian nation and the State of Serbia.” A reception was held at the White Palace in the evening.
Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine on 9 June attended another holy liturgy and requiem for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej at the Royal Mausoleum in St. George Church in Oplenac.
For more information, pictures and videos see The Royal Family of Serbia.