News / Europe

Serbia Gives State Funeral to Former King, Family

The coffins of Serbian King Petar II Karadjordjevic and his wife Queen Aleksandra, mother Queen Maria and brother Prince Andrej lie inside the St. George's Church on Oplenac Hill during their funeral in Topola, Serbia, May 26, 2013.
The coffins of Serbian King Petar II Karadjordjevic and his wife Queen Aleksandra, mother Queen Maria and brother Prince Andrej lie inside the St. George's Church on Oplenac Hill during their funeral in Topola, Serbia, May 26, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Serbian government officials and hundreds of mourners attended the reburial of King Petar II Karadjordjevic and other members of the deposed Yugoslavian royal family on Sunday decades after their deaths in exile - an event seen as an important act of national reconciliation.
    
The bodies of Petar, his wife Queen Aleksandra, mother Queen Maria and brother Prince Andrej, had been exhumed from cemeteries in the United States, Britain and Greece.
    
The four coffins draped in Serbian royal flags and escorted by Serb army guardsmen were transferred to the Oplenac royal chapel in the southwestern town of Topola.
    
Petar succeeded his father King Aleksandar in 1934, who was assassinated in Marseilles, France, by Croatian and Bulgarian nationalists.
    
After Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941, Petar fled the country and spent the most of World War II in exile in Britain. After the war, Petar was proclaimed a traitor by the communist leadership, which also abolished the monarchy.
    
His property was confiscated and he remained exiled until death in 1970 in the United States.
    
President Tomislav Nikolic, Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, Patriarch Irinej and the head of Serb Orthodox church were among those attending the state funeral.
    
The ceremony was an act of reconciliation between Serbs who supported the royal family or communist forces during World War II.
    
Tens of thousands of people died in Serbia between 1941 and 1945 in a civil war between royalist guerrillas and communist partisans who also fought the German occupiers. The two camps are still at odds decades after the war.
    
"More Serbs were killed by the Serbian hand than by the hand of the occupier," Nikolic said in a eulogy. "We cannot, we must not allow divisions and injustice anymore."
    
After the war, royalist supporters were killed or persecuted by the government of Josip Broz Tito.
    
Petar's son, Crown Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic, and his family were allowed to return to Serbia in mid-1990s by Slobodan Milosevic as Yugoslavia disintegrated.
    
"This funeral was the fulfillment of historic justice. They had to be brought home," said Zoran Kotarac, a mourner from the village of Slankamen, north of Belgrade.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid