From Alexander McQueen to Crown Prince Alexander: Serbia’s Royal Connections
Who is this adorable couple? Why, it’s none other than Serbian royalty at the English royal wedding! That’s right, Serbian has its own non-reigning monarchy, living in a swanky Dedinje Palace just outside of downtown Belgrade. And like any proper royal story, Serbia’s has intrigue, drama, and a love affair.
Let’s forget about the McQueen dress and focus on the King: King Peter II, the last King of Yugoslavia.
King Peter succeeded the throne in 1934. He was only 11 years old; his father had been assassinated in France.
When he came to power at age 17, Axis powers invaded Yugoslavia. The country was forced to surrender. King Peter established a government-in-exile in London but his reign was deposed in 1945. That same year his son, HRH Crown Prince (HRHCP) Alexander II, was born in London’s Claridges Hotel. To ensure that Alexander would be eligible to be King, Sir Winston Churchill declared the birth suite to be Yugoslavia territory. Queen Elizabeth is HRHCP Alexander’s godmother, but since he’s Serbian Orthodox I don’t know how that’s technically possible. Rules < Royalty, I guess.
After the war, King Peter was denied entry to his homeland. He settled in America and died in 1970 in Denver, Colorado. He was only 47 years old. HRHCP Alexander was raised in the United States and Europe. He married another royal figure and produced three sons, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1982.
Two years later, he married a-gasp-commoner. (Take heart, Wills!) He met his bride, a Greek businesswoman named Catherine Batis, in the United States. They married in London in 1985. Note the sheer sleeves and neckline- inspiration for Kate, obviously.
Crown Prince Alexander (as he prefers to be addressed) moved to Serbia with his family in 2000, after the fall of Milošević. The family lives in the Royal Palace in Belgrade and focuses on charity projects. They have no political power and have agreed to stay out of politics, but it is no secret that he supports a constitutional monarchy a la Queen Elizabeth.
While he waits for that, I’m waiting for another royal wedding. Their sons are good-looking, of age, and like to wear lucha libre masks. What’s not to like? Serbian ladies, let’s make this happen.