7 October 2012

Royal reburial in Serbia, Part II

The reburial of the (former) Yugoslavian Prince Paul (Pavle) (1893-1976), Princess Olga (1903-1997), née Princess of Greece, and Prince Nicholas (Nikola) (1928-1954), took place at Oplenac on Saturday 6 October 2012.

The Office of HRH Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia (Serbia) issued the following press release after the ceremony had taken place:

Belgrade, 6 October 2012 - Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander II, Crown Princess Katherine, their sons, Hereditary Prince Peter and Prince Philip, Prince Alexander (son) and Princess Elizabeth (daughter of Prince Paul and Princess Olga), other members of Kradjordjevic Royal Family, together with H.E. Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, President of Serbia, Arhierarchs and clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church, representatives of Parliament of Serbia, Serbian Army, members of other Royal Families, and a great number of citizens from all over Serbia, Republika Srpska and abroad, representatives of diplomatic corps, paid final respect to TRH Prince Paul, Princess Olga, and their son Prince Nicholas, who were buried at St. George church in Oplenac today.

The coffins with the remains of TRH Prince Paul, Princess Olga and Prince Nicholas, covered with Serbian flags and Karadjordjevic insignia were brought into the church with a salute from the Serbian Army Guard. Then the Holy Liturgy for the dead and Requiem was served by Their Graces Bishop Pahomije of Vranje and Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, with the clergy of Sumadija diocese.

At the church service there were also present TRH Prince Nicholas of Greece, Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Barbara, Princess Linda, Prince George, Prince Michael, Prince Vladimir and Princess Brigitta, Mrs. Catherine Oxenberg and Mr. Nicholas Balfour (grandchildren of Prince Paul and Princess Olga).

After the Liturgy and the Requiem, and the laying wreaths took place, H.E. President of Serbia Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, HRH Princess Elizabeth and HRH Crown Prince Alexander II, delivered speeches before the reburial.

President of serbia, H.E. Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, said that Serbia was releaved of a great burden today. “We are burying them at the Holy Serbian land, at the church built by King Peter I”, President has stressed out.

HRH Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Prince Paul and Princess Olga, said that a great injustice has been rectified, and a deep wound has been healed, and thanked President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic for his support in bringing back to Serbia her beloved ones.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander emphasized in his speech: “This is a historic moment for our family, but also very important event for our nation. My late father, King Peter II, who is unfortunately still buried abroad, always spoke with kindness and affection about Prince Paul and Princess Olga. I have dearest memories of meetings with them from my youth. Let us all pray to God at this solemn and sad event today for unity and prosperity of our Serbia, at the bier of this great statesman and patriot”.

TRH Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Hereditary Prince Peter and Prince Philip will host a reception on this solemn occasion for the Family, high officials, church dignitaries, members of foreign royal families from aborad and ambassadors at the White Palace at 8 pm this evening.
See also B92.net's article Remains of Serbian royals laid to rest, published 7 October 2012, and my earlier blog article on the subject, Royal reburial in Serbia (Part I), published on 5 October 2012.

Hopefully it will not take too much time before also the remains of King Peter II (1923-1970), King of Yugoslavia 1934-1945, currently buried at the St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, Illinois, will be brought to Serbia for reburial at Oplenac.

See my earlier blog article on this subject, Serbian royals visit the grave of King Peter II, published on 9 November 2009.

Updated on Wednesday 10 October 2012 at 13.30 (King Peter II's burial place corrected, link added).

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