Friday, June 22, 2012

King arrives too soon, is incognito for now

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June 22, 1942

The Associated Press reports today that "protocol and wartime censorship" combined to may King Peter II of Yugoslavia, the "living impersonation of the 'little man who wasn't there.'"
The 19-year-old King arrived yesterday in Washington, D.C., with his Foreign Minister M. Nintchich.

Wartime traveling, especially from London, is difficult, so Peter arrived ahead of schedule.  So for the moment, he's not official, and he is incognito, having "gone into the country until Wednesday" when he will receive a formal welcome from a State Department representative.

The King has been invited to spend the night at the White House, and President and Mrs. Roosevelt will host a state dinner, "formal but with wartime modesty."

The President will "get a firsthand account of the fight the Yugoslav nation put up against the German invasion.  Peter was caught in the middle of it, until his government was forced to flee to London in April 1941.  It is likely that the young monarch will plead the cause of the Yugoslav freedom fighters, as they are in desperate need of food and weapons.

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