Friday, September 28, 2012

Remains of Serbian royals being removed from Lausanne

Early this morning in Lausanne, Switzerlands, the coffins with the remains of Prince and Princess Paul of Yugoslavia and their son, Prince Nicholas, were exhumed from the Bois-de-Vaud cemetery. The remains will be brought to Belgrade for a funeral and a final reburial at the family's chapel at  Topola in Oplenac.  This will take place on October 6.

"This is an important day for my family and for Serbia," Princess Elizabeth of Serbia told Swiss reporters.   "Until last year, my father was treated as a traitor.  But he was a hero who suffered for no reason."    She recalled that Switzerland was the first country to welcome her family after the war.  She attended school in Clarens.

Princess Elizabeth is the youngest child of the late Prince Paul and his wife, Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark.

Prince Paul died in Paris in 1976.  He was buried in the Bois-de-Vaud cemetery.  Princess Olga died in 1997.

Prince Nicholas was killed in a car accident in 1954 at Datchet, in Buckinghamshire, and was buried in a local cemtery for some years before his remains were brought to Lausanne.

Princess Elizabeth was accompanied by her son, Nicholas Balfour, and her elder daughter, actress Catherine Oxenberg.

Prince Paul was the first cousin of King Alexander I, who was assassinated in Marseilles in 1934.  Alexander's eldest son, Peter, then a minor child, succeeded him as King, but Prince Paul was named as one of three Regents for the young king.  

Prince Paul did not have dynastic rights, as the 1930 House Law states that the succession was limited to Alexander's male heirs. 

Princess Elizabeth's eldest brother, Prince Alexander, born in 1924, lives in Paris.

King Peter II, who died in Denver Colorado, in 1970, is buried the United States, as his youngest brother, Prince Andrej.   King Alexander's widow, Marie, died in 1960, and was interred at Frogmore.

Peter's only son, Crown Prince Alexander, is the head of the family, and de jureKing of Serbia.  Since the late 1990s, he and his family have lived in the royal palace at Dedinje.

The Serbian Monarchy was abolished by Marshall Tito in 1945.

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