Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Serbian crown for Duke of Connaught?

November 27, 1908

There are "persistent rumors" in the Viennese press regarding the status of King Peter of Serbia, who is "likely to resign," reports the New York Times.

Should this happen, the National Assembly will meet in Belgrade and "offer the crown to the Duke of Connaught," the younger brother of King Edward VII. 

It is "evident that these rumors" originated with the very "close relationship" between Downing Street and the Serbian government.  For three years following the murder of King Alexander and Queen Draga, the British Foreign Office "refused to have anything to do with Belgrade" until King Peter agreed that regicide has no place in the government.

The two countries have achieved a closer relationship in the last two years.  Bit should the rumors be confirmed, and "the crown offered to the Duke of Connaught," it is unlikely that he will "accept so arduous and thankless a burden."

The Duke of Connaught has already turned down the offer of one throne, having renounced the right of succession (for himself and his son) to Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, as his elder brother, the Duke of Edinburgh, who was the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, died a year after his only son. 

The Duke serves as Field Marshall, Commander in Chief and High Commissioner in the Mediterranean.  He is unlikely to accept the offer of Serbia's crown, should it be offered to him.

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