A memorial service for the late HM Queen Mother Maria was officiated this morning by Very Reverend Father Radomir Acimovic in London at The Serbian Orthodox Church St. Sava in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Prince Peter, Prince Philip, Princess Katarina (daughter of Prince Tomislav), Prince Dimitri and Princess Lavinia (children of Prince Andrej), Mr. Nicholas Balfour (representing and son of HRH Princess Elizabeth) H. E. Dr. Dejan Popovic, Ambassador of Serbia in United Kingdom and many devoted citizens who paid their final respects to the beloved Queen.
Her Majesty Queen Mother Maria died on 22 June 1961 in exile and was buried at The Royal Burial grounds in Frogmore near Windsor Castle. With the gracious permission of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Dean of Windsor, Anglican Church, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Her Majesty’s remains will be transferred to the Royal Chapel of St. Andrew the First Called at the Royal Palace in Belgrade tomorrow Monday 29 April.
Following the Memorial Service Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine hosted a private lunch for the Royal Family at Claridge’s Hotel.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander emphasized: “Dear relatives, friends and admirers of Queen Maria and the Karadjordjevic Dynasty. We are gathered here today to say farewell to our grandmother, Queen Maria, on her way home, where she will soon join family members in Royal Mausoleum at Oplenac. Queen Maria died fifty-two years ago and was buried here in Great Britain, surrounded by her ancestors and relatives.However, she was far away from Serbia, our country and her people whom she loved with all her heart and whose great benefactor she was. The return to Serbia was a great wish of Queen and today she is finally going back there, to be buried next to her husband King Alexander I and her sons. By paying respect to Queen Maria, today we also pay respect to all who took part in creating Serbian history.
I wish to express my deepest gratitude to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Dean of St. George Church in Windsor, the Church of England and the Serbian ambassador to the United Kingdom Dr. Dejan Popovic. My thanks go to all members of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for their great support, as well as to the State Commission for the transfer of Karadjordjevic family members' remains. I thank everybody who were persistent in helping this journey come true. May God speed your return home, dear grandmother! Eternal Glory to her!”
The memorial service for HM Queen Maria at the Royal Chapel will be officiated by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia at 6 p.m. Following the service a reception will take place in the Royal Palace for State officials, members of the Crown Council and Religious leaders.
Her Majesty Queen Maria will be placed next to her son His Majesty King Peter II at The Royal Palace Chapel of St. Andrew the First Called in Belgrade until 26 May when the official State Funeral ceremony for Their Majesties King Peter II, Queen Alexandra and Queen Mother Maria will take place in The Family Mausoleum in Oplenac.