Tuesday, June 11, 2013

King Peter eager for throne

June 11, 1903

From his home in Geneva, where he has lived since 1895, Prince Peter Karageorgevich spoke with a reporter from the Chicago Daily Tribune.

"Let the world know that I had no hand in this plot for assassination, which is a detestable crime.

"Why could they have not arrested the couple and sent them across the frontier?  It would have answered the purpose just as well.  This is not the fifteenth century."

He was asked if he would accept the throne.  Prince Peter responded:  "Nothing has yet been offered to me.  How can I accept?  Supposing I answered yes, what figure should I cut in Europe if the throne were offered to another or a pretender appeared."

Prince Peter maintains close relations with Austrian emperor Franz Joseph and Nicholas II of Russia.  He did not think that either of them would oppose the return of the 'true dynasty.'

He has no plans to return to Serbia, and will remain in Geneva until he receives "definite news," although he acknowledged that he is troubled by the delay.

"I have many friends in Serbia.  Some of their names appear in the list of the new government."

The Russian consul in Geneva issued a statement: "Prince Karageorgevitch declares himself innocent of the tragedy at Belgrade.  He said that through his grandfather he undoubtedly had the best right to the Serbian throne and intended on taking it if possible for the sake of his son but he expected to meet with great difficulties and hoped for assistance from Austria."

Prince Peter is 53 years old and a widower.  He has three children,  Prince George, 16, Alexander, 14, and 19-year-old Helene.  The family lives in an "extremely simple manner and occupies a whole house, an unusual thing in Geneva."   They live on the Rue de la Bellotte in an "elegantly furnished" house. 

The Prince is not wealthy and has only a "woman servant and a valet."  He has no "entourage."  His late wife, Zorka, was a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Montenegro.

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