Friday, October 10, 2014

Peter arrives in Paris, grief-stricken

October 10, 1934

The young King Peter received a warm welcome tonight in Paris, but "he was not the one for whom such great and joyous preparations had been made in recent weeks," reports the New York Times.''

He was a "grief-stricken boy, " accompanied by his grandmother, the Dowager Queen Marie of Romania, and who wanted nothing more than to be with "his mother and comforted by her.

The 11-year-old  British school boy is understandably "forlorn and unhappy," as his father, King Alexander of Yugoslavia, was assassinated yesterday in Marseilles.

He traveled from England with his grandmother by boat, crossing the Channel, and arriving in Calais.  The ferry was cleared of all persons, apart from the crew.  "Solid phalanxes of policemen lined the way to the train and the special car" that would take the young king and grandmother to Paris.   The train was heavily guarded.

The train was scheduled to arrive at the Gare de Nord at 8:46 p.m., and a "great crowd" gathered "both inside and outside the station," as French officials, including the Air Minister and the Prefect of Police were waiting to greet the young monarch.

But it was a carefully orchestrated ruse.  When the train stopped at Villiers-le-Bel, a small suburb, King Peter emerged and quickly got into a waiting car.

Before the crowds at the Gare du Nord realized they had been "fooled," King Peter was already safe in his suite at the Hotel Ritz.  Queen Marie remained on the train to the Gare du Nord, where she "quietly descended," and after the crowd had left, she was driven to the Hotel Ritz to rejoin her grandson.

King Peter's mother, Queen Marie, will join him tomorrow in Paris, where she will remain as she is undergoing a "surgical operation," which had been planned for sometime and "apparently cannot be postponed."

King Peter is unlikely to return to Sandroyd School, where he had been a student for a mere 13 days.

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