Monday, October 13, 2014

Peter returns to Belgrade

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October 13, 1934

King Peter II of Yugoslavia arrived at the Belgrade train station at 9:00 a.m., and the young monarch "made his solemn entry into his forefathers' capital," reports the New York Times.

Members of the Regency, Cabinet, Parliament and local city officials and a large crowd had gathered outside the railroad station.   Many also thought that "in a few days"  King Alexander's body will also arrive at the railroad station.

Many were in tears when the 11-year-old monarch emerged from the train.  When he passed the "guard of honor," he said in a loud voice: "God keep you, heroes."  He kissed the hand of the Patriarch and was presented the traditional bread and salt on a silver salver by the Mayor of Belgrade.

Members of the Regency, headed by Prince Paul, walked to the car to greet the young king, who was dressed in the "school suit usual among English boys, with a long gray overcoat and a gray hat.  He was followed by his mother, Queen Marie; his grandmother, Dowager Queen Marie of Romania; his aunt, Archduchess Ileana, wife of Archduke Anton of Austria; Prince Arsene, the late King Peter I's brother and father of Prince Paul, one of the three Regents, and Princess Helen of Russia, the late King Alexander's sister.

Peter was taken to the royal palace at Dedinje, just outside Belgrade, where he met his brothers, Prince Tomislav and Prince Andrej, for the first time since their father's death.   He "kissed them repeatedly, all weeping so long and so loudly that those present could not restrain their tears."

King Peter told his brothers they "must keep up their spirits" and not "give trouble to their mother."   He will remain at Dedinje, where members of the royal family will "discuss details" for Alexander's funeral.  Nearly 900,000 people from throughout Yugoslavia are expected to come to Belgrade.  Special train fares will be "granted" to those who want to attend.

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