Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Olga and Paul arrive in London for a private visit

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July 17, 1939

Prince Paul, the Regent of Yugoslavia, and his wife, Princess Olga, have arrived in London for what has been described as a "private visit," according to the New York Times.   They were greeted at the station by the Duke and Duchess of Kent, who is the Duchess of Kent's youngest sister.

The couple will be saying good-bye to the Duke and Duchess of Kent, who will be heading to Australia in the autumn, as the Duke of Kent will become the Governor General.

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 To "avoid arousing the Germans," Prince Paul did not receive an official welcome to the United Kingdom.    No British government officials were at the train station to meet the royal couple.    They have been invited to stay at Buckingham Palace, the invitation being described as "merely a matter of family courtesy."

However, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and several of his cabinet members did attend a "private dinner" for Prince Paul and Princess Olga at Buckingham Palace.

It is understood that Paul will have "several important talks" during his visit.

Government officials are "well aware" of Paul's "pro-German and violently anti-Soviet" reputation.  They also respect his position as an "able statesman who can understand the growing power of the 'peace front.'"    Prince Paul and Princess Olga paid an official visit to Germany in June, where they met Adolf Hitler.

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Yugoslavia has not joined the Axis, which is seen as a "good omen," despite pressure from Berlin and Rome.

Prince Paul is a first cousin of King Alexander of Yugoslavia, who was assassinated in Marseilles in 1934.  He is one of three regents for Alexander's young son,  King Peter II, who is 15 years old, and too young to reign on his own.

Paul's true importance has less to do with the Regency and more with his position as the "virtual ruler of Yugoslavia.   This is why his visit is seen with "unusual importance."

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