Prince Paul of Yugoslavia: Wikis


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"Prince Paul" redirects here, for the American disc jockey see Prince Paul (producer).
Prince Paul
Prince Regent of Yugoslavia
Regency 9 October 1934 - 27 March 1941
Spouse Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark
Prince Alexander
Prince Nikola
Princess Elizabeth
Father Prince Arsen of Yugoslavia
Mother Princess Aurora di San Donato
Born 27 April 1893(1893-04-27)
Died 11 September 1976 (aged 83)
Paris, France
Styles of
Prince Paul
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

Prince Paul of Yugoslavia (also known as Prince Paul Karađorđević (Serbo-Croatian: Pavle Karađorđević, Cyrillic script: Павле Карађорђевић; Slovene: Pavel Karađorđević) (normal English transliteration Karageorgevich),KG (27 April 1893 – 11 September 1976) of the Yugoslav Royal House of Karađorđević was Regent of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia during the minority of King Peter II. Peter was the eldest son of his first cousin Alexander I. His title in Yugoslavia was Knez (Knez Pavle Karađorđević), which translates best as "Prince".


Early life

Prince Paul of Yugoslavia was the only son of Prince Arsen Karađorđević (a brother of Peter I of Yugoslavia) and Princess Aurora Demidov (a granddaughter of the Finnish philanthropist Aurora Karamzin and her Russian husband Paul Demidov). He married Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark, a sister of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, in 1923. George VI of the United Kingdom, as Duke of York, was best man at his wedding in Belgrade.

Paul was educated at the University of Oxford and his closest friends (including the American-born, naturalized British politician Chips Channon) and outlook on life were said to be British. He was installed as a Knight of the Garter in 1939.

Regent of Yugoslavia

On October 9, 1934, Prince Paul took the Regency after his cousin King Alexander was assassinated in Marseille, France. In his will, Alexander named Paul, as the first of three regents to govern until September 1941, when Alexander's son Peter would come of age.[1]

Prince Paul, far more than Alexander, was Yugoslav rather than Serb in outlook. In its broadest outline his domestic policy was to eliminate the heritage of the Alexandrine dictatorship centralism, censorship, and military control, and to pacify the country by solving the Serb-Croat problem.[2]

In August, 1939, the Cvetkovic-Macek Agreement set up the Banovina of Croatia. The central government retained control of foreign affairs, national defence, foreign trade, commerce, transport, public security, religion, mining, weights and measures, insurance, and education policy. Croatia was to have its own legislature in Zagreb, and a separate budget.[3]

When World War II broke out, Yugoslavia declared its neutrality.[4] On March 25, 1941, Yugoslav government signed the Tripartite Pact with significant reservations as it received three notes. The first note obliged the Axis powers to respect territorial integrity and sovereignty of Yugoslavia. In the second note the Axis promised not to ask Yugoslavia for any military assistance. In the third note they promised not to ask Yugoslavia for permission to move military forces across its territory during the war.[5]

Two days later, Prince Paul was forcibly removed from power.[6]

From this distance, the Prince Paul's foreign policy including the signing of the Tripartite Pact seems to have been best possible in the adverse circumstances. After the fall of France, after the rout of the British, Paul saw no way of saving the country, but to adopt policies of accommodation to the Axis powers. But even under those circumstances Prince Paul, outwardly neutral, remained determinedly pro-Allied. He aided Greece when Greece was invaded. He fostered military collaboration between Yugoslav Army and the French. And for almost three years he parried the Axis thrust toward Yugoslavia.[7]


For the remainder of the war, Prince Paul was kept, with his family, under house arrest by the British in Kenya.

Princess Elizabeth, his only daughter, obtained and published information from the Special Operations Executive files in the Foreign Office in London and published them in Belgrade, in the 1990 edition of the Serbian-language biography of her father. The original book Paul of Yugoslavia was written by Neil Balfour and the first was published by Eaglet Publishing in London in 1980.

Prince Paul died in Paris on 11 September 1976, aged 83, without ever returning to Yugoslavia.

Prince Paul is father of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia the Elder and Prince Nikola of Yugoslavia, and a grandfather of American actress Catherine Oxenberg.

Art Collections

Prince Paul collected, donated and dedicated huge number of Art works to Serbia and Serbian people, including foreign masterpieces. There is especially significant Italian, French and Dutch/Flemish Collections. Most of works are in National Museum of Serbia, including artists such as Rubens, Renoir, Monet, Rembrandt, Picasso, Van Gogh, Cezanne,...

See also


  1. ^ Hoptner, J.B, "Yugoslavia in crisis 1934-1941". , Columbia University Press, 1962, p. 25
  2. ^ Hoptner, p. 26
  3. ^ Hoptner, p. 154
  4. ^ Hoptner, p. 167
  5. ^ Hoptner, p. 240
  6. ^ Hoptner, p. 266
  7. ^ Hoptner, p. 298
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia
Born: 27 April 1893 Died: 11 September 1976
Political offices
Preceded by
Aleksandar I
as King of Yugoslavia
Regent of Yugoslavia
9 October 1934-27 March 1941
Succeeded by
Peter II
as King of Yugoslavia


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