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Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia: Wikis


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Prince Tomislav
Spouse Princess Margarita of Baden
Linda Mary Bonney
Prince Nikolas
Princess Katarina
Prince George
Prince Michael
House House of Karageorgevitch
Father Alexander I of Yugoslavia
Mother Maria of Romania
Born 19 January 1928(1928-01-19)
Died 12 July 2000 (aged 72)

Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia (Serbian Cyrillic: Томислав Карађорђевић) (Belgrade, 19 January 1928 – 12 July 2000) was a member of the House of Karađorđević.


Early life and education

Prince Tomislav was born on 19 January 1928, on Epiphany according to the Julian calendar used by the Serbian Orthodox Church, at 1 A.M., as the second son of the sovereign of the then Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), King Aleksandar I Karađorđević (1888-1934) and Queen Maria (1900-1961), the second daughter of Romanian King Ferdinand (Hohenzollern) (1865-1927) and Romanian Queen Maria (1875-1938).

He was baptized on 25 January in a salon of the New Palace in Belgrade, by the British Crown's Minister at the Palace, Kennard, representing King George VI, with water from the Vardar and Danube rivers and the Adriatic Sea. The Prince was named after Tomislav of Croatia, the King of medieval Croatia.[1]

He began his elementary education at the Belgrade Palace. From 1937-1941, he attended Sandroyd School in Cobham, England, then Oundle School from 1941-1946 and Clare College, Cambridge in 1946-1947.

Although King Peter and his advisors were opposed to Nazi Germany, Regent Prince Paul declared that Yugoslavia would adhere to the Tripartite Pact.

On 27 March 1941 Peter, then 17, was proclaimed of age, and participated in a British-supported coup d'état opposing the Tripartite Pact.

Postponing Operation Barbarossa, Germany simultaneously attacked Yugoslavia and Greece. From 6 April Luftwaffe pounded Belgrade for three days and three nights, Operation Punishment. Within a week, Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary and Italy invaded Yugoslavia and the government was forced to surrender on 17 April. Yugoslavia was divided to satisfy Italian, Bulgarian, Hungarian and German demands and puppet Croat, Montenegrin and Serb states proclaimed.

Peter was forced to leave the country with the Yugoslav Government following the Axis invasion; initially the King went with his government to Greece, and Jerusalem, then to the British Mandate of Palestine and Cairo, Egypt. He went to England in June 1941, where he joined numerous other governments in exile from Nazi-occupied Europe. The King completed his education at Cambridge University and joined the Royal Air Force.

Despite the collapse of the Yugoslav army, two rival resistance groups to the occupying forces formed. The first was the Royalist Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland (better known as the Chetniks) led by loyalist General Draža Mihailović, the Minister of Defence in the exile government. The other was the revolutionary Partisans led by the communist Josip Broz - known to the world later as Tito. The Allies, having initially supported Mihailovic, threw their support behind Tito in 1943, as their sources came to indicate that the Partisans were more engaged in fighting the German enemy than were the rival Chetniks.

Life in exile

After Cambridge, Prince Tomislav decided to devote himself to fruit growing. While he attended agricultural college, he worked summers as an ordinary field hand in an orchard in Kent. In 1950, he bought a farm in West Sussex, and subsequently specialized in growing apples, having at one point 17,000 trees on 80 hectares of land.

Prince Tomislav was highly active in the life of the Serb emigration, organizing numerous celebrations and gatherings at his farm, and participating in numerous humanitarian organizations and initiatives. Among others, he was president of the Yugoslav Committee for Providing Aid to Old Warriors, the Protector of the Lazarica Church in Birmingham and the President of the Committee for the Restoration of the Hilandar Monastery on Mt. Athos. He was also a high official of the British Order of the Knights of St. John.

During the schism in the Serbian Orthodox Church, during the 1960s and all the way up to its end in 1992, he stood firmly with the Patriarchate in Belgrade, publicly supporting it throughout the Serb emigration.

In 1990, he refused the offer of the Belgrade-based Democratic Party to be its presidential candidate in the first post-war elections scheduled for December of that year.

Return to Yugoslavia

He was the first member of the ex-royal family who permanently moved back to Serbia, in early 1992, making his residence at the King Peter I Foundation Complex in Oplenac, Serbia, which soon became a mecca for all who wished to personally meet a living prince and the last living son of King Alexander I.

He soon became a highly popular figure, especially due to his frequent visits to the Serb soldiers in Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serb Krajina, and the aid he dispensed along with his wife, Princess Linda. There were initiatives for him to be crowned Prince of the Serb-held part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which were, however, rejected by the local political leadership.

After publicly accusing then Serbian president Slobodan Milošević for having "betrayed" the Republic of Serb Krajina, after it fell to the joint Croatian Army operation "Storm" at the beginning of August 1995, his media presence was drastically reduced.

The last five years of his life were marked by a battle with terminal illness; however, he turned down offers for surgery abroad at the time NATO forces began their bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 24 March 1999, choosing to remain and share the lot of the nation, touring bombing sites even while seriously ill.

He died on 12 July 2000, on Ss. Peter and Paul Day in the Julian Calendar, the patron saints of the family crypt on Oplenac, where he was buried, in a funeral attended by a crowd of several thousand.

Marriage & Issue

He was married on 7 June 1957, in Salem (Baden, West Germany), to Princess Margarita of Baden. Tomislav and Margarita were divorced in 1981. They had two children;

On 16 October 1982 he married Linda Mary Bonney (born 22 June 1949 London), out of which marriage were born two sons;

  • Prince George of Yugoslavia (born 25 May 1984 at The Portland Hospital,London). He has also run a fireworks company in the past and his interests include engineering and motor sport.
  • Prince Michael of Yugoslavia (born 15 December 1985 London)

External links

Notes and references

  1. ^ Yust, Walter (ed.) Encyclopædia Britannica: A New Survey of Universal Knowledge, Vol 1, 1951, p 573


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