Serbia will hold a State Funeral for King Petar II, the last reigning monarch of Yugoslavia on Sunday May 26, Crown Prince Aleksandar II announced on Thursday. The king will be laid to rest in the Royal Family's Mausoleum in St George's Church in Oplenac.
Crown Prince Aleksandar, godson of Queen Elizabeth II, has been working towards the return of his father's remains and the State Funeral for over a decade. King Petar II, who had to flee Yugoslavia at the beginning of World War II and who died in 1970 in exile in the United States, was the last king of the once unified country. The communist regime under Marshall Josip Tito abolished the monarchy at the end of the war - Petar and his son Aleksandar were declared enemies of the state.
The remains of King Petar were returned to Serbia only month. The coffin is now in the Royal Chapel on the grounds of the Royal Palace on the outskirts of Belgrade, where the public is able to pay their respects on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Along with King Petar his wife Queen Alexandra and his mother Queen Maria will also given their final resting place in the Royal Mausoleum. Queen Alexandra was buried at Tatoi, the residence of the Greek royal family and Queen Maria is buried at Windsor. Their remains will be arriving in the 'near future' Crown Prince Aleksandar II said. © RB