TRH Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine officially opened today the exhibition “The Centennial of King Peter II Birth – The Link Between Past and Present”, dedicated to the anniversary of Crown Prince’s father’s birth at the Royal Palace in Belgrade, Serbia.

The promotion of an exclusive “Rulers of Serbia” edition, jubilee postal stamps dedicated to the 100th anniversary of King Peter II and the 200th anniversary of Prince Mihailo Obrenovic’s birth was also held at the Palace on this occasion.

The opening ceremony was attended by His Grace Bishop Aleksej of Hvostan, vicar of His Holiness Patriarch of Serbia Porfirije, numerous Ambassadors and other representatives of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Governmental bodies, members of the Advisory Bodies of the Crown, representatives of cultural institutions, as well as many other distinguished guests from the spheres of business, art, culture, and the public life of Serbia.

“My father, King Peter II, did not have an easy life. On the day exactly one century ago since his birth, we remember the storms and challenges that he faced and fought during his unfortunate short life. From his earliest days, my father was preparing for the responsible calling that awaited him – to be in the service of his people and his homeland. His words say it best: “For us Karadjordjevic’s, the Crown was only a means by which we served the people, and not the goal of personal dynastic rule”.

He continued the path of duties and responsibilities inherited from his predecessors from the lineage of the great Karadjordje. The historical maelstrom of the Second World War and the Nazi invasion of our country sent him into involuntary exile from which he never returned. He longed and suffered greatly for his homeland, which was under the communist dictatorship. He was the victim of numerous slanders, fabrications, and lies, which today, in the time we live in, are finally being removed from his name. Because the truth, no matter how hidden and suppressed, must always prevail”, stated Crown Prince in his speech.

Dr. Adam Sofronijević, Director of the “Serbia Stamp”, Working Unit of the Post of Serbia presented “Rulers of Serbia” special edition to the public, emphasizing its importance for the culture of remembrance of our people, but also that we should be proud of our nation’s legacy. As it is described: “In its rich and long history, Serbia had a large number of rulers who significantly influenced the development of Serbian society and the state. Over the centuries, Serbia was led by folk’s people, who not only rose to the level of ruling exceptionalism, but managed to achieve it in generational continuity, which justifies the fact that today we can be proud of as many as three ruling dynasties that came from the Serbian people. The two great jubilees that we are celebrating in 2023 in honour of the birth anniversaries of two important rulers who came from the Obrenović and Karađorđević families are an opportunity to celebrate not only the lives and achievements of these two great men of ours, but above all to celebrate the rich history of Serbia that unites us all.”

The visitors of the exhibition had a unique chance to see selected portraits and photos of the last King of Yugoslavia, but also letters and personal items, together with video material showing the young monarch, as well as the regimental flag of the Timok Brigade of the Yugoslav Army in Homeland, which was only recently found after more than seven decades of hiding, that has a beautiful monogram of King Peter II and traditional words of soldiers’ oath from the time of the Kingdom: “With faith in God, for King and the Homeland”. The location of the exhibition makes it even more special, since the items are presented in King Peter II’s home. The authors of the exhibition are Mr. Dušan Babac, member of the Privy Council, and Mr. Uroš Parezanović, Head of Public Relations and Protocol of the Royal Palace.

Mr. Babac said in his opening speech: “Commemorating the centenary of the birth of King Peter II, one spontaneously comes to the conclusion that his most important contribution to the idea of monarchism is that he himself represents the link between the past and the present, that is, regardless of all the efforts to prevent it, a significant continuity has been preserved in Serbia.”

The exhibition “The Centennial of King Peter II Birth – The Link Between Past and Present” will be open to visitors on weekdays until 20 September, between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, with the prior announcement to HRH Crown Prince Alexander’s Office, by phone +38111 306 4000 or via e-mail: [email protected].

We are grateful to the Post of Serbia for honouring this important anniversary with beautiful jubilee stamps. We are also sending our gratitude to the Endowment of King Peter I Karađorđević and the Archive of Yugoslav Cinematheques for their great support in the realisation of this exhibition. Special thanks go to His Eminence Bishop Ilarion of Timok for lending the regimental flag, as a special detail of the exhibition, and the author of the post stamp’s graphic design, Mr. Boban Savic – Geto, professor of illustration at the Faculty of Applied Arts.

We are concluding with the words of Crown Prince Alexander: “May this exhibition be a legacy to my father, an emotional memory of him, and may it help us to better understand today who he really was, one hundred years after his birth. The beloved son of his parents, taught to love his people and his country, and whom his people looked upon as a son. The monarch of the country whose foundations were undermined by many, the last King of Yugoslavia, my dear father – Peter II.”