Body of Yugoslavia's last king returned

Jan. 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM
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BELGRADE, Serbia, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The body of King Peter II of Yugoslavia, buried in 1970 in Libertyville, Ill., has been returned to Serbia for a state funeral.

Crown Prince Alexander, who has been living in Serbia for more than a decade, has been working for several years to give his father a final resting place there, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"It was a very emotional day and a dream come true," the prince told the Tribune by email after his father's body arrived in Belgrade Tuesday. "Today meant a lot to me since my father's wish has nearly been fulfilled."

Peter Karadjordjevic became the third king of Yugoslavia at the age of 11 when his father was assassinated in 1934. In 1941, he led a British-backed coup against his regent, who favored an alliance with Nazi Germany, but was forced into exile when Yugoslavia was invaded and conquered.

In 1945, the Communist government of Josip Tito deposed the king. Peter died in Denver, Colo., at 47 and was buried at

St. Sava, a Serbian-Orthodox monastery, becoming the only king to be buried in the United States.

Peter's body is resting temporarily at a chapel in Belgrade until a funeral in May, Alexander said.

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