Hereditary Prince Peter of Serbia renounces Succession Rights

Hereditary Prince Peter of Serbia and Yugoslavia, the oldest son of the Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and Princess Maria da Gloria of Orleans-Braganza, abdicated in favour of his younger brother Prince Philip, on the 27th of April 2022 in the Casa de Pilatos in Seville, so a Serbian friend of The Royal Watcher, Mirko Savkic, has written a guest post detailing the renunciation!

A Guest Post by Mirko Savkic

The abdication of Prince Peter created many speculations, especially in Serbian media, while most of the public outside Serbia was a bit shocked and didn’t know why the act of abdication happened. Because of that, with the generous help and understanding of The Royal Watcher’s Editor, I decided to write an article about this, to present some facts and to stop the speculations.

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Prince Peter was born on the 5th of February 1980 in Chicago, at the time when the Royal Family was in exile because of the communist dictatorship that ruled their homeland. He is the grandson of the last King of Yugoslavia Peter II, great-grandson of King Alexander I the Unifier, as well as the direct descendant of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, King Constantine I of Greece, Romanian and British Royal families. Prince Peter finished his education at The King’s School, and later studied in London and Spain. With his father Crown Prince Alexander and his brothers, he obtained the opportunity to visit his fatherland for the first time in 1991, when the outlines of democracy could be seen in the country. It was the 5th of October, and more than 100 000 Serbs gathered in Belgrade to welcome the Crown Prince and his family. Prince Peter, then just eleven years old, addressed the people: “Dear brothers and sisters, my dear people. Today is the most beautiful day in my life and the life of my family because we finally arrived in our fatherland. I am still a child, but I know what fatherland is because my father, Crown Prince Alexander taught me”. The happening was very emotional for everyone. Long after his speech, cries from the people could be heard: “Stay! Stay!”. Unfortunately, that was not possible at the time. In the meantime, his parents separated, and Crown Prince married Princess Catherine. Peter and his brothers lived with them and visited their mother in Seville occasionally. Princess Maria da Gloria married the 19th Duke of Segorbe, an illustrious Spanish aristocrat. From that time on, the young Prince did not show up in public.

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Peter’s younger brother, Hereditary Prince Philip, was born in 1982, and unlike his older brother, he became very active. The wider public in Serbia heard of him for the first time in 2017 when he married Miss Danica Marinkovic, the daughter of our famous artist Cile Marinkovic. The wedding celebrations were held in Belgrade and His Holiness late Patriarch Irinej married them in a beautiful ceremony in the Cathedral Church. The wedding caused a lot of media attention and sympathies, many famous royal relatives were present (for example Queen Sofia of Spain, while Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden was godmother) and it sent a very affirmative picture of Serbia to the world. And not only that, but monarchism in Serbia started to rise.

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After 2017 Philip and Danica continued to live in London, in 2018 their son, Prince Stefan was born, and in 2020 they made one of the most important decisions of their lives: they decided to move to Belgrade and live not at the Palace, but in a regular apartment they rent. And our Princely couple indeed did that on the Serbian national holiday Vidovdan in 2020. Prince Philip and Danica immediately became involved in the charitable and patriotic work. They are appearing at many official Church and state ceremonies, they privately visited Serbian enclaves in Kosovo and Metohija several times in the last two years, and regularly visited the beautiful cities of Trebinje and Banjaluka in Republika Srpska, Serbian shrines in Montenegro, Sarajevo etc. Philip and Danica are the voice of the people, the voice of the those who are forgotten by their governments, of those who are weak and those who are truly in need. And in a short time, the couple became very popular and loved.

That being said, I personally expected that abdication will happen, and in my opinion, Philip deserved this. Prince Peter understood what is right and what is good for the future of the monarchy and its people. He wanted to avoid media attention and insisted that abdication happens at his home, in Seville. Everything was organised, and in the presence of Philip, Danica, his mother Princess Maria da Gloria and her husband the Duke of Segorbe, Mr Ljubodrag Grujic (member of the Crown council and official herald of the Royal House) and one Orthodox priest (with the blessing of Serbian Patriarch Porfirije), Prince Peter abdicated. Immediately, this act became one of the main topics of interest in the Serbian media. Not long after, Crown Prince Alexander issued one interesting statement saying that abdication did not happen according to the traditions and the rules of the Family’s Rulebook. In the media, one could hear questions about the possible political ambitions of Prince Philip, because in the last parliamentary elections (April 2022) Serbia’s Parliament obtained four monarchist parties, which are arguably the strongest political force in the opposition. Such political speculations are absolutely baseless. Friend of the Princely couple, Mr Ljubodrag Grujic explicitly stated that Philip is not interested in contemporary politics: “There are no political connotations at all. Kardjordjevics, especially the younger ones, are interested in politics above politics (meta-politics), and not in political parties. On the other side, it should be said, that political parties (monarchist ones- author’s comment) expressed their wide support for the rights of the new Hereditary Prince. I never saw that until now

Prince Philip represents the future of the Serbian monarchy. He lives in Serbia and is sharing the destiny of his people. Another important thing is that he married, and has a son, Prince Stefan. Philip is not speaking Serbian too well, but how could he? To be born and to spend 20 years outside your fatherland is certainly not an advantage when it comes to learning a language (keep in mind that Serbian is one of the hardest languages in Europe). His wife Princess Danica and his son Stefan (who is attending school in Serbia) are helping him every day, and the progress is visible.

It is no secret that Prince Philip is not in good relations with his stepmother Princess Catherine, but every family has some problems, and these problems will be “fixed” in time. The statement made by Crown Prince could be defined as needless, at least. The act of abdication is completely valid, it was done with the blessing of the Church, and in presence of the witnesses and the representative of the Crown Council. It is true that this ceremony could have been done, perhaps, in Serbia, with the direct presence of the Crown Prince and Patriarch, but let’s keep in mind that Peter insisted that the ceremony should be private.

   

In my opinion, we should look at this historical event as the highest possible gesture of love. The older brother free willingly abdicates his dynastic rights and the rights of his descendants, in favour of his younger brother, because the good of the people and the monarchy is his imperative. That being said, I am sure that a bright future awaits all Serbian monarchists, and that restoration will happen.

Long live Hereditary Prince Philip!

Long live Prince Peter!

Long live Serbia!

A Guest Post by Mirko Savkic

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