Maria of Yugoslavia

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Maria of Romania
Kraljica marija.jpg
Queen consort of Yugoslavia
Tenure 8 June 1922 – 9 October 1934
Born (1900-01-06)6 January 1900
Gotha, Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, German Empire
Died 22 June 1961(1961-06-22) (aged 61)
London, England, United Kingdom
Burial Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore, Windsor (1961–2013)
Royal Mausoleum Oplenac, Serbia (since 2013)
Alexander I of Yugoslavia
(m. 1922; d. 1934)
House Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Father Ferdinand I of Romania
Mother Marie of Edinburgh
Religion Eastern Orthodox
Styles of
Queen Maria of Yugoslavia
Royal Monogram of Queen Maria of Yugoslavia.svg
Reference style Her Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Ma'am

Maria of Romania (6 January 1900 – 22 June 1961), known in Serbian as Marija Karađorđević (Serbian Cyrillic: Марија Карађорђевић), was Queen of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later Queen of Yugoslavia, as the wife of King Alexander from 1922 until his assassination in 1934. She was the mother of Peter II, the last reigning Yugoslav king. Her citizenship was revoked and her property confiscated by the Yugoslavian Communist regime in 1947, but she was "rehabilitated" in 2014.[1]

Early life

Maria was born on January 6, 1900, in Gotha, a town in Thuringia, in the German Empire.[2] She was named after her maternal grandmother, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, and was known as Mignon in the family to distinguish her from her mother. Her parents were Marie of Edinburgh and Ferdinand of Romania. She had three brothers and two sisters: Carol, future King of Romania (Carol II); Nicholas, Prince of Romania; Elisabetha, Princess of Romania and future Queen of Greece; Ileana, Princess of Romania and future Archduchess of Austria (Tuscan line); and another brother, Mircea, who died at age three. Although plump, Maria was a noted beauty in her youth and resembled her sister Elisabeth.

During World War I, she worked as a nurse with her mother, along with her two sisters.

Marriage and children

Maria married Alexander I, second King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, in Belgrade on 8 June 1922, and had three sons:

Following the assassination of her husband, King Alexander I, in Marseille in 1934, her oldest son became Peter II of Yugoslavia, the last reigning Yugoslav king. She was given the title Queen Mother of Yugoslavia in 1941. She moved to a farm in England and lived a relatively normal life without royal extravagance. Maria was well educated. She spoke several languages fluently and enjoyed painting and sculpting under the guidance of artist Iva Despić-Simonović. She also drove a car by herself, which was very unusual for royalty at the time.[3]

She died in exile in London on 22 June 1961 and was interred at the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore, which adjoins Windsor Castle, before her remains were transferred to Serbia in April 2013 and re-interred on 26 May 2013 in Oplenac, Serbia.[2][4]

Humanitarian work

Queen Maria of Yugoslavia in later years.

Queen Maria was popular and respected by the Serbian public, and is still well thought of in the region. She was regarded as an ideal wife and mother according to the contemporary Serbian ideal and described as a humble person. She was engaged in several social projects. In the eyes of the Serbian people, she remains one of the greatest patrons of charities in Serbia.[citation needed]

Streets are named in her memory, such as “Ulica kraljice Marije” or “Queen Maria Street”, and numerous schools and other organizations still carry her name.[citation needed]

Titles and styles

  • 6 January 1900 – 8 June 1922: Her Royal Highness Princess Maria of Romania, Princess of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
  • 8 June 1922 – 6 January 1929: Her Majesty The Queen of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
  • 6 January 1929 – 9 October 1934: Her Majesty The Queen of Yugoslavia
  • 9 October 1934 – 22 June 1961: Her Majesty Queen Maria of Yugoslavia, The Queen Mother




  1. ^ Crnjanski Spasojević, V. "Rehabilitovana kraljica Marija Karađorđević". Večernje novosti. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  2. ^ a b "HM Queen Maria of Yugoslavia". Royal Family of Serbia. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  3. ^ "Yugoslavia's exiled queen". Daily Telegraph.
  4. ^ Yugoslavia's exiled Queen returns home at long last
  5. ^ Fifty fifth memorial anniversary of HM Queen Maria at St. George Church in Oplenac

External links

  • Royal House of Yugoslavia
  • The Mausoleum of the Serbian Royal Family
Maria of Yugoslavia
Cadet branch of the House of Hohenzollern
Born: 6 January 1900 Died: 22 June 1961
Yugoslavian royalty
Title last held by
Draga Obrenović
as Queen consort of Serbia
Queen consort of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes
later of Yugoslavia

8 June 1922 – 9 October 1934
Title next held by
Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark

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