Karadjordjevic Dynasty

Country Serbia

Founder Karađorđe Petrović
Final sovereign Peter II
Current head Alexander Karađorđević
Founding 14 February 1804
Deposition 29 November 1945
Ethnicity Serbian

The Karađorđević (Serbian pronunciation: [karadʑɔ̌ːrdʑɛʋitɕ]; Serbian: Карађорђевићи, Karađorđevići) is a Serbian dynasty, which began with Karađorđe, the Grand Vožd of Serbia during the First Serbian Uprising. The family had a long blood feud with the Obrenović dynasty after Miloš Obrenović saw to Karađorđe's assassination. The dynasty lost the throne in November 1945 when the communists seized power in Yugoslavia. Peter II of Yugoslavia never abdicated.


The name Karađorđević is derived from progenitor Đorđe Petrović "Karađorđe". It is mostly written as Karadjordjevic in lack of unicode, and anglicized as Karageorgevitch, Karageorgevich.



Karađorđe's paternal ancestors migrated during the Second Great Serb Migration in 1737-1739 under the leadership of Patriarch Šakabenta, as a result of the Austrian-Turkish War in which Serbs took part.[1] According to Radoš Ljušić, Karađorđe's ancestors most likely migrated from the Herzegovina-Montenegro hills to Šumadija.[1]

According to Serbian historiography Karađorđe's ancestors hailed from Vasojevići.[2][3][4] The Vasojevići clan claim descent from Stephen Constantine of the Nemanjić dynasty (that ruled Medieval Serbia, 1166–1371).[3] The Vasojevići were proud of Karađorđe and saw him as their sprout,[5] Montenegrin minister and Vasojević, Gavro Vuković, supported the thesis.[6] Alexander Karađorđević was given the title "Voivode of Vasojevići".[6]

According to Radoš Ljušić, Karađorđe's ancestors most likely hailed from Vasojevići, but has said that there are no certain historical information on Karađorđe's ancestors or where they came from, all is from folklore. Among other unproven theories are France, Herzegovina, Kuči, and Klimenti. Grigorije Božović (1880-1945) claimed that the family were Srbljaci (natives) in Vasojevići territory,[7] and Montenegrin historian Miomir Dašić claimed that Karađorđe's family originated from the Gurešići from Podgorica,[7] while folklorist Dragutin Vuković thought Tripko Knežević "Guriš" was Karađorđe's great-grandfather.[7] In the surroundings of Podgorica, there was a claim that Karađorđe's ancestors were initially from Vranj.[8] In 2006, a book written by journalist Milorad Bošnjak and machine engineer Slobodan Jakovljević (a direct descendant of Jakov Obrenović, half-brother of Miloš Obrenović), it was claimed that Karađorđe's ancestor was an Albanian Catholic from Kelmend called Đin Maraš Klimenta.[9][unreliable source?] Dimitrije Tucović had earlier claimed that he was of Albanian descent.[10][full citation needed]


Karađorđe's paternal ancestors left for Serbia and stopped on the way and lived in Mačitevo (in Suva Reka), from where grandfather Jovan moved to Viševac, while Jovan's brother Radak moved to Mramorac.[2][3]

The Karađorđevići derive their name from Đorđe Petrović "Karađorđe", a farmer, hajduk and a former Austrian soldier. In 1804, the Serbs revolted against the Ottoman Empire that controlled the Balkans at that time. The First Serbian Uprising was successful and Karađorđe established a government in Belgrade. In 1811, he was recognised as ruler with the right of succession vested in his family. However, in 1813, the Ottomans returned, and Karađorđe and his family fled. His son Prince Alexander, however, returned to rule Serbia in 1842 and reigned until 1858.

When Karađorđe was killed by Miloš Obrenović, a feud between the two houses of Karađorđević and the Obrenović developed which lasted until the Obrenović King Alexander I was killed in 1903 with his family and the Karadjordjević returned to the throne.

In 1903, the Serbian Parliament requested that Prince Peter — grandson of Đorđe Petrović (Karađorđe) — come to the throne of the Kingdom of Serbia, following the murder of King Aleksander Obrenović and his wife, Draga Mašin, by the Black Hand. Peter was duly crowned as King Peter I. Shortly before the end of World War I, representatives of the three peoples proclaimed a Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes under King Peter I.

The senior branch of the family became extinct in 1920 with the death of Prince Alexis Karageorgevich


The ruling members of the family were:

  • Karađorđe Petrović, Leader of the First Serbian Uprising (1804–1813)
  • Alexander Karađorđević, Prince of Serbia (1842–1858)
  • Peter I, King of Serbia (1903–1918), King of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (1918–1921)
  • Alexander I, Prince Regent (1918–1921), King of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes/Yugoslavia (1921–1934)
  • Peter II, King of Yugoslavia (1934–1945), King-in-exile from 1945 until his death in 1970.

Current claims to the throne

The Karađorđevićs are active in Serbian society in various ways. Politically, they support the view that constitutional parliamentary monarchy would be the ultimate solution for stability, unity and continuity. In addition, they support Serbia as a democratic country with a future in the European Union.

The last crown prince of Yugoslavia, Alexander, has been living in Belgrade in the Dedinje Royal Palace since 2001. As the only son of the last king, Peter II, who never abdicated, and the last official heir of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia he claims to be the rightful heir to the Serbian throne in the event of restoration. Prior to the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, he personally united the parliamentary opposition in several major congresses. In the palace, he regularly receives religious leaders and strives, as opportunity permits, to demonstrate his commitment to human rights and to democracy.

The Karađorđevićs are much engaged in humanitarian work. Crown Princess Katherine has a humanitarian foundation while Crown Prince Alexander heads the Foundation for Culture and Education, whose activities include student scholarships, summer camps for children, etc. The Karađorđevics are also prominent in national sports activities.

Serbia and Yugoslavia

The Karadjordjević family initially was a Serbian Royal House, then the Royal House of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and then the Royal House of Yugoslavia. When they last reigned they were called the Royal House of Yugoslavia.

Crown Prince Alexander II was born in London but on property temporarily recognised by the United Kingdom's government as subject to the sovereignty of the Yugoslav crown, on which occasion it was publicly declared that the Crown Prince had been born on the native soil of the land he was expected to eventually rule.

In 2006 Yugoslavia disintegrated geo-politically in such a way that Serbia re-emerged as the national state, on which devolved rights and obligations of the former state of Yugoslavia. Crown Prince Alexander, previously "of Yugoslavia", now also claims the throne of Serbia as the senior patrilineal great-grandson of the last King of Serbia prior to its inclusion in Yugoslavia. However, his use of the title of the Crown Prince of Serbia has been questioned because he was born Crown Prince of Yugoslavia and held that title until the monarchy was abolished, while the current nation of Serbia is a republic. Nonetheless, as is customary among former dynasties, Alexander is accorded the title he claims by his kinsmen, the reigning monarchs of Europe, and their courts.


Royal Standards of Yugoslavia

Family tree

Karađorđe Petrović
b. 1768 – d. 1817
reigned 1804–1813
b. 1801 – d. 1830
Alexander Karađorđević
b. 1806 – d. 1885
reigned 1842–1858
b. 1827 – d. 1884
Peter I
b. 1844 – d. 1921
reigned 1903–1921
b. 1859 – d. 1938
b. 1859 – d. 1920
b. 1862 – d. 1908
b. 1887 – d. 1972
Alexander I
b. 1888 – d. 1934
reigned 1921–1934
Paul Karađorđević
b. 1893 – d. 1976
ruled 1934–1941
(as Prince Regent)
Peter II
b. 1923 – d. 1970
reigned 1934–1945
b. 1928 – d. 2000
b. 1929 – d. 1990
b. 1924
b. 1928 – d. 1954
Alexander Karađorđević
b. 1945
b. 1958
b. 1984
b. 1985
Karl Vladimir
b. 1964
Dimitri Mihailo
b. 1965
b. 1958
b. 1958
b. 1963
b. 1977
b. 1980
b. 1982
b. 1982

See also


External links

  • Official site of the Serbian Royal Family
  • Crown Prince Alexander's Foundation for Culture and Education
  • Princess Katherine's Humanitarian Foundation

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