Alexander I of Serbia

Infobox Monarch
name =Alexander I
title =King of Serbia

coronation =2 July 1889
reign =March 6, 1889 – June 11, 1903
predecessor =Milan I
successor =Peter I (Karađorđević)
queen =Draga Lunjevica
royal house =House of Obrenović
father =Milan I
mother =Natalija Keshko
date of birth =August 14, 1876
place of birth =Belgrade
date of death =June 11, 1903 (aged 26)
place of death =Belgrade|

Alexander I or Alexander Obrenović (Serbian Cyrillic: Александар Обреновић) (August 14, 1876 - June 11, 1903) was king of Serbia from 1889 to 1903.Citation |title=Chronology for Serbs in Croatia, Minorities at Risk Project] [cite book |last=Dorich |first=William |title=Kosovo]


In 1889, his father, King Milan, unexpectedly abdicated and withdrew to private life, proclaiming Alexander king of Serbia under a regency until he should attain his majority at eighteen years of age. His mother Natalija Obrenović became his regent.

In 1893, King Alexander, aged seventeen, in a first coup d'état proclaimed himself of full age, dismissed the regents and their government, and took the royal authority into his own hands. His action was popular, and was rendered still more so by his appointment of a radical ministry.

In May 1894, King Alexander, by another coup, abolished the liberal constitution of 1889 and restored the conservative one of 1869. His attitude during the Greco-Turkish War (1897) was one of strict neutrality.

In the same year, the young King brought his father, Milan, back to Serbia and, in 1898, appointed him commander-in-chief of the Serbian army. During that time, Milan was regarded as the de facto ruler of the country.


In the summer of 1900, King Alexander suddenly announced his engagement to the widowed Madame Draga Mašin, formerly a lady-in-waiting to his mother. The projected union initially aroused great opposition: he did not consult with his father, who had been on vacation in Carlsbad and making arrangements to secure the hand of a German princess for his son, or his prime minister Dr. Vladan Đorđević, who was visiting the Paris Universal Exhibition at the time of the announcement. Both immediately resigned from their respective offices and Alexander had difficulty in forming a new cabinet. Alexander's mother also opposed the marriage and was subsequently banished from the kingdom.

Opposition to the union seemed to subside somewhat for a time upon the publication of Tsar Nicholas II's congratulations to the king on his engagement and of his acceptance to act as the principal witness at the wedding. The marriage was duly celebrated in August 1900. Even so, the unpopularity of the union weakened the King's position in the eyes of the army and the country at large.

Political reconciliation

King Alexander tried to reconcile political parties by unveiling a liberal constitution of his own initiative, introducing for the first time in the constitutional history of Serbia the system of two chambers ("skupshtina" and "senate"). This reconciled the political parties but did not reconcile the army which, already dissatisfied with the king's marriage, became still more so at the rumors that one of the two unpopular brothers of Queen Draga, Lieutenant Nikodije, was to be proclaimed heir-presumptive to the throne.

Meanwhile, the independence of the senate and of the council of state caused increasing irritation to King Alexander. In yet another "coup d'état", he suspended (March 1903) the constitution for half an hour, time enough to publish the decrees by which the old senators and councillors of state were dismissed and replaced by new ones. This arbitrary act naturally increased the dissatisfaction in the country.


The general impression was that, as much as the senate was packed with men devoted to the royal couple and the government obtained a large majority at the general elections, King Alexander would not hesitate any longer to proclaim Queen Draga's brother as the heir to the throne. In spite of this, it had been agreed with the Serbian Government that Prince Mirko of Montenegro, who was married to Natalija Konstantinovic, the granddaughter of Princess Anka Obrenović, an aunt of King Milan, would be proclaimed Crown Prince of Serbia in the event that the marriage of King Alexander and Queen Draga was childless.Cite web |last=Leroy |first=Pierre Olivier |url= |title=Biography of Prince Mihajlo Petrovic Njegos |accessyear=2007 |accessmonthday=September 28 |publisher=The Njegoskij Fund Public Project |year=2004] Apparently to prevent Queen Draga's brother being named heir, but in reality to replace Alexander Obrenović with Peter Karageorgevic, a conspiracy was organised by the military. The royal couple's palace was invaded and they hid in a cupboard in the Queen's bedroom. There is another possibility, used in a Serbian history TV series "The End of the Obrenovic Dynasty", in which the royal couple was hidden behind the mirror in a common bedroom.

The conspirators searched the palace and eventually discovered the royal couple and murdered them in the early morning of June 11, 1903. King Alexander and Queen Draga were shot and their bodies mutilated and disemboweled and, according to eyewitnes accounts, thrown from a second floor window of the palace. The King was only 26 years old at the time of his death. King Alexander and Queen Draga were buried in the crypt of St. Mark's Church, Belgrade.





Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alexander I of Yugoslavia — The title Aleksandar of Yugoslavia also has other uses. Infobox Yugoslavian Royalty|majesty name = Alexander I title = King of Yugoslavia; prev. King of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes caption = King Aleksandar I reign = 16 August 1921 9 October 1934 …   Wikipedia

  • Milan I of Serbia — Milan I Милан I Prince of Serbia King of Serbia Reign June 10, 1868 – March 6, 1889 Born August 22, 1854(1854 08 22) …   Wikipedia

  • Peter I of Serbia — Infobox Serbian Royalty|majesty name =Peter I title =King of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; prev. King of Serbia reign =11 June 1903 – 16 August 1921 coronation = 15 July 1903 predecessor =Alexander I (Obrenović) successor =Alexander I… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander I — may refer to:*Alexander I of Macedon, king of Macedon 495 450 B.C. *Alexander I of Epirus King of Epirus about 342 B.C. *Pope Alexander I, Pope from 106 to 115 *Alexander I of Scotland (c. 1078 1124), King of Scotland *Alexandru I cel Bun… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander I — 1. Saint, pope A.D. 106? 115. 2. (Aleksandr Pavlovich) 1777 1825, czar of Russia 1801 25. 3. (Alexander Obrenovich or Aleksandar Obrenovic) 1876 1903, king of Serbia 1889 1903. 4. 1888 1934, king of Yugoslavia 1921 34 (son of Peter I of Serbia).… …   Universalium

  • Alexander of Serbia — Aleksandar of Serbia may refer to:* Alexander Karađorđević, Prince of Serbia * Aleksandar Obrenović, King of Serbia * Alexander I of Yugoslavia, King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later Yugoslavia * Aleksandar Karađorđević, current pretender to… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander I — noun the czar of Russia whose plans to liberalize the government of Russia were unrealized because of the wars with Napoleon (1777 1825) • Syn: ↑Czar Alexander I, ↑Aleksandr Pavlovich • Regions: ↑Russia • Instance Hypernyms: ↑czar, ↑tsar, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Alexander I — /æləgˈzændə/ (say aluhg zanduh), / zan / (say zahn ) noun 1. (Russian, Aleksandr Pavlovich), 1777–1825, tsar of Russia 1801–25. 2. (Serbian, Aleksandar Obrenovic), 1876–1903, king of Serbia 1889–1903. 3. (son of Peter I of Serbia), 1888–1934,… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Alexander Karađorđević, Prince of Serbia — Infobox Monarch name =Alexander Karađorđević title =Prince of Serbia coronation = reign =September 14, 1842 – December 23, 1858 predecessor =Mihailo III (Obrenović) successor =Miloš I (Obrenović) queen =Persida Nenadovic issue =Petar I… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander, Prince of Bulgaria — Infobox Monarch | name =Alexander I title =Prince of Bulgaria reign =29 April, 1879 7 September, 1886 coronation = othertitles =Prince of Battenberg predecessor =Principality created successor =Ferdinand I of Bulgaria spouse 1 =Johanna Loisinger… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”