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41

Tuesday, July 30th 2019, 1:45am

Belgrade, Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel, Saturday, 30 April 1949

The nave of the cathedral was filled with members of the families of the bride and groom as well as invited guests and dignitaries from across Europe. Patriarch Gavrilo, flanked by numerous senior prelates, presided over the ceremony, and was assisted, special papal sanction, by Archbishop Josip. The couple knelt before the Patriarch to exchange their vows…

“How long must this go on?”

Prince Andrew was perpetually impatient, as befit perhaps the youngest son. His elder brother Tomislav whispered, “As long as the Patriarch wants! Just wait until it’s your wedding day.”

*****

When the Patriarch had pronounced the final blessing the choir began to chant the recessional and with prelates leading the royal couple walked slowly down the aisle towards the balcony where they would be presented to the people of Belgrade and all Yugoslavia who thronged the square before the cathedral. High in their towers the cathedral bells began a peal that was taken up by every church across the city until one could hear little else.

When King Petar and Queen Xenia appeared on the balcony of the cathedral the joyful cheers of their subjects were overwhelming. In the distance the boom of cannons roared out a royal salute.

“I’ll tell you one thing,” whispered Prince Andrew, “if I ever marry it will be done quietly and simply.”

“Get into the carriage brother or you will make Mother very unhappy.”

*****

The carriages that bore the royal couple and their principal guests made its way slowly from the Cathedral in the old city towards the Royal Palace, where the formal reception would take place. Troops of the Guards Division were deployed along the route, their backs to the procession, their eyes intent on the assembled, cheering crowds. With so many very important persons assembled in one place security could not be too tight. For all concerned there were no untoward incidents, for which all were thankful.

42

Saturday, August 3rd 2019, 12:33am

Belgrade, Saturday, 30 April 1949
Mikhail Ivanovich Fyodorov watched the innumerable attendees mingling throughout the wedding reception. Both he and Chairman Sergetov had accomplished quite a bit of politicking during this trip, the likes of which might have taken several months had the occasion not arisen. Given the bride's Russian heritage (although Fyodorov believed she'd never before set foot in Russia), the Russian Federation was quite well-represented... not only in terms of attendees, but also in other, more subtle fashions. Fyodorov had been responsible for carrying the couple's wedding present: a formal state crown for the new Queen Xenia, made by the world-famous House of Fabergé... with jewels that had been surrendered thirty years earlier by the departing Romanovs.

History, Fyodorov decided, has an entertaining sense of irony.

Fyodorov had one further diplomatic task to carry out before returning to Petrograd, and it was a completely unscheduled one. Turning to his aide, he spoke quietly. "I think it's about time to find him."

"He's over there, sir," the aide replied. "I've kept track of him for you. I believe he's speaking with the Irish ambassador."

"Very good." Fyodorov crossed the room slipping between knots of intermingling guests. His aide ran interference, subtly warning away those who might wish to corner the Russian president for their own purposes, until Fyodorov found the man he was looking for.

The Irish ambassador caught the new arrival out of the corner of his eye, did a double-take, and lapsed into an abrupt, possibly stunned silence as President Fyodorov stepped in to corner the former Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias Nikolai Romanov.

"My congratulations on the marriage of your granddaughter, Mister Romanov," Fyodorov said in quiet, meticulously polite Russian. In spite of his bulldog political reputation, he could be rather charming. He offered his hand.

"President Fyodorov," Nikolai said slowly. He was an old man, increasingly frail and wrinkled, with bitter eyes. He'd clearly been taken by surprise, but retained a civil tone and slowly, almost reluctantly, shook Fyodorov's hand. "Thank you for your kind words."

"I understand that you have petitioned to visit Russia again," Fyodorov said, not immediately releasing his grip on the former tsar's hand.

"I've received no answer," Nikolai replied, with a bit of frost in his voice.

"There has been debate, and opposition, of course," Fyodorov said. "Ultimately, the decision fell to me. I have... extended an official invitation." Fyodorov's aide produced an envelope which he handed to the president, who finally released Nikolai's hand and gave him the letter. "There are some minor stipulations - to avoid potential security issues, both for us and you - but I do not believe they should pose a problem. That letter has all of the details you will need."

"I... see," Nikolai said slowly. "I will review it carefully. Thank you."

"Of course," Fyodorov said. He turned to leave, inclining his head in a polite nod. "Have a good evening, Mister Romanov."

43

Saturday, August 3rd 2019, 12:42am

An interesting and unexpected development. The future may prove interesting indeed.

44

Tuesday, August 6th 2019, 10:17am

Very interesting indeed.

45

Thursday, August 8th 2019, 3:30am

Yugoslav News and Events, May 1949

Belgrade, The Prime Minister’s Residence, Monday, 2 May 1949

Prime Minister Nikola Karasec waved his visitor into one of the chairs in the residence’s library and sat down opposite Boris Furlan, his foreign minister. Both looked tired – the Prime Minister for the many years he had led the nation, and the Foreign Minister for the burdens of the days filled with dignitaries from across Europe.

“It is done…” Karasec said with a sigh.

“Yes, our King is married – most happily it seems. The people are overjoyed, our friends abroad are impressed with the progress the nation has made since you took charge twelve years ago.”

The Prime Minister nodded. “It has not been easy…”

“Not for any of us. Is it still your intention to resign?”

“Yes. I promised His Majesty that I would remain in office until after the wedding; when he and the Queen return I shall tender my letter of resignation. Are you still willing to succeed me?”

“Of course…”

“Given the present mood in Parliament and the nation you should have no difficulty forming a government.”

“That is a small mercy. I feared that a snap election might be necessary.”

“Have you given thought who might take the foreign office portfolio?”

“I should like to ask Purić to take it, if he is willing.”

“Purić? He will do. What about the defence portfolio?”

“Stambolic has been in that chair as long as you have held the reins; I am uncertain whether he will stay on when you go. Have you broached the subject with him?”

“No, not yet. Perhaps now I should. If he were depart now, or soon, who might you want to succeed him?”

“I was considering Broz…”

“Is that wise?”

46

Saturday, August 10th 2019, 6:25pm

Novosti News Service, Durrës, Monday, 9 May 1949

Having completed their trials and operational training the landing ships Stupanica and Trebisnjica have joined their sisters in the recently re-deployed Amphibious Ready Group. The unit had been working up at Kotor but the vessels are now concentrated in Durrës.

47

Wednesday, August 14th 2019, 4:36pm

Novosti News Services, Belgrade, Sunday, 15 May 1949

Prince Tomislav attended ceremonies today at the Adriatic Shipyard at Bar marking the completion of the Project 1949 Theta Minesweeper A and Minesweeper B – these ships will not bear the names Alagovac and Modrac following their formal commissioning. At the Danube Shipyards Prince Andrew oversaw the commissioning of the newly completed Project 1949 Iota Icebreaking River Tug A and Icebreaking River Tug B, which will bear the names Labudovo and Topčidersko respectfully. All four vessels are expected to be operational before the end of the summer.

48

Saturday, August 17th 2019, 7:41pm

Novosti News Services, Belgrade Friday, 20 May 1949

Prime Minister Nikola Karasec spoke to the nation today in a rare live radio address.

“It has been my privilege to serve the Crown and the Nation as prime minister for nearly twelve years, in which time Yugoslavia has taken her proper place among the nations of Europe and the world. The peace and prosperity that we now enjoy is sufficient legacy for any man, and under the leadership of Their Majesties I have no doubt that my successor will continue to assure a brilliant future for Yugoslavia. I now formally announce my retirement and a return to private life. God bless you all.”

It is expected that His Majesty will meet with parliamentary leaders to select a new prime minister over the course if the next several days.

49

Friday, August 23rd 2019, 2:46pm

Novosti News Services, Belgrade, Sunday, 22 May 1949

His Majesty the King met with Foreign Minister Boris Furlan and asked the latter to take on the role of Prime Minister. Mister Furlan is expected to have little difficulty in forming a government, as his party holds a majority in Parliament and he is respected even by members of the Opposition.


Novosti News Services, Belgrade, Tuesday, 24 May 1949

It is reported that Prime Minister Designate Boris Furlan has been successful in forming a new cabinet and that he is to be formally invested as prime minister by His Majesty on Thursday of this week. Božidar Purić is to succeed Mister Furlan as foreign minister. The members of the new cabinet comprise:

Prime Minister: Boris Furlan
Foreign Minister: Božidar Purić
Minister of Defence: Petar Stambolic
Minister of Industrial Development: Branko Horvat
Minister of Agriculture: Dragan Micic
Minister of Commerce: Aleksandr Markovic
Minister of Education: Marko Velebit
Minister of Finance: Pavel Tudman
Minister of Justice: Nikola Kidric
Minister of the Interior: Ivan Subasic
Minister of Transport: Petar Kersovani

50

Monday, August 26th 2019, 2:49pm

Novosti News Service, Belgrade, Friday, 27 May 1949

Her Royal Majesty Queen Xenia was named today as royal patroness of the Volunteers in Service to the Nation (Volonteri u službi nacije). In her remarks on the occasion she praised the many young volunteers who have served to further education, health, and social services in the rural parts of the nation, and expressed her hope that the program can be further extended into those areas that still suffer the lack of adequate schools, clinics, and hospitals.

51

Thursday, August 29th 2019, 3:08pm

Novosti News Service, Bar, Tuesday, 31 May 1949

Their Majesties visited the Adriatic Shipyards here today for the launch ceremonies of the two Project 1949 Beta class frigates undergoing construction. The Frigate A was formally launched by Her Majesty Queen Xenia while the Frigate B was launched by His Majesty King Petar. The occasion was marked by grand festivities and gun salutes from those ships of the Royal Yugoslav Navy present.

52

Wednesday, September 18th 2019, 8:43pm

Yugoslav News and Events, June 1949

Hrvatska revija, Zagreb, Friday, 3 June 1949

Wednesday evening Their Majesties Petar and Xenia attended the gala opening of the Yugoslav Lexicographical Institute here. In addition to remarks from Their Majesties the newly appointed director, Miroslav Krleža, gave a short but informative speech on the aims and purpose of the Institute, while is chief editor, the noted poet Mate Ujević delivered a sonnet especially written for the occasion.

53

Thursday, September 19th 2019, 8:30pm

Novosti News Service, Belgrade, Sunday, 5 June 1949

The foundation of the French School of Belgrade (École Française de Belgrade) has been announced by leaders of the French expatriate community in the capital and surrounding communities. The plan calls for its gradual development to include a pre-school, a grammar school and, eventually a high school (lycée) department to meet the needs of the growing Francophone population of the region – primarily the children of diplomatic staff and temporary residents associated with various industrial enterprises. It is anticipated that the first classes will begin in the autumn.

54

Saturday, September 21st 2019, 3:22pm

Hrvatska revija, Zagreb, Tuesday, 7 June 1949

His Royal Highness Prince Tomislav presided over the dedication today of the newly-completed factory of Radio Industrija Zagreb, which was organised last year to undertake the manufacture of gramophones, wireless sets, and military communications equipment. In his remarks the prince lauded the business community of the city and the nation for their commitment to Yugoslavia’s future and to building its economic strength.

55

Sunday, September 22nd 2019, 4:56pm

Novosti News Service, Friday, 10 June 1949


The Osijek Automobile Factory unveiled its new Model 209 “Kolibrić” (Hummingbird) sedan to the general public. The firm expects that the first production models will be delivered to buyers no later than August of this year and in remarks at the unveiling the company spokesman indicated that advance orders for two thousand vehicles have been received. With the expansion of the nation’s autostrady network and rising incomes the demand for new motor vehicles is growing among consumers and the Osijek Works is moving to capitalise upon that demand. It is expected that the “Kolibrić” will be shown at the major trade shows across Europe in the coming months.

56

Sunday, September 29th 2019, 1:23am

Novosti News Service, Tuesday, 14 June 1949


57

Monday, September 30th 2019, 8:44pm

Novosti News Service, Durrës, Friday, 17 June 1949

Their Royal Majesties arrived in the city this afternoon, the Royal aircraft having made a morning flight from the capital. After meeting civic officials the royal couple paid a visit to the oceanographic research and training vessel Pelikan, which has recently been overhauled and repaired prior to departing on her latest cruise, scheduled to begin next month. His Majesty is no stranger to the Pelikan, having served aboard her during her participation in the 1940 Tall Ships Race, but this was the first opportunity for Her Majesty to set foot aboard her and wish her crew well on their future voyage. That evening, at the Royal Oceanographic Institute, a gala was held during which Her Majesty was invested as the Institute’s formal patroness.

58

Thursday, October 3rd 2019, 8:12pm

Novosti News Service, Zagreb, Monday, 20 June 1949

The first of six Societe Francaise Du Gyroplane SH.20 Cigale light utility helicopters ordered in March of this year were delivered today to No. 206 Squadron (Eskadrila helikoptera 206) of the Royal Yugoslav Air Force, the first rotary wing element of the service. Upon their delivery later this year it is expected that No.206 Squadron will also operate the larger SH.40 Tourbillon, at least during the latter’s evaluation phase.

59

Monday, October 7th 2019, 12:54am

Novosti News Service, Belgrade, Wednesday, 22 June 1949

A spokesman for the royal household announced today that Prince Andrew, the youngest of the sons of the late King Aleksandr, will enter Princeton University in the United States this coming autumn. This breaks a tradition of the royal house which had seen its sons educated in Oxford or Cambridge in the United Kingdom.


Belgrade, Report of the Hungarian Military Attaché, Friday, 24 June 1949

Production of the M48 Medium Tank is being pursued with great vigour. The Jasenica Equipment and Machinery Company has been drawn in as a second source and it is probable that the first units of the Yugoslav army will transition to the new tank later this month. Production of the M47 Infantry Carrier continues at a steady pace. There are unconfirmed reports that the Novi Sad Vehicle Works is developing a successor/replacement for the Orkan reconnaissance vehicle.

No details are yet available on the new M50 submachinegun design, though some photographs have been seen in the press. Reportedly the design is to utilise stamped metal parts to facilitate rapid production. Overall Yugoslav production of ground ordnance is proceeding at a steady pace.

It appears that the Yugoslav navy is satisfied with the number of amphibious landing ships it has constructed and no additional vessels are contained in the current building programme. At the present time the only vessels under construction are the two large antisubmarine vessels launched last month at the Adriatic Shipyards.

60

Wednesday, October 9th 2019, 6:16pm

Novosti News Service, Zagreb, Monday, 27 June 1949

Her Majesty Queen Xenia visited the town of Livno in Tropolje, today to superintend the dedication of a new wing and ambulance service at the Fra Mihovil Sučić Hospital, which has been expanded to now serve two hundred patients in its wards, which include special facilities for the paediatric care, as well as an outpatient clinic to serve the needs of the elderly. The Queen’s visit underscored the commitment of the Government to expand as far as possible the availability of modern medical facilities to the entire nation.