Biography of King of Serbia Alejandro I Obrenovich (1876-1903)

King of Serbia born in Belgrade on August 14, 1876, and died in the same city on June 11, 1903. His authoritarian and arbitrary, Government attached to his marriage with a woman not beloved by the Serbs and their pro-austriaca foreign policy, irritated the country and led to his assassination at the hands of soldiers. With him died the Obrenovich family, replaced on the Serbian throne by the Karageorgevich.

Alejandro (Aleksandar, in Serbian) was the only son of Milan I, King of Serbia, and María Natalia Katarghi. He/She was thirteen years old when his father was forced to abdicate in 1889, so it had to wait to adulthood in 1893 to assume tasks of Government, which for the moment played a Council of Regency. Although it was well received, was soon as authoritarian as Milano I, because it imprisoned the Regents and abolished in 1894 by the current Constitution, replacing it with another of 1869, more conservative. He/She then formed a Parliament of which excluded members of the Radical Party, which was favorable to Russia. A few years later, in 1897, he/she allowed the return of his father, who also appointed as Chief of the Serbian army and gave him a free hand to crack down on its political enemies. As a complement to its authoritarian politics abolished freedom of the press, which opposed him, and the Association.

In 1900, he/she married Draga Lunjewitza, widow of a Czech engineer. Had met it a few years before in Biarritz (France) when he/she was still a minor and her Lady-in-waiting of the Queen. His parents, important politicians and public opinion, opposed the link. At the time, his already large unpopularity grew even more. Stubbing it approved in 1901 a new liberal Constitution, reformed the army and the economy, and strengthened relationships with other Slavic countries, promoting a Balkan Alliance according to the old idea of Miguel Obrenovich, his grandfather. The reformist mood did not last long, because in 1903 he/she suspended the Constitution; It was momentary, but he/she did it arbitrarily to be able to adopt certain measures. The disorder grew in Serbia.

Finally, in 1902, when will not verify a possible pregnancy of the Queen Draga (the child would have been his first son and heir to the Throne), the country spread a rumor, fueled by his enemies, by which Alejandro I had intended to appoint his successor to one of the brothers of one, Nicolás or Nicodemus. This, and the pro-austriaca attitude of the monarch, led the situation to the limit. Thus, in June 1903, a group of officers of the army, under the command of which were the colonels Alejandro Mischich (former brother-in-law of the Queen) and Naumovich, entered Belgrade's Palacio Real while the Kings slept; they killed the King (who was only 27 years of age), his wife and other members of the Royal family to some officials. The mutilated body of the King, together with the Queen Draga, was thrown through a window. Extinguished in this way the Obrenovich dynasty, the rebels instead enthroned Karageorgevich family, in the person of Pedro I.

Links on the Internet; Page with photographs of the Obrenovich family and link to books on its history in Serbian (in English). ; Page with the genealogical tree of the Obrenovich (in French).


DARBY, H.C. and other brief history of Yugoslavia. (Madrid, Espasa-Calpe: 1972).

PETROVICH, M.B. A History of Modern Serbia, 1804-1918. 2 vols. (New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: 1976).

JOVANOVIC, S. The Kingdom of Alejandro Obrenovic. 2 vols. (Belgrade: 1929-1931).

ZORZI, E. L'eccidio di Belgrade (1903). (Verona, Mondadori: 1941).