29.05.

1903: Serbian King Aleksandar Obrenović and Queen Draga Killed

1903: Serbian King Aleksandar Obrenović and Queen Draga Killed
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 29 May 1903
  • The organization "Unity or Death" (also known as Black Hand), organized a coup against Serbian King Aleksandar Obrenović. The king and his wife were killed.

The bloody coup occurred in Serbia on this day in 1903 (according to the Julian calendar, which was used there at the time).

The Serbian King Aleksandar Obrenović and Queen Draga Obrenović (ex Mašin) were killed. Prime Minister Dimitri Cincar-Marković, Defence Minister Milovan Pavlović, and two brothers of the Queen (the famous Lunjevica family) were also killed.

Allegedly, Queen Draga was one of the “causes” of Aleksandar’s unpopularity. It is interesting to note that she was 12 years older than her husband.

Her brothers held powerful positions due to their sister and her husband. Some thought the Queen’s brother would became Aleksandar’s successor (the couple didn’t have chidren).

The infamous captain Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis, the leader of the organization “Unity or Death” (also known as Black Hand), organized a coup against the mentioned king.

Armed soldiers entered the royal palace, and used dynamite to enter the king’s room. They were surprised because the room was empty. Draga and Aleksandar were hiding in a large wardrobe, and wearing nightshirts.

The soldiers found the couple and cruelly killed them. Draga allegedly threw herself at Aleksandar in order to protect him.

Their bodies were thrown from a palace balcony onto piles of garden manure. It was the end of the Obrenović dynasty. Peter Karađorđević became the new King of Serbia.

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