- Historical event
- 8 January 1873
- She was the daughter of the first and only king of Montenegro – Nikola Petrović-Njegoš. Her father managed to marry all five of his daughters to European kings and princes.
Princess Jelena Petrović of Montenegro was born on this day. She was the daughter of the first and only king of Montenegro – Nikola Petrović-Njegoš. Her father managed to marry all five of his daughters to European kings and princes, earning the nickname “Father-in-law of Europe”. It was precisely Princes Jelena who married best. Namely, at the age of 23, she joined in marriage with future Italian king Victor Emmanuel III of Savoy. To carry out this wedding, Jelena had to convert from her Orthodox faith to Catholicism, which was practiced by the Italian royal family.
In Italy, Jelena changed her name to Elena. She became Queen of Italy when her husband acceded to his father’s throne. It is interesting that, in 1936, her husband was also proclaimed the Emperor of Ethiopia, which at that time was an Italian colony. In 1939 he also became the King of Albania. This monarch, accordingly, used the title “King and Emperor” (Italian: “re Imperatore”). Elena received the titles of Empress of Ethiopia and Queen of Albania.
During World War II, the Italian king, together with the queen and his family, fled the country when the Germans seized power in it in 1943. The family settled in Alexandria, Egypt. Queen Elena died in the French city of Montpellier on the Mediterranean Sea at the age of 80.