Orthodox: The Serbs descend from Slav settlers who invaded the Greek Empire from the North and by the second half of the 9th century had been converted to the Orthodox faith (unlike their Albanian and Croatian neighbors who followed the Latin Church). The Byzantine Emperors designated provincial Zupans to rule and one among these, Stefan Voyislav (d 1050) proclaimed himself Prince of Serbia. He was succeeded by his son, Michael (d 1080) and grandson Constantine (d 1106) as Serbian Kings then by a grt-grandson, Vladimir (d 1115) and Grubesha (d 1122). With the extinction of this line, the grt-grandson of Zupan Vukan of Rascia, Stefan I Nemanya (d 1200), emerged as paramount Prince, or King of Serbia. The second of his two legitimate sons, Saint Sava (Archbishop of Serbia, d 1237), was to become the patron of the Kingdom, the elder Stefan II, became King of Serbia in 1217 and was ancestor of Stefan Dushan (Urosh IV), who proclaimed himself Emperor of the Greeks and Serbs in 1346 (d 1355), father of the last male of this line, Stefan Urosh V, murdered in 1367. Stefan II also left an illegitimate son, Vuk, Prince of Zeta, whose grt-grt-granddaughter Milica m Lazar Grebelyanovich, who deposed Stefan Urosh V and was k at the Battle of Kosovo Polje 1389 when the Serbs suffered a disatrous defeat at the hands of Turkish Sultan Murat I. Various of Lazar’s descendants ruled a much reduced Serbia as Despots under the Turks until the late 16th century, and a further descendant George (d 1711) established his rule there in the early 18th century. The KaraGeorgevich dynasty was founded by George Petrovich, named Kara or Crni Gjorgje (Black George) (b 3 Sep 1752; assassinated 13 Jul 1817) who initiated the Serbian liberation movement from Turkish rule becoming Supreme Leader (Gospodar) of the Serbs 24 Jan/5 Feb 1804 to 21 Sep 1813, when he was deposed by a rival nationalist leader, Milos Obrénovich who succeeded in obtaining recognition from the Turks in 1813 and had Kara George murdered. In Sep 1830 the Ottoman Emperor recognized Serbian autonomy and the hereditary rule of Milos Obrénovich (who took the title of Highness, 1834), but Milos was forced to abdicate 13 Jun 1839 to his elder son, the twenty-year old Milan III, who promptly died. Milos’s younger son, the sixteen year old Michael Obrénovich, now succeeded but he was young and inexperienced, and was deposed as Prince in favor of Kara George’s son Alexander I Karageorgevich (b 29 Sep/11 Oct 1806; d 21 Apr/3 May 1885) who was proclaimed reigning Prince of Serbia by the Skupstina of the Parliament 15 Sep 1842, and was recognized by Turkey 27 Jun 1848. Alexander’s Austrian bias led to his departure from Belgrade 12 Dec 1858 and his forced deposition 3 Jan 1859, in favor of the aged Milos Obrénovich. On the latter’s death the following year, Michael III Obrénovich succeeded once again, until he was assassinated in 1868. He was succeeded by a cousin (descended from Milos Obneovich’s brother Ephraim), as Milan IV (1854-1901), who proclaimed the Kingdom of Serbia 6 Mar 1882 and abdicated to his only son Alexander I 22 Feb 1889. The latter was assassinated with his wife 1903, when the Obrénovich dynasty became extinct and was replaced by Peter I Karageorgevich (b 29 Jun 1844; d 16 Apr 1921), elder son of Prince Alexander I, who was proclaimed King of Serbia 2/15 Jun 1903. He was proclaimed King of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes Nov 1918 and the incorporation of Montenegro was recognized in 1922; the Kingdom was re-named the Kingdom of Yugoslavia 3 Oct 1929. The last Royal Constitution dates from 3 Sep 1931, by which King is the depository of national unity and of the integrity of the state; he sanctions and promulgates the laws voted by Parliament, names the ministers and civil and military state functionaries, represents the state in foreign relations, exercises the right of grace, and opens and closes Parliamentary sessions. Royal decrees must be countersigned by the responsible minister. The dynasty ceased to reign when the illegal communist backed Constituent Assembly abolished the Monarchy 29 Nov 1945, but King Peter continued to be recognized as King by several states until his death in 1970.

Succession to the Crown, which passes by male primogeniture among the descendants of King Peter I, and titles of the Royal House are defined in the Constitution of 1931 (Chapter V, Art. 38, Par. I) The sons of the King (or Head of the House) are each Prince Royal (Kraljevic), entitled to the style of Royal Highness, while the other male (and their consorts) and female (until marriage) members of the Royal House are Prince (Knez) or Princess (Kneginja). The qualification of Royal Highness was extended by these Rules to the sons, daughters, and grandsons and granddaughters in the male line of the King (or Head of the House), and to the brothers, sisters and nephew and nieces in the male line of the King (or Head of the House). This qualification was also extended to Prince-Regent Paul and his issue. Princesses lose their titles and styles as members of the Royal House upon marriage. By this same art (Par 2), the "relations and position of the members of the Royal House are regulated by the Statute decreed by the King." This Statute was defined as the "Rules for members of the House of Karageorge" of 5 Apr 1930 (Protocol 3031); these state (art 7) "No Member of the Royal House may contract marriage without the prior consent and sanction of the King. Marriage contracted without the aforementioned prior consent and sanction causes exclusion from the Royal House, deprivation of all privileges and honors that pertain to Members of the Royal House".

Orders: Saint Prince Lazarus (held by right by the King and Heir Apparent); the Star of Karagoerge (bthe grand cross y right accorded to all Princes of the Royal House at their baptism), the White Eagle (the Queen Consort receives the Grand Cross by right), the Yugoslavian Crown and Saint Sava.

See the 60th Anniversary of Crown Prince Alexander II