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  • Originally published 06/13/2013

    Crown Prince Alexander II: the man who would be king of Serbia

    Four wooden coffins lie in a row, each draped in a subtly different red and blue standard. Behind them, an ornate iconostasis rises 20 feet to the cupola of the royal chapel. In front of them, crucifixes in Cyrillic script record the names of the coffins’ inhabitants. “This is my father, my mother, my grandmother, and my uncle,” says the crown prince, gesturing at each in turn.Republics do not often throw state funerals for royals, still less for four at once. Nor do they have princes, princesses and palaces. But Crown Prince Alexander II, heir to the throne of what for a short time before World War II was the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and is now a mosaic of republics in sometimes unhappy coexistence, is untroubled by such apparent contradictions. After a decade of lobbying, he succeeded last month in burying four members of the Karadjordevic dynasty in what was once their kingdom.On an overcast May morning in Oplenac, an hour’s drive west of Belgrade, thousands of Serbs queued for hours to get a glimpse of the prince as he arrived for the service. He stood to kiss a crucifix held aloft by Patriarch Irinej, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, before watching men in national costume bear the coffins to the royal mausoleum, where one day he, too, will be buried....

  • Originally published 04/22/2013

    Skeleton of 4,400-year-old woman wearing golden jewellery is discovered in royal borough

    The discovery of the 4,400-year-old burial site of a woman adorned with gold jewellery has prompted speculation that Windsor's royal connection goes back further than suspected.Archaeologists working in a quarry near the royal family's Berkshire residence have unearthed a rare Copper Age grave of a middle-aged woman buried with some of Britain's oldest gold ornaments.The find is doubly significant since grave sites from the era containing such fine jewellery, which also included lignite and amber, are usually associated with men....

  • Originally published 03/27/2013

    Have we now found Alfred the Great?

    It couldbe the year for discovering notorious monarchs.Just weeks after remains found under a car park were confirmed as Richard III, archaeologists now believe they may just have stumbled on Alfred the Great.Amid great secrecy, a team exhumed an unmarked grave at a more fitting location for a Royal burial - a churchyard in Winchester named in ancient documents as his burial place.After a delicate 10-hour operation on Monday, human skeletal remains were unearthed in the churchyard of St Bartholomew’s in the Hyde area of the city, and taken for storage at an undisclosed location....

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Queen Mother may get blue plaque tribute

    Her name has been put forward for inclusion in the organisation’s scheme by a member of the public and her case is being considered by a panel including Sir David Cannadine, the historian, and Sir Andrew Motion, the former Poet Laureate.The plaques, which are attached to birthplaces and former homes of prominent figures, are not traditionally associated with royalty, as the scheme does not cover royal buildings or palaces.However, in the case of the late Queen Mother, other addresses could be considered, including her parents’ house near Victoria Station in London, where she lived as a child, and a property in Sloane Street. She also lived at a house in Bruton Street, near Berkeley Square, where the Queen was born....