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Saturday, 23 April 2011

Does the Kingdom of Yugoslavia still Exist? In Ruritania, Yes

I know when I'm not wanted and don't want to spoil anyone's party, so on Royal Wedding Day I have arranged to be out of the country, somewhere in republican Europe.

But I had a peek at the Royal Wedding Guest list today:

"Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia; The Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia".

Back in 1943, ULTRA intercepts were showing unambiguously that Yugoslav Royalist forces (the Chetniks) had allied themselves with the Germans and Italians and that they were more or less exclusively engaged in attacks on Tito's anti-fascist Partisans.

As a result, the Allies withdrew support from the Royalists and started supplying the Partisans. Tito's headquarters became home to distinguished Allied agents like the SOEs Fitzroy Maclean.

After elections, Yugoslavia's Constituent Assembly deposed King Peter II on 29 November 1945 and declared a republic. The Allies were happy to recognise it and for most of the next thirty five years enjoyed at least reasonable relations with Tito's Yugoslavia. Then under Slobodan Milosevic, things went from bad to worse.

With the secession of Montenegro in 2006, Yugoslavia finally ceased to exist. Instead - as anyone who watches Eurovision song contests will know - we now have Bosnia Herzgovina, Croatia, the Former-Yugoslav-Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and - in a still disputed category of its own - Kosovo.

None of this - literally none of this - has been noticed in the royal palaces of Ruritania. I won't bore you by continuing through the guest list. Take a look (the Telegraph website lists anyone with a title). It hammers home in name after name how our ruling family imagines the world. It is an imagination fed from scavenging in the dustbin of history.


Added 24 July 2018: This Blog post was expanded into a chapter of my book The Best I Can Do (degree zero 2016), freely available from Amazon, Waterstones and other booksellers

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