“You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.”
In 1882 Milan Obrenovich declared himself king of Serbia. In 1889 he abdicated, leaving his twelve-year-old son to succeed him. This young boy is rumored to have almost drowned in a fountain in the palace gardens. The woman who is said to have saved him was called Draga Lunevia. Though this widow was born from a wealthy and prominent family, she served as a lady in waiting for Queen Natalia, Alexander’s mother.
Alexander I asserted himself on the throne and announced his intention to wed Draga. This infuriated his father who had returned. Milan and the people wanted Alexander to marry for political power. Milan resigned as commander-in-chief, the cabinet quit and the army was deeply affronted. There were protests and riots throughout the land.
Though Draga was intelligent and multilingual, she was much older than Alexander. Moreover, she was known as a beautiful infertile widow of doubtful reputation. Popular opinion had Alexander as a weak and delusional young man being controlled by an evil temptress.
Under pressure to separate by his parents, the couple struggled even early on. For her part Draga felt that Alexander was being corrupted by power and only cared about himself.
In 1903 things came to a head. As Draga and Alexander dined in the Old Palace in Belgrade a riot formed. Led by military leaders, most of the court was murdered as the mob stormed the palace.
In the early hours of the morning, the couple that had hid in a cupboard terrified, were discovered. Shot, stabbed and mutilated, they were thrown out of the palace windows. Alexander was twenty-six.