Duke of Edinburgh visits St. Sava’s in London

January 26, 2013

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A memorial service for HRH Princess Margarita of Baden, who died last week was held at the Serbian Orthodox Church, St. Sava’s in London where several hundred Serbs paid respect to her contribution to the Serbian Community in the UK since her marriage to the late Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia in 1957.

The service was attended by their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Prince Philip, Princess Katarina (daughter of Princess Margarita and Prince Tomislav), Prince Nikola (son of Princess Margarita and Prince Tomislav) with his daughter Maria and Victoria de Silva (granddaughter).

The Duke of Edinburgh with Crown Prince Aleksandar

The funeral was also attended by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (uncle of HRH Princess Margarita), Sir Brian McGrath, HM Queen Anna Marie of Greece, HRH Princess Sarvath of Jordan and her two daughters, Prince Max and Princess Valerie of Baden, Prince Ludwig and Princess Mandi of Baden Prince Bernhard of Baden and Princess Stephanie Prince Leopold of Baden of Baden, Prince Michael of Baden, Prince Berthold of Baden, Princess Marie Louse of Baden, His Excellency Dr Popovic, Ambassador Republic of Serbia, and many other distinguished guests.

The service for Princess Margarita who had converted to the Serbian Orthodox faith was officiated by His Grace Dositej, Bishop of Great Britain and Scandinavia and His Grace Bishop Andrej, Vicar Bishop of the Patriarch Irinej of Serbia.

HRH Princess Margarita Von Baden-Karadjordjevic was born in Salem, Germany, on 14 July 1932, the eldest of three children of Prince Berthold, Margrave of Baden, and his wife, Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark, a sister of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Princess Margarita was brought up at the family home in Salem until she moved to London in 1948 to train and then work as a nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital, where she was first known as Nurse Von Baden and later Sister George. She then worked in various hospitals and also undertook private district nursing.
Whilst in London Princess Margarita met her future husband, Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia, brother of the exiled King Peter II and the second son of King Alexandar I and Queen Marie, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. They married in a civil ceremony in Salem on 5 June 1957 and were married the next day in Serbian Orthodox and Lutheran services at which Prince Philip and King Simeon of Bulgaria acted as witnesses. The Serbian Orthodox ceremony was attended by members of the exiled Serbian community in Germany.
Margarita and Tomislav settled in Sussex and had two children Prince Nikola, born in 1958 and Princess Katarina born in 1959. They ran a fruit farm near Billingshurst and soon became closely involved with the Serbian community in Britain. They attended church services on a regular basis, opened their farm up to the Serbian community for May day celebrations, and were active patrons of the Lazarica church in Birmingham.
The Serbian community has fond memories of Princess Margarita in the Serbian national costume persuading individuals to make donations for the building of the Lazarica church. She was also an active member of the Guild of Serbian Sisters and was their Honorary President up until her death. HRH Princess Margarita retained close contact with the Serbian community until her death, despite her divorce from Prince Tomislav in 1981, and was a true friend to Serbs and the Serbian community in the dark days of the 1990s.
Princess Margarita was a tireless worker for charitable causes, particularly those associated with the Orthodox faith. She was Chairman of a number of Serbian charities which aimed to facilitate the construction of the cathedral of St. Sava in Belgrade and the training of Serbian theology students in Britain and providing assistance for the funeral arrangements of needy members of the Serbian community with no relatives. Princess Margarita was also Vice President of the Friends of Saints Martha and Mary Convent of Mercy, Moscow and played a significant role in its restoration. She also offered encouragement to a school of nursing and a hospice set up by Mother Mariam in Georgia and an icon painting school in Dobricevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Princess Margarita approached life, including her long illness, with great courage, an indomitable spirit, a refusal to be defeated by any obstacle and an unfailing sense of humour. Her charitable work and her many adventures as an intrepid traveller bear testimony to these qualities, for which she was much loved and admired. Her family, her friends, the Serbian nation, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian community in Britain have lost a loyal dear sister and champion, who will live in their hearts forever.

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