The King of Montenegro.

On 1 March 1921, His Majesty King Nicholas I of Montenegro died at Cap d’Antibes, France. The king was seventy-nine years-old. Nicholas had reigned as the sovereign of Montenegro for fifty-eight years: from 1860 until 1910 as Prince of Montenegro, and from 1910 until 1918 as King of Montenegro.

Mirko Petrović-Njegoš.

Born on 7 October 1841 at Njeguši, Montenegro, Nikola Petrović-Njegoš was the only son of Mirko Petrović-Njegoš (1820-1867) and his wife Stana Martinović (1824-1894), who married in 1840. Nikola (also known as Nicholas) had two sisters: Anastasia and Maria. In August 1860, Nicholas succeeded his uncle Prince Danilo of Montenegro after Danilo’s assassination. 

Nicholas and Milena of Montenegro.

Aged nineteen, Prince Nicholas of Montenegro married the thirteen year-old Milena Vukotić on 8 November 1860 at Cetinje. Milena was the only daughter of Petar Vukotić and his wife Jelena Vojvodić. Nicholas and Milena had been betrothed to one another by their respective parents when the future groom was twelve and the future bride was six.

King Nicholas I and Queen Milena of Montenegro with their family on the occasion of the proclamation of the Kingdom of Montenegro in 1910.

Prince Nicholas and Princess Milena of Montenegro had a long and happy marriage. The couple had thirteen children: Princess Zorka (1864-1890; married the future King Peter I of Serbia), Princess Milica (1866-1951; married Grand Duke Peter Nicolaevich of Russia), Princess Anastasia (1868-1935; married 1st Duke George of Leuchtenberg; married 2nd Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaevich of Russia), Princess Marija (1869-1885), Princess Elena (1871-1952; married future King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy), Crown Prince Danilo (1872-1939; married Duchess Jutta of Mecklenburg-Strelitz), Princess Anna (1873-1971; married Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg), Princess Sofía (b. and d.1876), Prince Mirko (1879-1918; married Natalija Konstantinović), Princess Xenia (1881-1960), Princess Vjera (1887-1927), and Prince Peter (1889-1932; married Violet Wegner). Due to the advantageous marriages of five of his daughters, Nicholas of Montenegro was known as “the Father-in-Law of Europe.”

The King and Queen of Montenegro with two of the princesses in exile in France.

During World War I, King Nicholas I and Queen Milena of Montenegro were forced to leave their country for exile in France. It was not until 1989, nearly sixty-eight years after his death, that the last King of Montenegro returned home, when he, his wife, and several daughters were reburied at Cetinje, the capital of the Montenegrin kingdom.

Royal Balkan cousins: Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and Crown Prince Nicholas of Montenegro.
Photograph courtesy of the Royal Family of Serbia.

King Nicholas I of Montenegro is the great-grandfather of Crown Prince Nicholas of Montenegro (b.1944) and the great-great-grandfather of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia (b.1945).

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