The Petrovic dynasty ruled Montenegro for more than 200 years until 1918, when it was toppled by the Serbian Karadjordjevic dynasty. Deposed King Nikola died in exile in France.
Descendants of his family would receive property, finances and status, under the bill to be discussed by the Montenegrin government. It also covers the establishment of the Petrovic-Njegos Foundation, controversially to be funded by around €4 million from state coffers.
Among properties that could pass to the family are former residences in Njegusi and a family home in ex-capital Cetinje. There would also be an apartment in current capital Podgorica.
There has even been discussion about the ex-royal descendants being allowed to perform non-political protocol activities and use of royal heraldry.
Since he returned from France in 2006 to prepare for Montenegro’s independence, the deposed king’s great-grandson HRH Crown Prince Nikola Petrovic-Njegos – already known as King Nikola II by hardcore monarchists – has been actively campaigning to rehabilitate his family’s dynasty and reclaim the royal properties.
At the heart of the issue has been Prince Nikola’s insistence that the family is ‘morally’ rehabilitated by the country. This could mean that the Montenegrin government should overturn previous declarations that King Nikola was a traitor and forbidden from returning to the country.
No official statement has yet come from Montenegro’s pro-Serbian parties, who are said to support property rights by the Karadjordjevic dynasty. Government talks are set to continue when all voices will be heard.
This latest news comes just weeks after Serbia’s Crown Prince Alexander II spoke of his aspirations to reclaim the throne in Serbia under a constitutional parliamentary monarchy. “I think a monarch can help provide political stability,’ he told the BBC. Next week, Crown Prince Alexander II will return to his London birthplace to attend Britain’s royal wedding.