Nicholas, Crown Prince of Montenegro
Nikola Mihajlo Frane Petrović-Njegoš, Crown Prince of Montenegro (born 7 July 1944) is a French-born architect and the Head of the House of Petrović-Njegoš, which reigned over Montenegro from 1696 to 1766 and again from 1782 to 1918.
Nicholas was born in Saint-Nicolas-du-Pélem at the house of a maternal great aunt in France as the only son and heir of Michael of Montenegro and his wife Geneviève, Princess of Montenegro, née Prigent (1919–1990), a member of the French resistance. Prince Michael was internationally recognised as Montenegro's king-in-exile under a regency headed by his grandmother Queen Milena from 7 March 1921 until 13 July 1922 when international recognition was given for the 1918 annexation of Montenegro by the new Serbian headed kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Prince Nicholas' parents were married on 27 January 1941 in Paris.
Nicholas was initially baptised Catholic by his mother, before his father had him re-baptised Orthodox. Nicholas has stated he feels close to both religions. His parents divorced in Paris, France, on 11 August 1949, exactly 5 weeks after his 5th birthday. Geneviève received custody of the young Nicholas and raised him largely as a single mother. Growing up in France, Nicholas barely saw his father and knew very little about Montenegro or his family's history being raised and educated as a Frenchman.
In 1967 while a student he visited Montenegro for the first time, upon showing his university ID card the staff bowed upon recognising the Petrović-Njegoš name. News of his visit had spread and by the time he left the museum a crowd of 300 Montenegrins had gathered to greet him.
Nicholas succeeded as head of the House of Petrović-Njegoš on the death of his father in 1986 and grew closer to his Montenegrin heritage. In 1989 he received an official invitation to come to Montenegro for the reburial and state funeral of his great grandparents King Nicholas I of Montenegro and Queen Milena and their two daughters, Princess Vera and Princess Xenia. Nicholas accompanied the remains on an Italian battleship and his family received an enthusiastic welcome from Montenegrins.
During the breakup of Yugoslavia, Nicholas made several statements calling on Montenegrins not to get caught up in the violence.
Marriage and children
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- Burke's Royal Families of the World; Europe and Latin-America