DescriptionWinston Churchill Typed Letter Signed. One page, 7.5" x 9.5", "at The Casey Villa, Cairo", December 8, 1943, to "His Majesty King Peter II of Yugoslavia", written on "Prime Minister" stationery the day after the Cairo Conference, which took place from November 23-26 and December 3-7, 1943. This letter reads in part, "The President of Turkey came to Cairo at very short notice and his conference with President Roosevelt and myself placed a heavy burden upon his time. To his great regret, therefore, His Excellency was not able to meet Your Majesty personally in Cairo, as he had hoped. As I was myself partly responsible for this, I promised President Inonu as he was about to leave the airfield yesterday that I would convey to Your Majesty his best wishes and his disappointment that it had not been possible for him to present them himself." Included is the transmittal envelope addressed to King Peter (return address, "10, Downing Street, Whitehall"). Also in attendance at the conference were Franklin Roosevelt, Chiang Kaisheck (China), and Ismet Inonu (Turkey). One of Churchill's goals for the conference was to convince Turkey to enter the war sided with the Allies; however, Turkey remained neutral until February 1945.
Accompanied by an archive of related letters all addressed to King Peter II of Yugoslavia, including Charles de Gaulle, Francisco Franco, Ismet Inonu, and other war leaders. King Peter II became king of Yugoslavia when he was seventeen. One year later, in 1941, Nazi Germany invaded his country and the king and the Yugoslavian government fled to London. While there, Peter studied at Cambridge and joined the R.A.F. During the war, Josep Tito, with the backing of Great Britain, fought against Nazi Germany and became the new leader of Yugoslavia, while Peter, the last Yugoslavian monarch, never returned to his home. This collection of letters, documents, and manuscripts embodies the important relationships that the young king continued to cultivate with other world leaders.
This collection of letters includes:
Charles de Gaulle Typed Letter Signed. Two pages, Paris, September 18, 1945, thanking King Peter for his friendship and his recent visit to Paris.
Francisco Franco Typed Letter Signed. One page, Madrid, April 28, 1951, to King Peter II, with accompanying documents concerning banking and financial matters between Yugoslavia and Spain.
Ismet Inonu Typed Letter Signed. One page, Cairo Embassy, [ca. December 1943]. Turkey's president regrets that he can not meet King Peter. Along with other December 1943 letters concerning President Inonu.
Also included are letters from Ralph Skrine Stevenson, the British envoy to Yugoslavia (1943); "His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard" of the Netherlands (1943); Wunsz King of the Chinese legation (1944); Anthony Eden (1945); Cosmo Gordon Lang, Bishop of Canterbury (1942); and various Peter II letters and documents signed, including a typed letter signed "Peter II R." to the Royal [Yugoslav] Regents reading in part, "After the Prime Minister Marshal Titos speech of August seventh leaving no doubt of his intentions. . . . I have therefore decided to abolish the Regency."
Also part of this collection is an invitation from Lord Chamberlain to "King Peter and Queen Alexandra" to attend an "Afternoon Party" (July 1946); an eight page typed manuscript entitled "Tragedy of Yugoslavia" and signed by Slobodan Jovanovic (a Serbian historian and journalist) and other members of the exiled Yugoslavian government, railing against Josep Tito; and a typed letter (1942) signed "A C. Gloucester" transmitting information about All Souls College, Oxford, to King Peter. Various other manuscripts, documents, letters, and a French newspaper clipping are included. Many are in languages other than English, such as French, Serbian, and Croatian. All items have been well-cared-for and are in fine condition.
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