Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia entered the world on 28 November 1959 at London. She was the second child and first daughter of Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia (Belgrade, Yugoslavia 19 January 1928-Topola, Serbia 12 July 2000) and of Princess Margarita of Baden (Salem 14 July 1932-15 January 2013). Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia, the second son of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia (Cetinje, Montenegro 16 December 1888-Marseilles, France 9 October 1934) and his wife Queen Marie (Gotha 8 January 1900-London 22 June 1961; née Romania), had married Princess Margarita of Baden, first child and only daughter of Margrave Berthold of Baden (Karlsruhe 24 February 1906-Spaichingen, Württemberg 27 October 1963) and Margravine Theodora (Athens 30 May 1906-Konstanz 16 October 1969; née Greece and Denmark), in June 1957 at Salem, in both civil and religious ceremonies. Princess Katarina followed an older brother, Prince Nicholas (b.London 15 March 1958).

 

Katarina’s parents were both descendants of Queen Victoria: Prince Tomislav through his maternal grandmother Queen Marie of Romania, who was a daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, a son of Queen Victoria; Princess Margarita through her maternal grandmother Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark (née Battenberg), who was a daughter of Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (herself a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, as the daughter of the Queen’s daughter Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine). Tomislav and Margarita raised their family on a farm in Sussex: the couple tended to apple orchards and raised chickens. Prince Tomislav and his wife Margarita also had a hand in caring for their nephew, Crown Prince Alexander (b.1945), the only child of King Peter II of Yugoslavia (1923-1970) and his wife Queen Alexandra (1921-1993; née Greece). Tomislav and Margarita of Yugoslavia divorced in 1981. Tomislav later remarried and had two more children; Margarita never married again.

Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia and her fiancée Desmond de Silva, QC (1987)
Photograph (c) Srdja Djukanovic
Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia and Sir Desmond de Silva, QC (1995)
Photograph (c) Hugo Bernand

For a stint in the 1980s, Katarina worked in London at Harrods in the housewares department. The princess has recalled that her father, Prince Tomislav, gave her the following advice when she was growing up: “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” On 5 December 1987, Princess Katarina married Sir Desmond de Silva, QC (1939-2018). Katarina and Desmond had one daughter: Victoria de Silva (b.1991). The couple divorced in 2010.

Princess Margarita of Baden, her daughter Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia, Sir Desmond de Silva, and Victoria de Silva
(Schloß Salem, 2007)
Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia
 

Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia resides in the United Kingdom. She maintains close relations with her first cousin, Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and Head of the Serbian Royal Family, and his wife, Crown Princess Katherine. Katarina is a Dame of the Order of Saint Sava, which was given to her by Crown Prince Alexander. Princess Katarina is the President of The Guild of Travel and Tourism as well as being actively involved in supporting many charitable causes. The princess is particularly keen on mentoring British youth on how to navigate the professional world: this includes working with students and young people on developing interviewing skills, creating a solid résumé, accurately projecting one’s career goals, etc.

We wish Her Royal Highness many happy returns of the day!

To learn more about Princess Katarina, please visit her website: HRH Princess Katarina

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