1868, Principality of Serbia, Mihailo Obrenovic. Beautiful Bronze Para Coin.
Mint year: 1868
Mint Place: Vienna
Engraver: Anton Scharff
Obverse: Bust of Mihailo Obrenovic as prince of Serbia left.
Translated legend: "Milan M. Obrenovic III. prince of Serbia"
Exergue: A.S. (Engraver´s initials)
Reverse: Ducal crown above denomination (1 PARA) and date of issue (1868) within wreath.
The House of Obrenovic (Serbian: Obrenovici, often spelled in English as Obrenovich or Obrenovitch) ruled Serbia from 1815 to 1842, and again from 1858 to 1903. They came to power through the leadership of their progenitor Miloš Obrenovic in the Second Serbian uprising against the Ottoman Empire, which led to the formation of the Principality of Serbia. The regents tended to rule autocratically, their popularity waxing and waning over their decades in power. The house of Obrenovic, except Miloš and Mihailo Obrenovic, descends from the Serbian medieval noble house of Orlovic, through the stepfather of Knjaz Miloš, and the grandfather of King Milan, as he was a member of the cadet branch of house Martinovic – Orlovic. The family’s rule came to an end when an underground movement Black hand throughout the military, killed the last king Aleksandar Obrenovic, proximally because of his unpopular choice of a bride. After the end of their rule, a constitutional monarchy headed by the Karadordevic family took its place. Unlike other Balkan states such as Greece, Bulgaria or Romania, Serbia did not import a member of an existing European royal family to take its throne; the Obrenovic Dynasty, like its Karadordevic rival, was a “home-grown” Serbian family.
Mihailo Obrenovic (Serbian:September 16, 1823 – June 10, 1868) was Prince of Serbia from 1839–1842 and again from 1860–1868. His first reign ended when he was deposed in 1842 and his second when he was assassinated in 1868.
Mihailo was the son of Prince Miloš Obrenovic (1780–1860) and his wife Ljubica Vukomanovic (1788–1843, Vienna). He was born in Kragujevac, the second surviving son of the couple. His elder brother Milan was born in 1819 but was frequently in poor health. He is stated as being the most enlightened ruler of modern Serbia. He advocated the idea of a Balkan federation against the Ottoman Empire.
Initially, Prince Miloš, abdicated in favour of his first born Milan II, who was by then terminally ill. But it was Mihailo who came to the throne as a minor, having been born in 1823, and acclaimed prince on June 25, 1839, upon the abdication of his father. He was declared of full age the following year. Few thrones appeared more secure, and his rule might have endured throughout his life but for his want of energy and inattention to the signs of the times.
In 1842 his reign came to a halt when he was overthrown by a rebellion led by Toma Vucic-Perišic, which enabled the Karadordevic dynasty to accede to the Serbian throne. Eleven years later, Mihailo married Countess Julia Hunyady de Kéthely (26 August 1831– 19 February 1919), the daughter of Count Ferenc Hunyady de Kéthely and Countess Julia Zichy de Zich and Vasonkeo. The marriage was childless; although he did have at least one illegitimate child by a mistress whose identity has not been ascertained.
Finally, Mihailo was accepted back as prince of Serbia in September 1860 after the death of his father who had regained the throne in 1858. For the next eight years he ruled as an enlightened absolutist monarch.
He had wished to divorce his wife, Julia in order to marry his young mistress, Katarina Konstantinovic, who was the daughter of his first cousin, Princess Anka Obrenovic. Both resided at the royal court at his invitation. His plans for a divorce and subsequent remarriage to Katarina had met with much protest from politicians, the clergy, as well as the general public. His astute and gifted Prime Minister Ilija Garasanin was dismissed from his post in 1867 for daring to voice his opposition to the divorce. Due to an unforeseen event, however, his divorce from Julia never took place.
On 10 June 1868, Mihailo was walking through the park of Košutnjak, near his country residence on the outskirts of Belgrade, with Katarina and her mother, Princess Anka, when they were shot by assassins. Mihailo and Anka were both killed, and Katarina was wounded in the assassination which was the result of a plot that has never been sufficiently clarified. The Karadordevics were suspected of being behind the crime but there is not much proof to corroborate this.
Anka’s granddaughter Natalija Konstantinovic was married in 1902 to the Montenegrin Prince Mirko Petrovic-Njegoš (1879–1918) whose sister Zorka had married King Petar Karadordevic I in 1883.