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Obrenović dynasty

Country 22px Serbia
Founded 6 November 1817
Founder Miloš Obrenović I
Final ruler Alexander I
Current head Extinct
Deposition 11 June 1903
Ethnicity Serbian

The Obrenović (Serbian pronunciation: [obrěːnoʋit͡ɕ]; Serbian: Обреновићи, Obrenovići, often spelled in English as Obrenovich or Obrenovitch) was a Serbian dynasty that ruled Serbia from 1817 to 1842, and again from 1858 to 1903. They came to power through the leadership of their progenitor Miloš Obrenović I in the Serbian Uprising of (1815–1817) against the Ottoman Empire, which led to the formation of the Principality of Serbia in 1817. The monarchs tended to rule autocratically, their popularity waxing and waning over their decades in power.

The family's rule came to an end when an underground movement the Black Hand, murdered the last sovereign Alexander I, proximately because of his unpopular choice of bride. After the end of their rule, a constitutional monarchy headed by the House of Karađorđević took its place. After the overthrow direct line of the family became extinct but a junior branch of it, descended from Jevrem Teodorović Obrenović, Miloš Obrenović's brother continues as House of Petrović-Njegoš after marriage of Natalija Konstantinović and Prince Mirko of Montenegro.

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 Obrenović dynasty, like its Karađorđević rival, was an indigenous Serbian family.


  • Miloš Obrenović I ruled from 1817 to 1839, when he abdicated, and again from 1858 until his death in 1860.
  • Milan Obrenović II had a brief reign between June 25, 1839 and July 8, 1839, when he died.
  • Mihailo Obrenović III ruled from 1839 to 1842, when he was deposed and the Obrenović family lost control of Serbia, and again ruled from 1860 to 1868, when he was assassinated.
  • Milan Obrenović IV succeeded Mihailo under a regency in 1868, and reigned as King Milan I from 1882 to 1889.
  • Alexander I reigned from 1889 until he was murdered in 1903.

Unlike most other dynasties in Europe, where a numeral is used to distinguish different monarchs who shared the same given name, the Obrenović dynasty assigned a subsequent numeral to each ruling monarch. Thus, there was never a Milan I, Milan III, a Mihailo I or a Mihailo II. Milan II and Mihailo III were simply the second and third ruling monarchs from the Obrenović dynasty. For some reason this practice was discontinued with Alexander I, when a more standardized naming convention was adopted.

Other family members

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