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Draga Mašin

Yugoslav queen
The basics
Date of birth Gornji Milanovac, Moravica District, Serbia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Date of death May 29, 1903 Belgrade, Belgrade District, Serbia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Spouse: someone Alexander I of Serbia
Father: Panta Lunjevica
Awards Order of Miloš the Great, Order of the White Eagle
Authority ISNI id VIAF id Library of congress id
The details

Draginja "Draga" Obrenović (Serbian Cyrillic: Драгиња "Драга" Обреновић; 11 September 1864 – 11 June [O.S. 30 May] 1903), formerly Mašin (Машин), was the Queen consort of King Aleksandar Obrenović of the Kingdom of Serbia. She was formerly a lady-in-waiting to Aleksandar's mother, Queen Natalija.

Early life

Draga Mašin in her younger days (date unknown)

Draga (meaning "dear") was the fourth daughter of Panta Lunjevica, a prefect of the Aranđelovac area, and wife Anđelija (née Koljević). Draga was the sixth of seven siblings. She had two brothers, Nikola and Nikodije, and four sisters, Hristina, Đina, Ana and Vojka. Draga's mother was a dipsomaniac and her father died in a lunatic asylum.

Draga was the granddaughter of Nikola Lunjevica, a close comrade of Prince Miloš, Aleksandar's great-granduncle. Her paternal grandmother was Đurđija Čarapić, a relative of vojvoda Ilija Čarapić (died 1844), husband of Karađorđe Petrović's daughter Stamenka Karađorđević. At the time of her second marriage, she was the widow of Svetozar Mašin (1851–1886), a Czech civil engineer, and was twelve years older than Aleksandar.


The couple married on 5 August 1900 in a formal ceremony. When Aleksandar announced their engagement, public opinion turned against him. He was viewed as a besotted young fool in the power of a wicked seductress. Dowager Queen Natalija bitterly opposed the marriage, and was exiled by her son, in part because of it. His many arbitrary and unpopular acts were blamed on Draga's influence. There were rumors that Aleksandar would name Draga's elder brother as heir-presumptive to the throne. Both brothers were serving as army officers at the time of the marriage and appear to have been unpopular with their peers.


This last rumour led to the royal couple's assassination. On the night of 10–11 June 1903, a group of army officers invaded the royal palace, led by Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević and others. Troops led by other officers involved in the conspiracy were deployed near the palace, and the royal guards did not offer effective resistance in the confusion after the electric lighting of the building was turned off. Initially the conspirators were unable to find Aleksandar and Draga. However an aide of the king was captured and, either out of sympathy for the conspiracy or out of fear for his own life, revealed that they were hiding in a large built-in wardrobe off their bedroom.

Another account says that Aleksandar did not shut the secret door properly. Emerging partially dressed, the couple were murdered with sword thrusts and pistol shots by the officers, some of whom were reportedly drunk. The bodies were mutilated and afterwards thrown from a palace balcony onto piles of garden manure. Draga's two brothers, Nikodije and Nikola, were executed by firing squad on the same day.


She was played by Magda Sonja in the 1920 Austrian silent film Queen Draga. In the 1932 American film A Woman Commands she was portrayed by Pola Negri.


  • SRB Order of Milosh the Great.png Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Miloš the Great (Kingdom of Serbia, 1900).


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