|Prince Mirko of Montenegro (1879-1918)|
The second son and ninth child of Prince (eventual King) Nikola I and Princess (eventual Queen) Milena of Montenegro was born at St Petersburg on 17 April 1879. The Montenegrin prince was given the Mirko. Mirko had an older and younger brother: Crown Prince Danilo (1872-1939) and Prince Peter (1889-1932). Prince Mirko also had a deluge of sisters: Princess Zorka (1864-1890; wife of the future King Peter I of Serbia), Princess Milica (1866-1951; wife of Grand Duke Peter of Russia), Princess Anastasia (1868-1935; firstly wed to Duke George of Leuchtenberg, secondly wed to Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia), Princess Marica (1869-1885), Princess Elena (1871-1952; Queen consort of Italy as wife to King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy), Princess Anna (1873-1971; wife of Prince Franz Joseph of Battenberg), Princess Sofia (born and died 1876), Princess Xenia (1881-1960), and Princess Vera (1887-1927). The couple who produced this large and well-connected brood became King and Queen of Montenegro in 1910, when the nation was upgraded from a principality to a kingdom. Due to the advantageous marriages of his children, King Nikola was known as the "Father-In-Law of Europe."
|King Nikola and Queen Milena of Montenegro in 1910|
|Prince Mirko of Montenegro|
Yet, when the time came, Mirko of Montenegro chose a bride with connections closer to home. While in Nice, around 1901, he met Natalija "Lili" Konstantinović (1882-1950), the daughter of Colonel Alexander Konstantinović, himself the son of Alexander Konstantinović and Princess Anka Obrenović (1821-1868). Princess Anka, Natalija's grandmother, was the aunt of King Milan of Serbia and the grand-aunt of the ill-fated King Alexander of Serbia. Mirko fell head over heels for this descendant of the Obrenović dynasty. Prince Mirko and Natalija Konstantinović were married at Cetinje on 25 July 1902.
|The wedding of Prince Mirko and Princess Natalija of Montenegro|
|The Lost Princes: Stephan (1903-1908) and Stanislav (1905-1908)|
|Mirko and Natalija of Montenegro with their three youngest sons: Mihailo, Pavle, and Emmanuel|
|Royal Cousins (left to right): Prince Pavle, Princess Giovanna of Savoy, Prince Mihailo, Princess Mafalda of Savoy, Prince Umberto of Savoy, and Princess Jolanda of Savoy|
As World War I took its toll on Montenegro, the nation found itself under Austro-Hungarian occupation in 1916. Mirko was confined at Podgorica (the current capital of the country). The prince remained there until 1918, when, suffering from tuberculosis, he was sent to Vienna for treatment. Mirko succumbed to the disease and died on 2 March 1918, aged thirty-eight. Mirko was survived by his three youngest sons, by his father King Nikola I, and by both of his brothers, Crown Prince Danilo and Prince Peter.
|Prince Mirko's Palace at Podgorica|
King Mihailo I of Montenegro
In 1920, Princess Natalija of Montenegro took as her second husband Count Gaston Errembault de Dudzeele (1877-1961), the son of Count Gaston Errembault de Dudzeele (1819-1888) and Countess Maria Helene von Abensperg und Traun (1824-1889). Natalija and Gaston had two daughters: Hélène (1921-2006) and Anne-Marie (1922-1984). Both daughters left issue.
|Anne-Marie Errembault de Dudzeele, youngest child of Princess Natilja of Montenegro|