Danilo, Crown Prince of Montenegro

Danilo Aleksandar Petrović-Njegoš (29 June 1871 – 24 September 1939) was the Crown Prince of Montenegro. He was the eldest son of King Nicholas I of Montenegro and Queen Milena Vukotić.

Danilo Petrović-Njegoš
Crown Prince of Montenegro
Crown Prince Danilo of Montenegro.jpg
Pretendence1 March 1921 – 7 March 1921
PredecessorKing Nicholas I
SuccessorPrince Michael
Born(1871-06-29)29 June 1871
Cetinje, Principality of Montenegro
Died24 September 1939(1939-09-24) (aged 68)
Vienna, Austria, Nazi Germany
SpouseJutta of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
FatherNicholas I of Montenegro
MotherMilena of Montenegro
SignatureDanilo Petrović-Njegoš's signature


During the Balkan Wars and World War I he led the Montenegrin Army with his father (the King), Janko Vukotić, and Mitar Martinović. On 1 March 1921 Danilo was proclaimed the rightful King of Montenegro (upon the death of his father) and became head of the government-in-exile until 7 March 1921 when, for reasons that are still unclear, Danilo renounced his royal claims and headship of the royal house in favour of his nephew, Prince Michael of Montenegro. His reputation was undermined by announcing his renunciation on 5 March only to publicly retract this the following day, before re-affirming it the day after that. His decision was met with much dismay amongst the Montenegrin expatriate community.

Prince Danilo was married to Duchess Jutta of Mecklenburg (1880–1946) the daughter of Adolf Friedrich V, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, but the marriage was childless. After his renunciation in 1921, he spent most of his life living in Nice.

Prince Danilo resurfaced in 1934 when he sued Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for libel and collected $4,000 in a Paris court for the false depiction of him in the first version of the film The Merry Widow. In the film, "Prince Danilo of Montenegro" seduces a commoner and then rejects her because it could impoverish the royal treasury. He then regrets his actions and tries to win her back, but fails to convince her of his true love. The film bears no relation to reality.

The film was re-shot after the lawsuit. In addition to demoting the Prince to a Captain, the date of the action was changed from 1905 to 1885, when the real Prince was a young boy.


Danilo died in Vienna (which had recently been annexed by Nazi Germany) in 1939 without issue.

Danilo is famous as a one-time composer, composing the music for the Serb patriotic song of his father King Nikola Onamo, 'namo!, which he published in Prague.


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Danilo, Crown Prince of Montenegro
Born: 29 June 1871 Died: 24 September 1939
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
King Nikola I
King of Montenegro
1–7 March 1921
Reason for succession failure:
Montenegro declared union with Serbia in 1918
Succeeded by
Prince Mihail