As a specially significant sign of Serbian patriotism and the national unity was that the poitical leaders, eminent figures and university professors were also retreating with the army. Also, the old King Peter of Serbia (1903–1921) climbed an ox drawn cart to sit and join the common people, the army and his own son, Regent Alexander. An image of a peasant king who risked his life to be with his people, goes deep in explaining the reasons his subjects loved him so much, calling him by an endearing name, King Pera.
King Pеter I Kаrаđоrđеvić was born in 1844 in Belgrade. He fought in the Foreign Legion troops for which as a young man he received the Legion of Honor. He participated in preparing and the fights of the 1875 Herzegovina Uprising and was politically quite active. From the very beginning of his reign, King Peter I faced some serious obstacles: decision among the Serbs in the country and the enmity of Austro-Hungary. The Balkan wars against Turkey and Bulgaria ended with the great Serbian victory and the liberation of the Rаška region, Kоsоvo and Macedonia. The old king, once a rebel in Bosnia, lived to see his great dream come true: he crowned his honest patriotic and constitutional reign with a victorious coming to Dušаn’s Skоplје.
Due to constant and hard exertions in politics and wars, his health deteriorated. A month before the First World War broke, he translated all his royal authority to his son, the successor to the throne, Alexander.