For us it is the most important thing to help Serbian people. We are here to do what other don’t do. There is a lot of politicians, but this country needs the unifying factor.
Talked: Jelena Pronic
Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine Karadjordjevic in their open conversation opened their soul for Kurir and admit they are eagerly waiting for their son Philip and Princess Danica to become parents, and they to be grandfather and grandmother. We also talked about the perspectives of young in Serbia, problems at the White palace, monarchy, and the impressions from the recent Royal wedding.
Prince Alexander: The wedding was wonderful, they are a lovely couple and it was warm around my heart that I see all our dear guests gathered in the magnificent Saborna Church. The scene of Philip and Danica married by Patriarch Irinej will always remain in my memory. The whole family is happy.
Princess Katherine: It was truly a day of memory and a dream come true, because every parent wants to see their children happy. I never saw Philip happier than having that perfect angel standing next to him.
- It has recently been announced that Filip and Danica are expecting a baby.
Prince Alexander: It is wonderful news and we are very happy that Filip and Danica will have a child next year. My wife and I cannot wait to become grandparents again and to hold the baby in our hands.
Princess Katherine: Our daughter Alison has four children, of whom three have married this year. So, when they get children, we’ll become great-grandparents. Our son David has a young son and of course we look forward to more weddings.
- Filip and Danica currently live in London, are they planning to return to Serbia?
Prince Alexander: We miss them very much, but Philip works for a very serious financial company and when they decide to leave London they will come to Serbian this is their home.
Princess Katherine: The baby will bring them home. Because parents always want a child to grow up with a grandmother and grandfather, and we would love it very much. In this part of the world, in Greece and Serbia, parents sometimes do not have the patience and time to teach a child, but there are grandparents who have waited so much for grandchildren and want to transfer everything they know in life. I think it would be great for a child to grow up here and give us a chance to watch every moment of growing up.
- For Philip and Danica, but also for other young people in Serbia, are there any prospects for work and life in this country? Do you see the future for the young here?
Prince Alexander: Yes, I see. But there is a lot of work to do. The main goal is of course to be part of the EU. Many young people go abroad, there is a brain drain. Our country has had a lot of problems throughout history, but I believe that with the great effort invested, we can attract more investors and thus keep the young. They are highly educated, we have excellent educational institutions, our diplomas are worth a lot. If we all work together, we can make Serbia a country from which young people will no longer leave.
Princess Katherine: When you become part of the Royal family, your life is no longer yours, it belongs to the people. Monarch is a factor of unification and a symbol of unity, prosperity and progress. We have a duty. This is not a question of what we like or want to do. This is the life that we have to follow. When you say “yes” at the wedding, you should imply that you do everything you need. Unfortunately, it happens that some say yes only to certain things. It is the same with our children who have a duty towards our country. Some of the difficulties that Alexander and I had when we came here, may have deterred them from spending more time in Serbia. There is a future for us both for the family and for them as for young people. The most important thing that we have is to contribute to the Serbian people. We’re here to do what others do not do. There are many politicians, but the country needs a unifying factor.
- Do you think that Karadjordjevics can be that factor?
Prince Alexander: We are part of this country and we want to see success and progress. We want to see young people stay with their families, and that they do not look for work somewhere far away.
- You had a lot of problems when you returned to Serbia. How is it today?
Prince Alexander: Things go better. In the past, we suffered a lot from negative propaganda during the communist dictatorship, whenever something did not work, they said: “King Peter went from Serbia with a wagon of gold”. Well, it’s not! Not that I did not want to have a wagon of gold, but that did not happen! I am delighted that I returned to the Royal Palace that my grandfather King Alexander built and lived with my grandmother Queen Marija with my father King Peter and his brothers Prince Tomislav and Prince Andrej. The White Palace was started by my grandfather, but he was killed in 1934 in Marseille. We have better conditions today as you can see since we worked hard correcting many repairs, but we still have a lot of work to be done in both palaces. The Royal complex is an important part of the pre-war, war and post-war history. People should not forget it. In this Blue Salon in which we sit now, the statesmen, the presidents, kings and queens were sleeping after the war, while the White Palace was an office for the presidents. It would be logical to preserve that part of history in good order? I believe that most citizens would like to see this mini Versailles the way it should be.
- The Royal complex for some time had neither electricity nor water…
Prince Alexander: The situation was improved especially in the Royal Palace, but the White Palace still has serious problems. We put plastic protection on the roof so that the rain does not fall on heads of the visitors. It’s not just the walls and the leaking roof, these are very old and decaying installations. The White Palace was the working residence of anyone who was in power and they forgot electrical installations and plumbing pipes there dated since the Second World War. There was a time when my wife and I were taking out the buckets of water due to the leaking roof at the White Palace. I hope that soon there will be a solution for this, I do not want to create pressure or burden the Serbian government, but I think they are aware of everything and that there is a good will to preserve the Palace complex as a historical heritage and a beautiful place. It’s not just this complex, it’s a matter of concern for Serbia, its history.
- Would you call your relationship with the state the best so far?
Prince Alexander: We had our ups and downs, because politics was often mixed up. When we returned to Serbia, that was a dream come true for us, and in the meantime, many governments have changed. I must say that the present Government is more interested in everything, even for the maintenance and repairs of this place.
Princess Katarina: The Royal complex is getting older. I used to be sorry, because nobody ever told people what the first three years were here for us, that nobody gave us a dinar. We have invested all our money to restore this place. It was only years later when the Palace complex became an item in the budget, we breathed the air and began to sleep peacefully knowing that this place would not fall apart in front of our eyes. I have a lot of respect and love for my husband and I admire what he has done for our country.
- During your great humanitarian work, you travel a lot through Serbia. What do people seek most for you? What are they complaining about?
Princess Katherine: As far as humanitarian work is concerned, we are currently concentrating on the education of our doctors and replacing old medical equipment for news ones. We brought last month $ 1,730,000 in new medical equipment for medical institutions across Serbia. It is very important to involve the Serbian Diaspora in everything, and to remind them that this is their homeland. Many of them have been helping my Lifeline offices, in Chicago for nearly 25 years, then New York, Toronto, London, Athens and the Princess Katherine Foundation in Belgrade. I would not be here if there was no my husband, who gave me the opportunity to have a Humanitarian Foundation. I have always prayed to God for the opportunity to help people, and God has given me Alexander and the opportunity to help Serbia. People have suffered a lot, but there is no need for it anymore. We did not come to this world to suffer. I want to tell Serbia that clearly and loudly! People do not ask for anything other than a normal life. I admire what my husband is doing and his education foundation for young people.
Prince Alexander: I have created career canters in the state universities. Every year at the White Palace I recognize and award our top 600 high school students from each school from Serbia and Republika Srpska. We are trying to help with the education of children. We are a proud nation, and when someone comes and asks us what we need, we say “everything is fine, no problem”. This is not true, we can remain proud, but to present our problems and needs.
- Some in Serbia advocate the return of the monarchy, do you agree with that?
Prince Alexander: That decision is on the people. I am ready. There was a lot of unwarranted negativity about the monarchy during the dictatorship. The most successful states are constitutional monarchies, the Scandinavian countries are an excellent example of this, and not forget Japan. These are all countries with a very good standard. New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Spain, many do not know that they are all constitutional monarchies. Otherwise, research has been carried out and it has been found that it is less expensive to have a constitutional monarchy, than many of the former presidents that state supports later.
Princess Katherine: You know how people in Serbia say: “Without a king, it’s not good”
Registered in the Montenegrin cadaster
They require the return of the property in Milocer
Crown Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic and his wife Katherine, in the process of the restitution, ask from Montenegro to return them the Villa Milocer, a former summer house of the Royal family, land in Milocer park, several villas and the land on which the hotel “Queen’s beach” was built. On all these assets, which have been rented for many years by Adriatic properties owned by the Greek businessman Petros Statis, the registration of the restitution was recorded in the cadastral records of the Real Estate Directorate on November 8, writes “Vijesti” of Podgorica.
About Elizabeth II
Britain Queen writes letters manually to the Karadjordjevics
Will you go to London to celebrate the 70th anniversary of British Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip?
Prince Alexander: It’s a really incredible number. The queen invited us, she is a great person, she is my godmother, and her father King George VI was my godfather. She has been always good to us, did you know that the Queen writes letters manually? She does not type them, but she manually writes beautiful letters and sends them to us.
The first meeting of the prince’s couple
Alison met Philip and Danica
How did Philip and Danica meet?
Princess Katherine: We have five children together. Filip, Alexander and Petar were less than 4 years old when they came to live with us, and today my daughter Alison chose to live with us in Belgrade. The boys are close with Alison’s and her four children, and she always helped us. Actually, Alison met Philip and Danica. Two of us were at an Elle magazine event and there was Danica, and after meeting her I turned and said to my daughter: “This girl is very nice, she needs to meet the boys.” And we took a photo together. Meanwhile our daughter Alison stayed in touch with Danica and suggested that we invite Danica to family dinner on the occasion of the wedding of Prince Mihailo and Princess Ljubica. Danica accepted to come to the dinner and Alison put the card with her name next to Philip’s seat. For the first time I saw Philip so fascinated with her. Of course, everything must be God’s will, but sometimes we forget that we are God’s hands on earth. The young children come here to tour the palaces and ask me: Princess where is your crown? My answer is my crown is in my heart. Without love, we have nothing.