Ilustrovana politika, 16. septembar 2010.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW “ILUSTROVANA POLITIKA”. CROWN PRINCE ALEXANDER AND CROWN
PRINCESS KATHERINE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THEIR MARRIAGE
Love, sacrifices and hard work
Crown Prince and his wife told us how they met, marred and spent these twenty
five years together. They revealed what they expect and wish for the future.
Srdjan Jokanovic, Photo: Royal Palace When he was marking the “big”
anniversary 5 years ago, his 60th birthday, I asked Princess Katherine what did
she buy her husband on that occasion?
What do I have to buy him, I am the best present for him! It is always like
that in the home of Karadjordjevic, Prince Alexander and Princess Katherine:
after the hard work they like to relax, laugh and enjoy their love.
When it comes to presents, everything is clear: he buys her favourite perfume
“Hermes” and she buys him a new iPod. And it went back to 1984, when they met at
the lunch in Washington at mutual friend’s of Greek origin.
We were sitting next to each other, realized that we had so much in common,
there was chemistry between us, and we soon decided to live together. We both
had children, went through difficult divorces, but it didn’t influence our
decision to live together – said Crown Prince Alexander.
Then the wedding came on 21 September 1985. The best man was King Constantine
of the Hellenes. They’ve lived in Washington after the wedding, then in London,
and since July 2001 at the Royal Palace in Belgrade. The Princes’ children from
his first marriage with Brazilian Princess Maria de Gloria of Orleans and
Bragança lived with them first in two cities.
I was afraid for Alexander
In the meantime, all three sons, Peter, Philip and Alexander,
finished schools, and some of them started working from Spain to United
States. They are regular visitors to the home of Prince Alexander and
Princess Katherine in Belgrade, as well as her children, daughter Alison
and son David with their families. All of them, as well as members of
many European Royal families, are supposed to attend Prince and Princess
silver anniversary on Saturday, 18 September.
We planned to organize a wonderful celebration of being together for 25
years. We have been together through bad times and good times, did many things
together, and enjoyed life at the same time. We are so happy that our family and
so many dear friends will be with us to mark this day, says Prince Alexander. It
is always an emotional moment to get married, but Katherine is such a sweet and
caring person so all went smoothly before and after. That’s why I don’t have
Those 25 years went by very fast, says Prince. That’s why they have sweet
memories about time when they started dating.
- I was afraid for Alexander, because I loved him too much, the Princess
revealed to me a few years ago. I wasn’t aware I have never experienced a true
love before him, until we met. Sitting next to him on that day in Washington, I
completely forgot about myself. I couldn’t manage to finish the lunch, because I
felt I was getting sick and didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know what to
think, what to do, nor would I like to see him so soon afterwards. I wasn’t sure
I could handle such strong emotions once again. I started to believe in love at
first sight. I decided to let go a destiny instead of fighting it. How could I
know what destiny is? Simply, when I am at peace with myself, that’s destiny.
The second date was his initiative, two weeks later.
We came with separate cars. We were pretty far away from each other, but we
ran and embraced. I felt like it lasted forever, and there was nothing more to
say. We started to plan immediately our life together.
Heaven is the limit
She now reveals what are her dearest memories from the second wedding and
what advice her beloved mother gave her, as well as her father.
- The emotions that my parents, as well as Alexander, showed on that day and
love in his eyes. The moment when we were finally alone after the wedding and he
told how happy he was, how much he loved me and how happy he was that I was his
wife. My mother always told me to be humble, to be grateful to God, for what He
has given me and to make the best out of it. My mother told me not to forget the
joy of giving as this is true happiness and to always remember the priorities in
life. My mother was always very kind to everyone and always ready to help and I
learnt from that, she taught me to see life with a very positive attitude, to
see everyone's good side and that it was not up to us to criticise people. My
father taught me that everything is possible, the sky is the limit and he
practised that both in business and in social life responsibilities. Two years
ago at the age of 92 he was awarded by the Greek government as one of the
biggest philanthropists in Greece. I owe my ability to do my role in my country
to the great upbringing of my parents, the wonderful examples they taught me
about life and preparing me for the life I live now from a very young age.
Her husband reveals to us that his girlfriend at that time, Katherine Batis,
has mesmerized him with her smile, wit, looks, energy, culinary skills … her
charm is infectious, and she is very compassionate person. Katherine is
wonderful mother and very devoted, so she is taking very good care of everyone.
“Above all, she is very warm person and full of energy”.
- We have been very lucky with our lives – continues the Crown
Prince. The most memorable and romantic moments are when we go places
together around the globe. We feel very fulfilled together discovering
the world and making new friends in so many beautiful places. We love
our home here in Belgrade and are blessed with many friends. We are very
lucky to live a romantic place filled with my ancestors history.
Actually the Royal Palace and park are very romantic and charming. Many
people have told us how much they admire the beauty of the compound. We
enjoy many romantic books and songs, and there is a film we both like,
“Sleepless in Seattle”, with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.
I kiss her and she forgives me everything
In that romantic paradise, he manages to make her mad. “The guilty one”
laughs at it.
- Sometimes I forget something. I make it up to her with a big hug and kiss,
and everything is forgiven. Katherine has a big heart.
Princess justifies that with obvious love.
- I get angry without his help, but I do not call it anger but frustration,
and when I remember that I have been blessed in my life and very happy, I manage
to control it.
He thinks that mutual respect and understanding are secret formula for
successful marriage. His wife likes to talk more about that.
- Love, respect and above all honesty. Love helps make sacrifices
that you would have not have normally done. Love helps to care for the
person you love and with true love everything is possible. To make love
last, besides what I have mentioned it is very important not to take
each other for granted, to give each other breathing space and to accept
one as they are with their pluses and minuses and not to try to change
them in the way you want them to be, and to learn to forgive even if
Prince is very at ease with his life so far.
- I have learnt from the experience of the past and learn something new
everyday. There are some who know everything, I am one who learns something new
everyday. And on the occasion of our jubilee I wish her good health and
Princess is very happy, besides a great sorrow over her mother’s death, who
recently died in Athens.
I feel blessed to have spent 25 challenging and happy years with the man that
I love so much, the king of my life and of my heart, and to celebrate it at
home. One of the happiest moments during the last two and a half decades was the
day my husband came home the first time in his life, a dream that came true and
a dream that I could have never fulfilled for him. Also, my husband’s 50
birthday when he expressed the wish to celebrate his 60th birthday at home. So
the happiest moment was when we celebrated his 60th birthday at home in the
Palace. When we all gathered together as family during the holidays. He has been
making me happy on a daily basis. I really cannot think of anything else he can
do other than continue loving me with same consistent way his has for all these
We are expecting more grandchildren
Did these 25 years pass as she expected, from the moment she said “I do”?
I don’t think anyone should have expectations, we should have hope
after all we don’t have full control of our lives. My mother told me 75%
of the things we worry about we have no control over. So I am doing my
best with the 25% and hope for the best. If I were to compare what my
hope was it has been exceeded and I feel extremely lucky not only with
my husband and that I had my mother for as long as I did, but also I
have been blessed with great children and great grandchildren, and of
course with many friends around the world. And the love of our Serbian
people who I am totally committed to and there is nothing that I would
not do for them, they are in my heart and my mind everyday.
If you were able to turn back time, would you decide to have children with
Crown Prince Alexander?
When we got married our plan was to start a family, but with the three boys
who came to live with us, Peter was three and a half years old Philip and
Alexander where only 18 months old. I knew how much love and care the boys would
need having had two children of my own, David and Alison, I did not want the
boys to feel overwhelmed at home with new babies running around especially that
Alexander’s first wife had also started a family. They boys were a big
responsibility and if we had done the same they might not have had the
opportunity to feel the security, the love and the care that they deserved.
David and Alison had already started university so this gave us the opportunity
to focus on the three boys. Now I am enjoying the five grandchildren and look
forward to have more from our three boys.