October 7, 2005
KATHERINE AND ALEXANDER KARADJORDJEVIC
TWENTY YEARS OF LOVE
Princess Katherine and Crown
Prince Alexander II were married on the 21st September 1985
STILL IN LOVE
In September 2005 The
Crown Prince Alexander II Karadjordjevic and his wife
Crown Princess Katherine celebrated twentieth anniversary of
their marriage. They spoke to BAZAR about their love, raising children,
and fight for help for Serbian people…
By Jelena Kalicanin
Photos from The Royal
for the sake of the boys
For Alexander and Katherine “The Cotton wedding” (the first wedding
anniversary) passed in the mist of being in love. “The Wooden wedding”
(the fifth wedding anniversary) ripped out the couple and their three
boys from the cozy London intimacy and thrown them in the whirl of
Serbian history. “The Tin wedding” (tenth wedding anniversary) found the
family at the height of humanitarian activities and the conferences on
which they lobbed for the help for Serbians. “Crystal wedding” (fifteen
wedding anniversary) brought the family Karadjordjevic back to where
they originate from – to Serbia.
Finally, the Porcelain wedding – the twentieth anniversary – showed the
harmony of the family: the children are grown ups and so to speak flew
away from the home nest, and the married couple Karadjordjevic can now
deal with its private life.
it really so?
have been keeping the pop corn paper bag for quite a long time”, said
The Crown Prince Alexander, while sitting together with his wife in the
Blue Drawing Room at The Royal Palace in Dedinje.
“I have been looking out for a moment when we would finally be free to
go to the cinema room, sit relaxed in the armchairs and watch the movie
in peace! But, it seems to me like - not even after twenty years - we
can not find enough time for just the two of us.”
From the time when the clash of Yugoslavia began, Alexander and
Katherine have exerted all their strength to help to the Serbian people:
innumerable humanitarian aids, conferences on which their friends and
acquaintances were animated to understand and help the Serbian people in
their difficult situation; tones of medicines, presents for all the
hospitals in Serbia, that is the most needed expensive medical
equipment, etc. Later on, taking care of the children without parental
care, associating and helping to disabled persons, organizing Moba with
children from Serbian Diaspora, and many more activities and
charities…The fast tempo on which the strongest sportsman could envy
And it all began just as one love at the first sight can – with dreams.
Alexander was living alone with his three sons, after eleven years of
marriage and separation from his first wife, Maria da Gloria of Orlean
and Braganza. Peter was three and a half, and
the twins Philip and Alexander were eighteen months old. He was not
thinking about the getting married again. Deep in his heart, a wish to
come back to Serbia smoldered, although he knew he was the last person
that would be invited to the homeland by the government of that time. In
the moment when he headed to a lunch at friends, he had no inkling that,
only thirty days after he officially divorced, the destiny would hand
him new love cards for life.
the same time, Katherine was also living alone. After the separation
from her first husband, with whom she had two children, she was working
and was not thinking of the new marriage, she also had no inkling that
one lunch in Washington, only 60 days after she officially divorced,
would lead her into the whirlpool of life worthy of a happy-end in the
-When we first met, we knew right away that we were born for each other,
and that something incredible is going to happen. It was a love at the
first sight. It was a destiny in which I believe to this very day,
Princess Katherine is saying with her soft voice. -You simply know that
it is the right thing.
With this marriage, and the ceremony in the Orthodox Church in London,
Katherine accepted her husband as his life shaped him, as well as he did
accept her life as is up to that date. “I was very lucky: not only that
I met an honest, clever and very special man, but I also got three
wonderful sons and a great country with him. He told me then: “I want
only two things of you: to love my sons and to love my country!”
Alexander was also very lucky:
-She was amazing with Peter, Philip and Alexander! She took care of them
in every aspect. She developed a sincere friendship full of respect with
their mother, Princess Maria da Gloria. When she remarried, and had two
girls, the friendship of out two families deepened. We went to visit
them in Seville, and they came to see us in London.
They were doing that, both Alexander and Katherine agrees, in order to
have the healthy environment for children to grow up in.
-The two of us wanted for the boys to have the feeling of security,
feeling of home. Children must not be the victims of divorce of their
parents. They should have the feeling that they live in one big family.
It is the same with the country: if we wish to respect people in our
country then we have to respect our own family; if we wish to stick
together we have to respect the unity; only if we respect unity we can
unite the country”, says Alexander. – I have experienced many changes of
home in my childhood, following my parents – not to mention my father’s
life (King Peter II, auth. note) - from a hotel to a hotel and I have
lived in many different houses and flats, so it was an imperative for me
to secure a peaceful and good life for my sons.
many other couples, Alexander and Katherine have had different problems
to solve. One of the biggest was to have or not to
-We wanted to have our own children. But, when
Maria da Gloria delivered, I was thinking how will the boys take it, and
how will they treat the two girls, and if I get pregnant, how they would
treat one of our own. I was afraid that they would fell neglected. You
know what the little children are like; they believe that they are the
most important to their parents, and they could have
think, God forbid, that they might stay without our love! I wanted them
to grow up surrounded by love, trust, security – these are the most
important things one can give to the children. That is why my husband
and I decided to sacrifice and to devote totally to the boys. It was a
great responsibility. They made their decisions together, raised them
together and later planed their education together.
While Katherine took care of the boys, played with
them, studied and spent a lot of time with them, Alexander was working.
-I was always working for my living. I worked in
banking, insurance, transport business, I was a company director. In the
beginning we used to live in the spacious penthouse near the Saint James
Park and not far away from the Buckingham Palace. Then we came to the
conclusion that we need a bigger house. We found it in the
Knightsbridge. The boys had a room each and a garden. Comparing to my
childhood, this was a wonderful life for them. The house was always full
of children, the friends of theirs.
According to the family tradition, the boys went to
the board school near their house. They came home for weekends.
Then everything turned up side down. When they speak
of their marriage today, a married couple Karadjordjevic says that it
has been divided in two parts: until 1990 and after 1990.
-The war started, Alexander could not enter the
country and I was travelling to Bosnia with trucks of humanitarian help.
At the time, nobody knew who I am, although I was connected to United
Nations, trying to organize humanitarian help for all the Serbs in the
At the same time, Alexander was active on the other
-I had meetings in my London office with the Serbian
opposition of the time. I travelled to Paris, Geneva, Washington. I
hosted three conferences, in Budapest, Banja Luka and Athens. The idea
was to connect the opposition into one group that would work with plan
together. There was also many other activities…”
The married life changed. There was less and less
time for their private life. But, when two persons love the same things,
and know how to dream, when they loan for each other during a day, when
they are the best gift for each other, when they passed through the
difficult times that brought them even closer to each other, and when
they go to bed tired of the working day saying just “Good night” and
fell in sleep on each others shoulder, then the dreams come true. At
their tenth anniversary they were dreaming of returning to Serbia.
-It was my 50th birthday. At the gala
dinner, the British Queen Elizabeth asked me what would be my wish for
the 60th birthday. I answered: I dream about returning home.
My wife said: “It would be easier to get you on the Moon!”
Nevertheless, today I live in the home of my
ancestors, surrounded by love of my wife, children and my people. I am
really incredibly happy man!
As other people
When I was guest in one American TV program, the speaker
asked me if my blood was truly blue! “I am sorry to disappoint you, but
the last time I saw my blood, it seemed quite red to me!” Disappointment
could be seen at her face after such unexpected answer, told us HRH
Prince Alexander told us laughingly.
Family together: Princes Peter, Philip and Alexander with parents on
island of Bali in 1992
Vacation in Greece – on the
island of Skiatos