20 April 2011 BLIC
I’m not ready for wedding bells
By Marija Mijatovic
Prince Philip Karadjordjevic visited Belgrade recently,
because of the Belgrade Marathon, which he took part in, with the aim to raise
funds for children with disability. For the first time he brought his girlfriend
Lucy Attwood to Serbia, during the interview with the "Blic“ he said that he
still doesn’t plan to get married and he also explains why the media are so
preoccupied with the Royal Wedding.
Have you participated in any other marathon?
This time I’m only taking part in the Belgrade half marathon.
However, last October I took part in the Athens marathon. There are a few
reasons why I decided to run a marathon or even a half one. Firstly, it is a
fantastic way to stay in shape and running gives me a good sense of wellbeing.
Running marathons are also a wonderful way for raising funds. Not only am I
running for myself, but I’m also running for a cause. This time I am helping
children with disabilities. I am running the Belgrade Half Marathon for the
Princess Katherine Foundation.
Was it easier to face up to the challenge knowing that
your girlfriend will be by your side?
Of course, it’s always easier running with someone close to
you. Lucy is a great runner; she has completed many marathons and therefore has
great experience. We give each other great support, but I need the support more.
Can you tell us something about her, and is her visit to
Serbia a subtle hint that our country might host a royal wedding just like the
United Kingdom any time soon?
Lucy is beautiful, fun, caring and clever, and I am very
happy with her. However I can safely say that you will not hear any wedding
bells in the near future.
How often do you visit Serbia, and how important is it for
you that other people that you care about get to know our country more, or even
get to like it?
I come to Serbia more and more often, maybe once every month
or two. I have a home here and every time I come I really do feel at home. Most
of my close friends are not Serbian, naturally as I was brought up in the United
Kingdom. I invite many of them to visit Serbia as much as possible. I want for
them to see this beautiful country and to spread the word when they get back
home. They always have an amazing time here and they always want to come back.
You graduated in arts, but you work for a financial
institution, was it a practical decision or something else?
I love the arts and culture, but why then got into finance
after studying it? I believe that appreciating culture and arts is fundamental
in understanding how people work, and ultimately, but not directly, how business
works. I also love macroeconomics, I love following the markets.
On what occasions do you actually feel like a prince? And
what does it mean to you, namely, what do you feel to be your responsibilities?
I only ever feel like a prince when other people make me feel
like one. I am very proud of my heritage, however as you know the
responsibilities a prince, a monarch, are not what they use to be.
These days monarchs have a small, yet important
responsibility to help promote their nations and people. Of course this
responsibility would be greater if monarchy were reinstated, namely
constitutional monarchy. Constitutional monarchy undoubtedly massively helps to
maintain stability and to create positive attention. There is no arguing about
this. Simply look at the United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, The
Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Japan, and what do they all have in common?
They are all constitutional monarchies and are all very stable and prosperous.
The main responsibilities and tasks of the mentioned
countries are rightfully left to their governments. And more often than not
these governments get the job done well. Serbia has so much to learn from this.
What do you usually do when you come to Belgrade? Do you
maybe go out, since everybody's full of praise for Belgrade's nightlife?
I mainly come back to Belgrade to be with my family.
Nonetheless I also come for formal and casual occasions, I meet many people
here. I go out when I can, and yes Belgrade does live up to its reputation of
having a great nightlife.
Have you perhaps had the opportunity to meet Kate
Middleton, Prince William's fiancée?
I haven’t had the chance to meet Kate. I do have friends who
know her and they say she is a lovely girl. I believe they have both made the
right choice and I wish them all the best. The wedding is important for the
country, just as the whole royal family is. The British Royal Family is like a
great investment. The British taxpayers pay approximately £36m (€41m) a year, or
50p (57cents) a day. Now in return the Royal Family generates roughly £1bn to
2bn directly and indirectly every year, mainly through tourism. Now you don’t
have to be a businessman to see how amazing the return on investment is there.
People don’t come to the United Kingdom just for the weather!