In an exclusive interview for daily “Press”, His Royal Highness Alexander Karadjordjevic reveals that he hasn’t lost his hope that one day Serbia will be a Kingdom again
- The feelings for Constitutional Parliamentary Monarchy have always been strong even though the regimes have in the past illegally interfered with peoples beliefs. My ancestors are undeniably part of the history of our country and during the dictatorship twisted and sick propaganda went out of the way to tarnish history and the positive side of Constitutional Parliamentary Monarchy. Today the peoples opinion for a neutral head of state is high, a head of state that is above politics and not a member of a political party. In a Constitutional Parliamentary Monarchy there are of course free and fair elections just like in a republic and the prime minister has the responsibility to rule the country whilst the monarch who is the head of state reigns and provides unity, stability and continuity.
How much Your Royal Highness changed Your life living with Your people in the last five years?
- My life is enriched and better since finally I am home where my roots are. Dictatorship and the violation of human rights separated me from my homeland. This changed after 5 October 2000 with the dawn of democracy and the democratic opposition finally coming to power.
How does Your Royal Highness relationship with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II look like today?
- I have always had a very warm relationship with my Godmother and continue to do so.
With what Royal Families does Your Royal Highness keep close contact, and why European nobility comes so rarely to the Royal Palace? Does Your Royal Highness intend to change that?
- I keep close contact and friendship with all royal families. Should we fulfil our international obligation we will see visits to our country by more heads of state – kings, queens and presidents. Note that in Constitutional Parliamentary Monarchies the governments rule and the monarch reigns thus he or she abides by government policy.
How do Your Royal Highness’ sons accept life in Serbia now, when they become “genuine Serbs”? How do You comment world media reports after a Serbian Weekly published an article “Serbian Princes Looking for Brides”, and created lot of misunderstanding?
- My sons are proud of their heritage and proud that they are earning a living. Nothing comes on a silver platter. My sons have many friends, come home for their holidays and enjoy meeting people. The interview was totally misunderstood thanks to misguided journalism that misinterpreted the article who in turn invented a load of nonsense. If one reads the interview my sons are not looking for a bride.
Could Your Royal Highness explain the nature of misunderstanding with Princess Jelisaveta while she claims that “You have thrown out from The White Palace”?
- I always had a close relationship with Princess Jelisaveta like brother and sister. I never threw Princess Jelisaveta out of any palace no the Dednije compound. It should be noted that the property status of The Royal Palace (Kraljevski Dvor) and The White Palace (Beli Dvor) in Belgrade (Dedinje) is the following.
When my father King Peter II was still a minor after the assassination in 1934 of King Alexander I , and during the Regency administration of HRH Prince Paul, (father of Princess Jelisaveta), Dr. Radenko Stankovic and Dr. Ivo Perovic, the City of Belgrade District Court, competent for the inheritance of the deceased King Alexander I, issued on the 27 October 1938 Decree No. O.428/34, determining the entire real estate and movable property of King Alexander I, specified in more detail in the above mentioned Decree of the District Court for the City of Belgrade.
The Decree lists in points 1 to 7 all the real estate at Dedinje stating the parcel numbers from the Real Estate Register, including the Palace (Old Palace) with surrounding terrain, yard and forest, as well as the building «Beli Dvor» (White Palace) with the appertaining houses.
The aforementioned Decree of the City of the Belgrade District Court pronounced as the heirs of the entire private real estate and movable property of the deceased King Alexander I the Unifier, his underage sons: HM King Peter II, HRH Prince Tomislav and HRH Prince Andrej, in equal parts.
This Decree became official law on the 4 March 1939. All this property, as well as all the other properties of The Royal Family were confiscated on the basis of the Edict of the Presidency Presidium of the People's Assembly of the FPRY Pov.No.1433 of the 2 August 1947 which, in point 6, under paragraph a., states that the “Palaces Dedinje and Beli Dvor” – “are registered in Real Estate Municipality Belgrade 7 in the names of Peter, Tomislav and Andrej Karadjordjevic, real estate excerpt 82, 86 and 89 on 9 parcels“.
The aforementioned Decree was abolished by the Law on the Abolishment of the Edict of Confiscation of Citizenship and Property from the Karadjordjevic Family, of 2001. This law determined that the conditions for the return of the confiscated property will be regulated by a special law.
Therefore the cadet branch of the Karadjordjevic dynasty has no rights to the Dedinje compound and I personally took the decision since I was given the responsibility of the compound to enforce this inheritance decree. This decision did not in any way and should not have in any way influenced the friendship and relationship between Princess Jelisaveta and me.
Is there a good will from Your Royal Highness’ side in order to clear out the misunderstanding with Princes Jelisaveta, and to show the best example of “Only Unity Saves Serbs (Samo Sloga Srbina Spasava)”?
- I have always had good will and stand firm that I have always been open to approach not withstanding the vociferous abuse I received in media interviews to which I did not respond. My door has been and always is open.
Do You believe that Monarchy will be restored in Serbia during Your Royal Highness’ life?
- There has been no campaign to explain to the public what Constitutional Parliamentary Monarchy is and the benefits it would have for our country and people. I believe that a new golden era for Serbia would come and our people would receive the well deserved respect if we had Constitutional Parliamentary Monarchy. There is a big chance and the people would need to have confidence in this positive solution for Serbia. I have always had a positive attitude.
If there is Constitutional obligation for every person to vote, to which politician would Your Royal Highness give a vote?
- My role is to be neutral, be a meeting point and work for unity. I do not belong to a political party and if I voted it would break the rule of impartiality.
How many funds and donations have been raised so far thanks to YRH’s humanitarian actions and efforts?
- I am very proud of my wife Katherine who has worked so hard for humanitarian causes in our country. I am also thankful to my wife’s Foundation and Lifeline who have worked so hard. I warmly thank all the people who have donated to help our people regardless of religion or ethnic origin. Millions have been raised in equipment and materials and the work continues.
To what extent Your Royal Highness improved knowledge of Serbian language?
- I am proud say that I am getting better so watch out what you say!
Did Your Royal Highness convinced some members of European Royal families to taste some typical Serbian meal, and what was the reaction?
- Yes I have tried Cevapcici and Sarma on them and they like it. Some cannot believe it how much meat we Serbs eat.
Do You have any favourite restaurant?
- My wife, boys and me have several restaurants that we like, but there is nothing like a home meal.
Do You have any recipy if Your Royal Highness is cooking alone, and when didYour Royal Highness make that meal?
- I have made cevapcici and pasta.
Did Your Royal Highness’ sons influenced You to “fall in love” with some art or to find a new hobby?
- They wanted me to try new sports like snowboarding and surfing.
How did Your Royal Highness fall in love with under-water photograph, where does Your Royal Highness scuba dive?
- When I saw the beauty of the tropics I took up underwater photography. I have scuba dived in the Red Sea, Australia, Central America, the Caribbean, Indonesia and the Mediterranean.
Regarding the fact that Your Royal Highness is a great fan of skiing and excellent skier, what kind of ski runs do You prefer: the steeper ones or you prefer those for slalom?
- I like all kinds of runs. If I’m very happy than I do a couple of runs on those hard so called “black” runs as an excellent exercise whereas easygoing skiing on the smooth “blue” runs always gives me great pleasure. Skiing today has become easier than ever thanks to new equipment. I have to express that we are very happy to have our beautiful ski resort Kopaonik. My three sons adore snowboarding at Kopaonik which is a favourite of my family.
I like skiing and If I’m very happy then I do a couple of runs on those hard so called “black” runs as an excellent exercise
What doesn’t Your Royal Highness like in Serbia?
- I am sad when we argue and don’t get things done, but this is the case in other countries. We must work together for a better future.
What is common day at The Palace like?
- What is the daily routine? We get up early in the morning and get office work done. We travel a lot all over our country. We receive many visitors from our country and aboard. We are invited to many functions. We keep in touch with people.
Does Your Royal Highness have any daily habit?
- To read my email and respond. I also try to respond to all correspondence a soon as possible.
Do You often go to the theatre or cinema?
- We go sometimes downtown to the movies, but rarely watch DVD’s even though I buy them. The boys love DVD’s.
What is Your favourite novel and why?
- I read about current affairs, but I am not into novels.
Do You have any favourite Serbian ethnic old folk song?
“Marsirala Kralja Petra garda” and “Tamo daleko”.
Aleksandar Dacic – Sasa Jovanovic