Echo of the Planet Magazine
ITAR-TASS – Russia
INTERVIEW: HRH CROWN PRINCE ALEXANDER KARADJORDJEVIC
The last King of Yugoslavia Peter II was forced to leave his country in 1941, and for the following 50 years the Karadjordjevic's lived in exile. In 2001 the only son of King Peter II, the Crown Prince Alexander had the opportunity to permanently come back to his historical homeland.
In an interview with "Echo of the Planet" His Royal Highness talks about the Karadjordjevic family, his life in exile, Yugoslavia and political views.
- In the beginning of the 20th century the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was one of the centers of Russian emigration. In the 1940s Your family experienced first-hand what it is to be exiled. Exile lasted for more than half of century, how did the Karadjordjevic's live through it?
Exile was very hard on my father, the late King Peter II of Yugoslavia, he was home sick and always longing to go back to his roots. It was also very hard on my uncles Prince Tomislav and Prince Andrej. My grandmother Queen Marija died very young in London at the age of 61. I was sent to boarding school in Switzerland when I was eight years old so I was spared most of the hardship my family was going through. My father would talk a lot about his life at home and his friends.
- You first came to your motherland in adulthood, 20 years ago. Was Yugoslavia different from what you¹ve been told about by your family?
I had read a lot about Yugoslavia and its history and met many people who kept me well informed about life in Yugoslavia. It was very emotional come to the homeland and to be so warmly received by hundreds of thousands of people, my wife, children and I were very touched. What was very sad for everyone is the terrible disaster that happened and the pain all people suffered from the shocking wars of succession. It struck me as total madness. I would have hoped we could have had a peaceful outcome, but we unfortunately did not and this was clearly due to the use of negative religion and nationalism for the sole purpose of power. So many people lost their lives and were uprooted from their homes. I hope all people can mend their lives and get on with a normal life. The bombing aggression was also very painful and a big shock.
- How do you feel about being the legal heir of the throne of the country with a republican government? What are your life-goals? Are your children engaged in political and social activities/events?
My country like Russia spent many decades under dictatorship and what we see today is another world under a new found type of democracy, but not perfect. My view is that Serbia will benefit from constitutional parliamentary monarchy since the head of state is neutral and not a president of a political party nor member of a political party. We need a neutral head of state in Serbia to provide unity, continuity, stability and to defend the constitution. We also need to avoid any conflict between head of state and allow the prime minister and his cabinet to rule the country without interference. Constitutional parliamentary monarchy works well in countries such as Spain, Denmark, United Kingdom, Norway, Japan, Canada etc All these countries are advanced democracies and also socially advanced. The royal family is not engaged in politics. I also have good relations with republics and republicans.
- You said that constitutional monarchy would bring stability, continuity and unity to people of Serbia. Is it your main objective to re-create Monarchy in Serbia? Are you an active participant of political life in Serbia?
Serbia would benefit and so would politics in general from constitutional monarchy. A new positive image would emerge and Serbia would become a beacon of hope under constitutional monarchy. I would hope our politicians see the positive benefit. The grass roots of the Serbian political parties are warm to constitutional monarchy, but the higher echelons of our politics see it quite wrongly as a form competition. Our youth are interested in constitutional parliamentary democracy.
- Do you maintain relationships with other European royal dynasties?
Yes I maintain excellent and warm relations with all royal dynasties.
-Russia and Serbia have always been considered to be natural allies What do you think links our countries beside historically close relationships? Have you ever been to Russia? What do you think about Russia and prospects of cooperation between Serbia and Russia?
We have much in common such as Orthodoxy and our Slavic roots. We are very proud of the great Russian contribution in many areas and love for Serbia following the October Revolution. Serbia will always have close relations with Russia and a brotherly spirit. We are grateful to Russia for the support and love the people and government have given Serbia.
- Is there any difference between member of royal dynasty and common intellectual and well-mannered man? Can we speak about existence of special royal mentality?
We are all human beings and made of flesh and blood. It is what you make of life and how you take care of people and those in need that will make you someone.