INTERVIEW FOR MACEDONIA THESSALONIKIS
PRINCESS KATHERINE OF YUGOSLAVIA
DIFFICULT TIMES FOR PRINCESSES
PDF File in Greek
Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia
is talking to Nafsika Gratsiou about her life, humanitarian work, family and the
happiness of giving.
“The only thing that I haven’t
imagined for a Princess was that she is working non-stop day and night”
The first surprise that I had
during my meeting with Princess Katherine was her enchanting straightforward
manner and a unique wholeheartedness, which took me out of awkwardness as to how
I should address her or how I should call her.
She opened herself the door of her
suite, welcomed me and the photography crew of the magazine with a mother’s care
as to whether we were tired, cold or hungry and she served tea for us saying how
thrilled she was to be in Thessaloniki for her award of Honorary Doctorate of
Sheffield University at a ceremony organized by City College.
The telephones were ringing
continuously and she was answering each and every one, arranging and taking care
of issues concerning her Foundation and Lifeline that has offered great
humanitarian work. She is talking about her five children, her four
grandchildren, Belgrade where she is living, the Yugoslavs who are so much like
Greeks, her husband Prince Alexander, their get-together and the love that binds
them, her daughter Alison who recently gave her a pillow with “It’s not easy to
be a Princess” written on it.
Taking the occasion of this pillow
that you just mentioned, may I ask what it means to be a Princess?
To be a Princess is a wonderful
opportunity to give from your self. I was born and raised in Athens in a
humanitarian family. I was asking my mother what happiness is and she answered
“Happiness is to give from your self”. I feel privileged that my life has a
What is the image that you had as
a child for a Princess?
The concept of Princess is always
beautiful, my dear. When I gave birth to my daughter I called her Princess
because for me she was unique and precious. The only thing that I haven’t
imagined for a Princess was that she is working non-stop day and night.
Which you consider the highest
Sincerity. But, also to respect
other people. I believe that those two concepts are not for negotiation. We must
decide finally who we want to be.
What lesson life has taught you?
First of all the mother role is
the premier one. Also that love is the foundation for everything. Furthermore, I
learned not to consider either life or people as a given fact. We must
continuously work on our relationships and most of all to offer. In addition
life taught me that all the people around the world are more or less the same.
Are there any images that will
remain in your mind for ever?
There are only beautiful images,
those are the ones worth keeping in mind. The happiness of my parents at my
wedding day. The birth of my first grandchild. Alexander kissing the soil of his
country when we returned to Yugoslavia. He did the sign of the cross and bent to
kiss the land of his ancestors. Our first night at the Palace and Alexander
gazing at the sky and, touched, saying “Father, I returned home”. Unforgettable
What are the characteristics that
a good woman should have?
The first and basic characteristic
is the devotion to the family. Also, she must not confuse her priorities and
never, ever consider her man as given. Furthermore, I believe that a woman
should offer her man the leadership. This is wisdom.
In relation to that…what are the
qualities of a good man?
To have respect and love his
companion, to appreciate her and recognize all that she is doing and offering to
him and, if he is able, to try to be faithful to her.
As soon as we concluded our
conversation, Prince Alexander appeared, a discreet and polite man who, as he
told us, loves Greece and especially Thessaloniki.
As we were leaving from our
meeting with Princess Katherine I offered her a small bow and curtsey and she
smiled at me. It was not at all a protocol bow towards a Princess. It was a bow
of respect, of the kind that we owe to all the women that know how to offer,
whether they are Princesses or not.
In order to communicate with HRH
Princess Katherine Foundation and be updated concerning its humanitarian work,