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Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia are in Houston to raise money for the Serbian people.
Lifeline is Princess Katherine's charity. It raises money to bring healthcare and aide to the former Yugoslavia.
"All of these people, after 10 years of war, have really needed a lot of attention -- hospitals, orphans," she said.
Humanitarianism and educational improvements are a main objective for the royal couple.
"Little children come to the palace because we have visitors and schools and all that -- and say, 'Princess, where's your crown?' I say, 'It's in my heart,'" Princess Katherine said.
Growing up, the crown prince was a prince without a kingdom. He was born while in exile in London during World War II to King Peter II of Yugoslavia and Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark.
He was born in July 1945 in Suite 212 of the Claridge's Hotel. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ceded sovereignty over the suite to Yugoslavia so that the prince would be born in Yugoslav territory.
"The years of communism started and my father never returned to the country. He was very homesick. He's the only king buried in the United States, buried in Libertyville, Ill.," Prince Alexander II said
Having a normal life allowed the crown prince to see the needs of everyday people, instilling a true passion for helping those in need.
That passion has earned them the Virtuosi of Houston achievement award.
Dr. Meherwan Boyce and his wife founded the Virtuosi of Houston, which educates young musicians and gives them the tools needed to become true professionals.
The award will be given to the royal couple during a gala on Saturday night at the Intercontinental Hotel. Ticket sales from the event will go to the Virtuosi and to Princess Katherine's Lifeline organization.
The royal couple has four sons and one daughter.
Virtuosi Gala earns a record
Dr. Meherwan Boyce and Zarine Boyce, gala co-chairs, with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander II and Her Royal Highness Princess Katherine of Serbia at "Legends of the Future: An Imperial Evening" benefiting Virtuosi of Houston at the Hotel Intercontinental. Photo: Priscilla Dickson / HC
Virtuosi of Houston had a royally sweet night. About 450 patrons of the organization for talented musicians from area schools attended the group's 11th annual gala and concert, "Legends of the Future: An Imperial Evening Celebrating How Sweet it Is."
Catherine Daniel Kaldis and Andrew Kaldis andDr. Meherwan Boyce and Zarine Boycechaired the event, which honored His Royal HighnessCrown Prince Alexander II and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Katherine of SerbiaTiba Parsa and John Sheptor,Monzer Hourani, and Linda and John Barrett were honorary chairs.
The gala grossed $300,000, a record for the group. Also newsy: A Virtuosi quintet recently performed at one of the private receptions for Houston Symphony'sCarnegie Hall appearance.
- Molly Glentzer
How sweet it is when the music sings, royalty approves and records are broken for Virtuosi of Houston
For Virtuosi of Houston's 11th anniversary gala, the ballroom of the Hotel InterContinental pulsated with the talents of student musicians, who performed everything from The Nutcracker's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" to big band sounds reminiscent of Duke Ellington to original compositions.
It was applause, applause for the talented musicians who performed under direction of Franz Anton Krager and Andrzej Grabiec, Virtuosi founding artistic directors and University of Houston Moores School of Music professors. Even as guests arrived before the dinner concert, they were greeted by the sounds of a string quintet, the same group that performed for a Houston Symphony patrons party at New York's Carnegie Hall on Sunday.
The positive reception was especially gratifying due to the presence of the evening's honorees — Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia. They received the Virtuosi of Houston Achievement Award for their commitment to humanitarian aid and economic development in Serbia. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst presented the couple with the State of Texas flag that had flown over the capitol in their honor.
Pleased with proceeds of $300,000 were gala chairs Catherine Daniel Kaldis, Andrew Kaldis and Zarine and Meherwan Boyce. Joining them in key roles were honorary chairs Tiba Parsa and John Sheptor,Monzer Hourani and Linda and John Barrett. Sheptor's Imperial Sugarand Hourani's MediStar were major underwriters of the evening.
Applauding the student talent were Serbian American Chamber of Commerce president Branko Strbac, the Rev. Dejan Tiosavljevic of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, Margaret Williams and Jim Daniel, Anne and Dr. John Mendelsohn, Marianne and Bob Ivany, Mary Annand David McKeithan, Julia and Russell Frankel, Danielle and John Ellis, Barbara and Ulyesse LeGrange and Mary Kay and Michael Poulos.
Photo by Priscilla Dickson