Daily News (New York), October 15, 2003
Doing a royally good deed
When Crown Prince Aleksandar of Yugoslavia moved into his ancestral palace in Belgrade two years ago after the war against Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, it lacked heat and water but, amazingly, still had some art.
"There's a Canaletto, but it's punctured," said Aleksandar, who moved back to help the new democracy there take root.
That's the least of the British-born royal's worries. He, along with his wife, Katherine, is here trying to get desperately needed medical equipment for Serbia and Montenegro, re-established after greater Yugoslavia dissolved.
"You cannot imagine the pain of holding a baby in your hands who is dying for lack of any antibiotic. Premature babies die because we don't have incubators," Katherine told us. "When we have three babies and one respirator, doctors have to decide which baby goes. Why should we play God?
"In Iraq, the first thing they said was, we have to rebuild. [NATO] bombed us for 78 days, but there is no rebuilding. We are one hour from France, Germany, Italy. Yet this is a country that has absolutely been forgotten."
On Thursday, the royals will host a dinner to encourage donations to help the hospitals and to encourage investment in their country - such as that being made by U.S. Steel and Galaxy Tires.
"In one orphanage, a little boy tugged at my dress and brought me to the children's room. He lifted up a pillow and showed me a candy bar. I said, 'Didn't I give that to you six months ago?' He said, 'Yes. I'm saving it, because that was the best day of my life.'
"I just want to stop the world for one minute. If people could just hear me, they might help."
To donate, go to www.lifelineaid.org
Copyright © 1998 NJ.K.V. Prestolonaslednik Aleksandar II
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