SMEDEREVO WELCOMES THE ROYAL COUPLE
Donations to “St. Luka” hospital and “Mala Krsna” refugee camp
Belgrade, 20 May 2003 – TRH Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine visited Smederevo today, on the day when in the times of the First Serbian Insurrection the Supreme leader Karadjordje first came to this town with his Uprisers.
Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed and greeted by the Mayor of Smederevo, Mr. Tomislav Petrovic, who introduced the distinguished guests to the rich history of this town on the banks of the Danube.
Representatives of the Army, Police, Church, and local business and education also greeted the distinguished guests at the Town Hall, and introduced them to the current situation in this municipality. Among the present were the representatives of “US Steel” company that recently took over the local company “SARTID”.
HRH Crown Prince Alexander II thanked for the warm welcome and in particular to the “US Steel” representatives, because investing into this market has shown that our country is stable and favorable for foreign investments.
The Mayor, Mr. Petrovic, pointed out that Smederevo has many potentials, like industry, agriculture and tourism, but that its greatest potential are its hospitable and hardworking people.
“Owing to the new investments, I believe that not only this town, but our economy in general, will recover and provide jobs for our people.
Progress in economy and further development of democracy are conjoined, and can’t do without each other. That is the road we must follow in order to bring our country back into the great European family” – emphasized Crown Prince Alexander II in his speech.
Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine then visited the town fortress, built during the reign of Despot Djuradj Brankovic in the beginning of the XV century, when this town was the capital of Serbia. Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed by boys and girls wearing authentic period costumes, who performed a short program for the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess.
Continuing their visit to Smederevo, Their Royal Highnesses called upon St. George church, where they lit candles.
After leaving the church, HRH Crown Prince Alexander II addressed numerous citizens saying:
“I am convinced your town has a bright future. Better days are ahead of us and all our strength should be directed to establishing stability and unity of our country.
Let us respect our tradition and never forget our roots, for their are both European and democratic. Only through continuity with our historical values we can return to the great European family that we always belonged to”, and then followed a short cultural program.
Their Royal Highnesses also visited “St. Luka” health center, where they delivered a defibrillator and a pacemaker. This €5,000 worth medical equipment was rallied during the great charity event at the Athens’s club “Ekali” this March.
The gathered doctors and nurses were addressed by Princess Katherine saying:
“With the help from the people of good will and great heart we are rallying aid and deliver it where it is needed most.
We know how difficult the conditions that you work in are, but I hope the situation will get better if each of us does his best. There are people throughout the world who want to help our people and our country.
In order to help you in the best possible way, please forward to us as much as possible information on the needs of your hospital” – pointed out Princess Katherine, after which Their Royal Highnesses took the tour of the hospital’s surgical ward.
Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine continued their visit to Smederevo by going to see one of the symbols of this town, the Villa of King Milan and Queen Natalia Obrenovic. Crown Prince Alexander II was particularly impressed by the authentic XIX furniture and beautiful view of the Danube from the terrace of the Villa.
At the end of their stay Their Royal Highnesses visited the refugee camp “Mala Krsna”, where they delivered food supplies necessary for everyday life of the refugees and internally displaced persons.