Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 3 Brunch at the palace

the Crown Prince's office

Movie room
Tito's china service
Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Crown Princess Margarita, Prince Radu and King Michael
Yes Jersey plates

 September 19 Brunch at the Royal Palace

Saturday was a late night, so I slept in --- about 30 minutes extra -- as the bus was scheduled to pick us up at 10:45 to take the guests to the palace for Sunday brunch. Free seating ... and Crown Princess Margarita invited me to join her and her family at one table. The food selection was marvelous from omelettes to salads -- and, of course, the wonderful Serbian sausages .. and Serbian wine.
The dishes used for the brunch were from Tito's official china. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess believe that it is important to acknowledge the country's history, even the bad times. 
Private tours of the palace were held throughout the weekend, and I chose to do the Sunday tour. Prince Nikola joined me for part of the tour.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess live in the Royal Palace, which is also used for some official functions. Most of the royal guests stayed at the Beli Dvor, the White Palace, which was used for gala dinner on Saturday night. The White Palace was commissioned by King Alexander as a home for his three sons and their families. Alexander was assassinated at Marseilles in 1934, leaving his young son, Peter, as king. The Belvi Dvor was not completed until the late 1930s, and was used as the official residence of the Prince Regent Paul and his family.
The male line descendants of Paul's father, Prince Arsene, did not have succession rights to the throne, according to the family law.
The brunch was the final official event of the anniversary celebrations. We got stuck in traffic on the Gazelle bridge so I started a game of license plates with the American couple sitting across the aisle. We spotted Germany, and then Austria ... and I said "New Jersey!" Yes, New Jersey. A car in Belgrade with New Jersey plates!
I spent a part of the afternoon at the pool with a British couple, a former Tory MP and his wife, and then headed off to the Spa for a wonderful one hour massage. Wonderful. Then it was back to change for dinner as the Hyatt hosted a final dinner for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and their guests. Most of the royal guests had already departed, apart from Prince Vladimir, Princess Birgitta, Prince Nikola and Princess Margarita.
In his thank you speech, the Crown Prince stressed the importance of family -- his family - in the development of the country. The Crown Prince is a king in all but name - and it is a title he deserves for he and the Crown Princess give their hearts and their souls to Serbia.

Happy Anniversary, Your Royal Highnesses!

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