20 April 2011
Prince Philip for “Blic”: I’m not ready for wedding bells
By: Marija Mijatovic
Prince Philip Karadjordjevic visited Belgrade recently, because of the Belgrade Marathon, where he took part in, with an aim ti raise founds for children with disability. For the first time he brought his girlfriend Lucy Attwood to Serbia, during the interview with the „Blic“ he says that he still doesn’t plan to get married and he also explains why the media are do preoccupied with the Royal Wedding.
[Note: This is not Lucy Attwood's first visit to Serbia. She has accompanied Prince Philip on several occasions.]
Have you participated in any other marathon?
"This time I’m only taking part in the Belgrade half marathon. However, lasts October I took part in the Athens marathon. There are a few reasons why I decided to run a marathon or even a half. Firstly, it is a fantastic way to stay in shape and running gives me good sense of well being. Running marathons are also a wonderful way for raising funds. Not only am I running for myself, but I’m also running for a cause. This time I am to help children with disabilities. I am running the Belgrade Half Marathon for the Princess Katherine Foundation."
Was it easier to face up to the challenge knowing that your girlfriend will be by your side?
"Of course, it’s always easier running with someone close to you. Lucy is great runner; she has completed many marathons and therefore has great experience. We give each other great support, but I need the support more."
Can you tell us something about her, and is her visit to Serbia a subtle hint that our country might host a royal wedding just like the UK any time soon?
"Lucy is beautiful, fun, caring and clever, and I am very happy with her. However I can safely say that you will not hear any wedding bells in the near future."
How often do you visit Serbia, and how important is it for you that other people that you care about get to know our country more, or even get to like it?
"I come to Serbia more and more often, maybe once every month or two. I have a home here and every time I come I really do feel at home. Most of my close friends are not Serbian, naturally as I was brought up in the UK. I invite many of them to visit Serbia as much as possible. I want for them to see this beautiful country and to spread the word when they get back home. They always have an amazing time here and they always want to come back. "
You graduated in arts, but you work for a financial institution, was it a practical decision or something else?
"I love the arts and culture, but why then go into finance after studying it? I believe that appreciating culture and arts is fundamental in understanding how people work, and ultimately, but not directly, how business works. I also love macroeconomics, I love following the markets."
On what occasions do you actually feel like a prince? And what does it mean to you, namely, what do you feel to be your responsibilities?
"I only ever feel like a prince when other people make me feel like one. I am very proud of my heritage, however as you know the responsibilities a prince, a monarch, are not what they use to be."
"These days monarchs have a small, yet important responsibility to help promote their nations and people. Of course this responsibility would be greater if monarchy were reinstated, namely constitutional monarchy.
Constitutional monarchy undoubtedly massively helps to maintain stability and to create positive attention. There is no arguing this. Simply look at the UK, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Japan, and what do they all have in common? They are all constitutional monarchies and are all very stable and prosperous.
The main responsibilities and tasks of the mentioned countries are rightfully left to their governments. And more often than not these governments get the job done well. Serbia has so much to learn from this."
What do you usually do when you come to Belgrade? Do you maybe go out, since every one is full of praise for Belgrade's nightlife?
"I mainly come back to Belgrade to be with my family. Nonetheless I also come to for formal and casual occasions, I meet many people here. I go out when I can, and yes Belgrade does live up to its reputation of having a great nightlife."
Have you perhaps had the opportunity to meet Kate Middleton, Prince William's fiancée?
"I haven’t had the chance to meet Kate. I do have friends who know her and they say she is lovely girl. I believe they have both made the right choice and I wish them all the best. The wedding is important for the country, just as the whole royal family is. The British Royal Family is like a great investment. The British taxpayers pay approximately £36m (€41m) a year, or 50p (57cents) a day. Now in return the Royal Family generates roughly £1bn to 2bn directly and indirectly every year, mainly through tourism. Now you don’t have to be a businessman to see how amazing the return on investment is there. People don’t come to the UK just for the weather!"
Copyright: Blic magazine.