Monday, March 11, 2013

An interview with Crown Prince Alexander

10 March 2013

Vecernje Novosti

Author: Marko Lopusina




The Royal Family of Karadjordjevic has recently officially announced on its website that the state funeral of King Peter II, Queen Alexandra and Queen Maria, who had lived and died in exile, will be conducted on Sunday, 26 May at the Church of Saint George in Oplenac. As we were told at the Royal Palace, Crown Prince Alexander II is currently putting a great effort into organising the funeral of his father, mother and grandmother, and later on his uncle Andrew, at. the Royal mausoleum.

"Her Majesty Queen Alexandra was buried at the cemetery of the Tatoi Palace Royal Cemetery near Athens, and Her Majesty Queen Maria is buried at the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore, which adjoins Windsor Castle. The remains of my mother and grandmother will arrive in Serbia in April. They will be laid at The Royal Chapel in Dedinje compound, where the remains of my father, His Majesty King Peter II already are laid. This funeral will fulfill the legacy of my great-grandfather King Peter I who wanted all the Karadjordjevics to rest in one place," Crown Prince Alexander said in an exclusive interview with  "Vecernje Novosti."

The head of the Royal Family was born on 17 July 1945 in London, at the Claridges hotel where his parents lived in exile. The British government declared suite 212  Yugoslav territory. His godparents were King George VI and his daughter, then Princess Elizabeth, now Queen of Great Britain. It was thanks to Queen Elizabeth that the Karadjordjevic family managed to survive the exile. The first to retreat to England was Queen Maria, who, after the tragedy in Marseilles, where on 9 October 1934 King Alexander was assassinated, lived in retirement in a modest  apartment in London.

"It was a painful and difficult time for her – The Regency era, the rise of fascism, the political intrigue in Yugoslavia, war and very traumatic exile to London. I visited my grandmother many times in London. She was always very gentle with me. I was 16 when she died. My father and my mother, my uncles, Prince Paul and Princess Olga were all at her funeral. I remember vividly going to the private Burial Ground at Frogmore, where my grandmother was buried next to her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert," recalls Crown Prince Alexander.

Crown Prince was  educated at  Le Rosey in Switzerland, then the Military Academy Culver in Indiana, United States, Gordonstoun School in Scotland. After he attended  Royal Military Academy of Great Britain, the Crown Prince served as an officer in the  British army.  His uncle Tomislav was putting him through school since his parents were separated. Crown Prince recalls in dear memories the life with his parents

" When I was a child, my parents lived in London at first, then France, Switzerland, Italy, United States. In exile my father was persecuted by longing for his country, his family and people. He longed to return to his roots. He loved his country, where he spent a happy youth. With joy he was showing me the home in Dedinje with excitement and showed me a picture of Oplenac. The father was hurt by false stories of him that were spread throughout our homeland. King Peter II never abdicated and never took no royal treasures. Neither artwork from the court. I'd like to know where are the missing works of art that used to be the Royal Palace," now Crown Prince asks.

For the first time Crown Prince Alexander speaks for public about his life during the separation of his parents in 60’s:
"My parents never divorced. They had difficult times, but always came back together. There was a lot of intrigue and games around my parents. I would visit my parents often in different places where they lived and we were a happy family."

After the  death of his father, King Peter II, in Denver in 1970, Crown Prince Alexander II Karadjordjevic became the new Serbian king.

"As heir to the throne-I decided not to use the title of king," says the Crown Prince,  "I believed that it would be pointless in exile. At the same time I was very clear in that time not to waive my rights and titles, or dynastic right to the crown. And then, as now, I sincerely believe that the only way for Serbia is to become a Parliamentary constitutional monarchy. My role as King would be fixing up the image of Serbia in the world, mainly through lobbying or through acquaintance with foreign leaders. Every Serbian government needs to know they can count on me."

In the  90’s, the Crown Prince's mother,  Queen Alexandra died in England.  She was a Greek princess by birth. 

"I was very sad and emotional. I am glad to say that my mother, Queen Alexandra will soon be transferred to Serbia. Her remains will be presented next to my father in the Royal Chapel – says the Crown Prince who has been living in the Royal Palace since 2001.
"When we moved in 2001 to the Royal Palace, I had to sell our property in London in order to obtain necessary refurbishments and maintenance. By mid-2004 when the Royal Compound was returned to the State budget, Karadjordjevic family financed it up keeping,"  says Alexander.

"The transfer of the royal family remains back to Serbia for many represents gathering in unity of church, state and the dynasty.

"I am strictly fulfilling the legacy of my great grandfather. Oplenac is truly a beautiful and special place.  There are some that think that this is a big step forward to national and historic reconciliation. All great events harbor great work. The return to homeland of my father, mother, grandmother and possibly uncle Andrej is one of those historic endeavors. Joint commitment of government, the church and the Royal House is completely natural.
"I wish to extend my gratitude for support understanding and help to President Tomislav Nikolic and all members of The State Reburial  and transfer Committee, said  Crown Prince Alexander.


"I love sports, especially skiing and diving. During my military career I was a ski champion. Lately I play tennis and dive with special pleasure in exotic seas," reveals Crown Prince Alexander.


"The funeral with state honors is in itself a significant event.  We do not need anyone to apologize for the fact that we celebrate and honor history. Again, the event cannot be an excuse for not doing some other serious and important things."


 "My first arrival to Serbia with my family in 1991 was packed with great emotions. Several tens of thousands citizens welcomed us and I was much moved. It was a dream come true and corner stone of my life."

No comments: