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Hereditary Prince and future King of Serbia talks frankly for Telegraf about restitution of Parliamentary Monarchy, Serbian history and amenities, and about for him especially important in 2013.
His Royal Highness Hereditary Prince Peter III Karageorgevitch spends one of the most important Christian Holidays "In his homeland, in his Belgrade", together with his family for Christmas, following all traditional Serbian customs, thinking of the past year and daydreaming about restitution of Parliamentary Monarchy in Serbia.
The Karageorgevitch Family, headed by Crown Prince Alexander II, traditionally celebrates the Christmas Eve and Christmas at the Royal Palace, and Telegraf got an exclusive interview with Hereditary Prince Peter III Karageorgevitch.
Prince Peter, for whom many have said that has the biggest chances of becoming a Serbian King, when Karageorgevitchs returned to homeland in 1991, speaks about that for the first time: " we are home, we are frequently in Belgrade and we are truly interested in all that is happening in Serbia. Our careers are taking place abroad, but Serbia is our home".
What does Christmas mean to you and your family?
- A beautiful holiday, a day when we gather the family to share the joy of Christmas.
How familiar are you with the traditional Serbian customs and does your family respect them??
- To a large extent. My parents, my brothers and I every year on Christmas Eve cut the Yule-log and bring it in front of the palace. When we burn it, members of the Gendarmerie come to congratulate us for Christmas Eve, and then we organise and a small reception for them. We then have a family Christmas dinner.
Have you read about the history of our nation and how much are you familiar with it?
- Of course, but I still find out new details, especially about the recent history, which in our country, unfortunately, is still to a large extent not covered due to several decades of dictatorship.
Which historical figure in our history would you single out as the most important?
- I have to be subjective and say it would be my ancestors: my great-great-great-grandfather Karadjordje and my great -great-grandfather King Peter I.
The year behind us was of historical significance for your family and the entire Serbian people.
What impression was left on you by the return of the remains of the members of your family to Serbia?
- Very deep. I was very touched by the love for my ancestors that I felt from the citizens of Serbia. I was also very happy for my father, to whom the transfer of his parents, his grandmother and his uncle meant so very much. I'm glad that a great historical injustice was rectified. I was proud that my grandfather King Peter II was given a State Funeral and that he is finally back in his homeland.
What is your message to the citizens of Serbia in 2014?
- I hope that this year will be a better year than the previous one, and that every following year will be even better! Our people need jobs and our country also needs investors. I was very happy to see the news that in 2013, a record number of babies were born for the last 25 years! This is very encouraging and I hope it is an indication that slowly, but surely, growth and stability are returning to Serbia. The stability of the state is influenced by many factors, one of them is the form of government, and I am convinced that constitutional parliamentary monarchy would certainly increase it! It would give Serbia what it needs and that is unity, continuity and stability.
(By Darko Zlojutro)