Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gala dinner in Belgrade

Crown Prince Alexander with Victoria da Silva and her father Sir Desmond

The Prince of Monaco visits Serbia for the first time

Crown Prince Alexander and the Prince of Montenegro


From the official press release:

"To celebrate the 70th birthday of His Royal Crown Prince Alexander a Gala Dinner took place this evening at the Royal Palace hosted by Crown Princess Katherine and their children Hereditary Prince Peter, Prince Philip, Prince Alexander, David and Alison; and grandchildren Amanda and Michael for dignitaries from around the world, representatives of political, public and cultural life of our country, members of the Advisory Bodies of the Crown, friends and admirers of the Royal Family.
The birthday celebration was graced by the presence of: Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden (His Majesty is the head of state of Sweden), His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco (head of state of Monaco) in his first visit to Serbia, Her Majesty Queen Mother Sofia of Spain, Their Majesties Czar Simeon II and Czarina Margarita of the Bulgarians, Their Royal Highnesses Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu of Romania, His Royal Highness Prince Nikola Petrovic Njegos of Montenegro, Their Royal Highnesses Prince Raad Bin Zaed and Princess Majda Bin Zaed of Jordan, His Royal Highness Prince Ludwig and Princess Marianna of Baden, His Highness Prince Aga Khan Amin, His Royal Highness Prince Nikola (the son of HRH Prince Tomislav), Her Highness Princess Ira of Fürstenberg, His Royal Highness Prince Serge (the son of HRH Prince Alexander), Their Highnesses Prince Pierre and Princess Sylvia d’Arenberg,  Ms. Victoria De Silva (the granddaughter of HRH Prince Tomislav), Sir Desmond de Silva Q.C, P.C.

Their Royal Highnesses welcomed the guests in the Blue Salon of the Royal Palace, and then followed a cocktail on the lower terrace of the Royal Palace and the premiere screening of a short documentary film about the Crown Prince. The birthday celebration was enhanced by Sanja Ilic and “Balkanika” with their program “Balkan concept”, which was followed by a gala dinner on the upper terrace of the Royal Palace.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander addressed the guests and numerous media representatives.
We are forwarding the Crown Prince’s speech as a whole.
After the speech the Crown Prince cut his birthday cake.

JULY 18, 2015
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Serene Highnesses, Your Excellences, Your Holiness, Reverend fathers, imams and effendis, Your Lordships, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming to my birthday. I am so happy to see you all here this evening in the home of my ancestors.  In the country that was created by my ancestors and the ancestors of my compatriots. In the city that became our capital six centuries ago.
Now, that I am seventy, it is a good moment to review the past decades.
For someone who, by a twist of fate and history, was born in exile, who was declared an enemy of the state as a two-year-old. The fact that I am celebrating my seventieth birthday finally rehabilitated in my homeland, in my home, with my family, people and my friends from around the world, is an emotional moment, is something I have wished for all my life. I am grateful to God for that, but I also owe a lot to those who are here tonight to grace this celebration. To those who unfortunately are no longer with us, but whose spirit will never leave us, as well as to those who are with us in their thoughts tonight, with their many good wishes and hopes that we have a future that we are worthy of.
We have fought together for justice, democracy, human rights, freedom, respect for everyone’s religion, ethnic origin, for a country of equal citizens, which is equal to and respected by other countries, for the community of peace, harmony and progress.
Tonight, surrounded by my immediate and wider family, I thank my wife and our children for their love and support. I thank my relatives and friends from many royal families that have given me the honour of their presence and for their good wishes. I warmly thank our prime minster Mr. Aleksandar Vucic and all the top Serbian state officials, the representatives of churches and religious communities, diplomatic corps and to all of you Who are making this evening unforgettable, and – above all – to our people who make me happy to belong to them.
From Karadjordje to me there is a continuity in serving the people and the country. As long as there is the house of Karadjordje, the honour of serving the people and the country is an undeniable a duty, obligation and responsibility, because we come from the people, and that fact fatefully obliges us.
I owe so much to my wife for all her love, effort and daily commitment, and for this special birthday.
I thank my staff and all those who worked so hard to make this great gathering and every other one, possible.
Thank you, God bless you and may love unite you all"

All photos courtesy of HRH Crown Prince Alexander.

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