NEDELJNIK - THE FIRST INTERVIEW: Heir to the Serbian Crown, Peter III Karadjordjevic
Published: 2013 / 06 / 07
In his first address to public young Prince said:
•The return of my ancestors signifies the return of unity
•This is a valiant act of national reconsiliation
•The King woul give our country a new positive image
•My generation deserves a better future
•It was not our decision to leave Serbia
MY DUTY IS TO RESPECT THE WILL OF PEOPLE
IF PEOPLE WANT MONARCHY THEY SHALL HAVE IT
Peter III Karadjordjevic
The Return of my ancestors home signifies return of unity
In his first public address the heir to crown of Serbia Peter III Karadjordjevic reveals to Veljko Lalic details of his growing up and feeling of Serbhood...Young man for whom many have said on 5 October 1991, when Karadjordjevic family first returned, has the the biggest chance to be Serbian King addresses the subject for the first time. Will this be the first interview of future Serbian King or the first interview of Prince Heir Peter III...only people know, say granson of the last Serbian King on whose funeral in Oplenac all Karadjordjevic gathered for the first time in History.
PETER III KARADJORDJEVIC RETURNED TO SERBIA AS A BOY
OUR ASSETS WHERE STOLEN
My family were declared enemies of the people by Kardelj decree. My father was isted in third place he was only two years old. We finally came back, but there is still much more to be done as is the return of our assets that were taken away from us.
He was only 11 when October 5, 1991 at the Belgrade Airport he held his first speech when he repeated in Serbian sevral times:“I am just a child!“.He was indeed a child that happened to be holding a speech in the city wher his grandfather, also as a child, held his last speech after which him and his family left the country.
Peter is 33, he is again in Belgrade for the funeral of his grandfather. On Sunday in the eternal house of Karadjordjevic in Opelenac in the presence of officials from all over the world there will be reintered the remains of Peter II and his wife Alexandra.To Serbia will also be returned the favourite Queen Maria as well as Peter’s brother Prince Andrej who was the only Prince buried in United States soil until a few days ago.
Princ Heir Peter is his official tittle, he grew up in USA. Nedeljnik emphasized questions on him personally, his growing-up, plans, feeling towards Serbia, in his firs public address.
Peter III is no longer a child, and when he was 11 he was seen as the future Serbian King.
Today polls show the dramatic rise of declared Royalists in comparison to declared Reoublicans that is higher after 70 years for the first time, which makes it all the more realistic.
This interview therefore will be regarded in history the first interview of the future Serbian King or The first interview of Prince Heir. Let’s see his opinion...
- After the remains of King Petar II Karadjordjeviv - the last ruling Karadjordjevic - the remains of beloved Queen Maria were also returned home, to Serbia. What does this mean for your family, and for Serbia?
The return of the mortal remains of my grandfather HM King Peter, my grandmother HM Queen Alexandra and my great grandmother HM Queen Maria means so many things to me. Above all it is the feeling of serenity and hope for justice and better future for our beloved country of Serbia. This tremendous act of valour and reconciliation represents maturing of a society and nation and readiness to move forward respecting all elements of its past. Bringing them home means bringing home the feeling of unity in Serbia and respect for my family.
My family and I are grateful to President Nikolic, Serbian Government, the State Commission for repatriation and reburial of the earthly remains of the Royal family Karadjordjevic memebers, a member of the commission is also my father.
- Is it time for younger members of Karadjordjevic family to finally return to their homeland? What does the future hold for you?
We are home, we are often in Belgrade and we take a great interest regarding events in Serbia. Our jobs link us to foreign lands, but our home is Serbia. To be precise our duty is to be respectful towards our people wishes. One of its possible demonstrations of our nations will be a law that will recognize our existence as a family. We tend to participate actively in humanitarian and charity work as well as advocacy and cultural diplomacy. My brothers and I have the will to embrace and encourage the advancement of a country more actively when the time and place for such an activity presents itself and as I said I strongly believe they will soon.
- Where do you live today and what is your main preoccupation?
I have chosen the field of work that allows me global presence; some would say that longing for a country induced such a choice. We were raised between the United Kingdom and the United States and often visited Spain, but we know that our homeland is Serbia. I am actively working to endorse the creation of a startup market in Serbia and see global communications through the internet as a way to bring Serbia closer to economically more prosperous societies. My vocation is creativity, design and the creation of idea concepts such are new businesses and companies. My love towards art runs deep in our family and having thought about its symbolism it helped me see the universal ideas of value in different ages and societies and has given me in depth insight also into politics, history and trends and ideas
- The first time you spoke to Serbian people was on that illustrious October 5th, 1991. You completely stole the show, as an 11-year old, which was rather symbollic, considering that your grandfather, Petar II, left Serbia while still a minor. Do you have memories of that day?
It was a significant day, one to remember all my life, I have to admit it was a bit too much for a 11 year old kid.
- In your opinion, what would Serbia look like today if, ten years before the revolution on October 5th, it broke up with communism on October 5th 1991 and turned to the West and to its monarchy?
The wish of our country to join the European Union is primarily a wish for new jobs, economic development and acknowledgement that culturally, geographically and historically we are part of Europe. We need to be in the process of the EU and contribute to its future. Aside to EU membership we need friends. We should never forget the importance of our ties and friendship with Russia. Also we are in need of
good public relations and a plan for Serbia’s representation with the help of international public relation agencies that will advocate our interests in the capitals around the world.
How realistic was that, generally? Do you have memories on that period? In the photographs, we can see Mr Koštunica, Mr Drašković... The whole opposition stood by your father back then. What was that missing link that prevented Serbia from accepting the system of constitutional monarchy?
I have to say that Constitutional Monarchy is above politics. It is the symbol of unity and continuity of the state. My father has tried diligently to explain that not one single party or individual can have exclusivity in that regard. Our country has gone through so much and suffered a lot. In all the former Yugoslavia, many have suffered, lost their loved ones, homes, their belongings. Madness reigned. After so much negative propaganda it is difficult to realise what Constitutional Monarchy truly means. The time has come for us to learn from our past mistakes and build a new future for our country based on democracy and a market economy. To initiate new projects and new relations with our neighbours and other countries. My father and I believe in human rights and democratic values for all nations and confessions equally.
- Why was your family so quick to leave Serbia back then, and came back only after the overthrow of Milosevic's regime? Were you threatened in any way?
It was not the decision of my family to leave Serbia. The government of my grandfather decided to retreat after bombing and the Nazi invasion to Greece, Palestine and Egypt and finally to London where governments of Poland, Greece, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Norway and Belgium already were, and also retreated. There was a plan for the Head of State and government not to fall into hands of the Nazis. All regimes after World War Two violated the human rights of my family. Brutal propaganda was against us, false accusations and lies that was by all means hostile and was a significant jeopardy.
As a matter of fact our human rights were jeopardized and we were faced with danger.
Remember that our family was proclaimed an enemy to people by Tito’s deputy - Kardelj’s decree in 1947 ordered by Tito was utterly undemocratic, it was terrible. My father was enlisted number 3 when he was only 2 years old. We finally came back, but there is still much more to be done as is the return of our assets that were taken away from us.
You grew up with the Serbian émigrés, the chetnick diaspora in America and so-called "London diaspora", which was represented in Britain by the plotters of March 27th coup. What is the "Serbhood" you have in your soul, can you tell us more about this?
The diaspora in America and London supported our efforts and we all shared the tragedy of separation from the homeland. There are several different emigrations such political and economical and my family were friends to all. We always knew our roots and we always wished a democratic future for our country where human rights will be respected.
On your Facebook page you say that you are proud to be a Serb, and there's also a photograph of King Aleksandar, Draža Mihailović, and vladika Nikolaj Velimirović. Who is, in your opinion, the greatest Serb in the history, and why?
The Greatest Serb is always the Serb that creates history and the one that does good to its country. Not only remembered ones are great ones and speaking in terms of absolute is always difficult.
Serbia's greatest potential today is its diaspora. We have a wealthy and more educated diaspora than most of the countries in the world. What are the chances of the diaspora investing in Serbia, of people coming back and helping the revival and renaissance of our country?
The Diaspora is not recognized enough, it has been helping and investing for as long as I can remember, it is huge and is helping countless families. We must strive and work together as a team for future of Serbia.
As a sovereign of Serbia, what would be your main goals, your project for the revival of Serbia?
My father Crown Prince could be the future Sovereign as he is first in line to throne and has dedicated his life to keep us safe on our voyage back to homeland. I support my father’s efforts to help Serbia and our people. Serbia has strict rules of inheritance by the firstborn.
Your godfather is Knez Aleksandar, the oldest son of Knez Pavle... Can it be argued that the day of your baptism was the day that "Paris" and "London" émigrés finally came together, after the events of March 27th coup which was a prelude to everything that happened to both Serbia and your family?
I see no link between my christening and 27 March. I would say many émigrés kept in touch amongst themselves throughout the world as well as motherland. Our family always stood united, the media have played games and misused it many times.
We are conducting this interview in the light of the Victory Day. Can you imagine a Serbia in which communism did not happen? If Draža Mihailović had won, you would have probably been at the military parade in Belgrade. How would that country look?
What happened is history and must be respected. Our task is to create a democratic future, continue with the reforms and vote in elections. We must put aside our differences and work towards a better future of our country. My generation deserves a better future.
Do you still dream of that day, the day that Serbia will finally become a monarchy again, with you as the rightful king?
No doubt Constitutional Monarchy is a healthy solution. It would provide unity, continuity, stability. The King is above politics, he rules, but not as a political party member, the Prime Minister and Government run the country. The system functions in many countries such are Great Britain, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Japan, Cambodia and so forth. It would also provide new positive image to the country.