Vecernje Novosti: Dr Ljubomir Kostic Interview about friendship with King Peter II
Published: 2013 / 01 / 29
Dr. Ljubomir Kostic is happy to have lived to see
the return of his childhood friend –King Peter II
WE USED TO ESCAPE FROM THE PALACE TOGETHER OFTEN
He was picked along with three other boys to keep the then young Prince company
No one could have predicted the bloody dawn that just in few hours come upon Serbia. The tension was in the air, that day he left the Palace earlier. It was the 5th April late afternoon. That was when he last saw his best friend HM King Peter II.
Dr. Ljubomir Kostić, 89, has lived to see his friend’s return to Serbia.
The remains of King Peter II have been brought back 43 year after his death. Standing next to his coffin he again felt like that boy from “Sokoli” that was taken in 1934 to the Palace.
After HM King Alexander’s death HM King Peter returned to Serbia and was home-schooled with tutors. His teacher in sport has come to the idea that at least in those classes he should have friends. They have picked four-five of us and took us to the Palace. Friendship with the King has marked the life of one of the most excellent surgeons Dr. Ljubomir Kostic.
How many times has that been used against him like a “stain” in his biography. Despite the bitter taste those injustices caused they have never undermined the love to his best childhood friend and best memories of his youth. In the prewar house in Vracar that was built by his father who was a City mayor depute Laza Kostic construction engineer. He showed us the picture album from 1939. Two young men in the convertible on the seat next to the driver a 16 year old HM the King and driver, Ljuba himself.
We loved cars, both of us, whenever we use to go someplace we would drive and driver had to take backseat. The King never acted as if he was different to us. When we use to play soccer no one would spare him, it was usual for him to take a fall during the game. When we were alone he would strongly oppose me addressing him with His Majesty. Raised in best schools of Britain he also learned about life from Belgrade dandies who soon became his friends. He lit up his first cigarette with them, enjoyed films and copied the Hollywood stars’ looks. He liked the style of the actor Tyron Power.
-Once I wore a jacket like the actor and HM The King has given it to be a model for his tailor to make one just alike-Dr. Kostic talks in such a vivacious manner that one easily forgets his senior age, his smile and a twinkle in the eye are hiding the fact that he is almost 90.
-The girls loved him too but he haven’t met them outside of Palace. Once, with the permission of the court, we invited three eligible ladies from prominent Belgrade families to join us at the palace, we had a beautiful day we danced and had fun. As much as he spent time with Belgrade’s boys The King could not act as them. He was not allowed to go out. His friends would come to The Palace to socialize. Teenage spirit, even a Royal one, was not tamed easily. It used to happen that riding motorbikes Ljuba and The King would escape the Palace gates and spent the day outside in the city.
Bombs on April 6th brought an end to friendship because The King and the Government had to leave the country and never returned.
Ljuba was marked as a reactionary and royal friend, despite of that he graduated at the Medical School and later became the best surgeon. Nothing could heal the wound of his friend’s tragic destiny:” Till this day it hurts me to hear when some say that he fled the country! What was he supposed to do?
Stay and give in to Germans? It is terrible that he left this world so young and in the foreign’ land. It is a small consolation that his bones are back in his Serbia.”
Ljuba was among the crowd that cheared for the overturn.
-The crowed were enormous I lost my voice chearing :“Long Live The King!“
In the afternoon Peter called me asking what is going on on the streets, he couldn’t move since guard kept him in the Palace.
The King’s Adjutant Kent one of his closest friends wrote that King had two idols:
-Churchill and general Mihailovic.The first disapointed him when he waived his loyalty to the second.