The Editorial Board of The Diplomatic Bulletin, which awarded HRH Crown Princess Katherine with the “Nadezda Petrovic” Medal of Honour in the field of Humanitarian Work on the occasion of International Women’s Day, held yesterday a gala evening at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belgrade, Serbia, promoting the first edition of this magazine.

The event was prepared in cooperation and with the support of the Embassy of India in Serbia, also honouring the 75th anniversary of Indian independence. HE Mr. Sanjiv Kohli, the Ambassador of India in Serbia could not attend the event, due to urgent obligations, but his video address was shown. HE Dr. Ljiljana Niksic, Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia, who also made a great contribution to the organization of this evening, attended the event as well as Colonel Miodrag Kapor, State Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs.

The fact that this is joint magazine of Serbian and Indian editors, who awarded Her Royal Highness with Medal for humanitarian work is much symbolic, because one of the first humanitarian activities of HRH Crown Princess Katherine was for children of India, more than 30 years ago, in cooperation with HRH Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark and her humanitarian organization “World in Harmony”, whose founder and president was Princess Irene, and Crown Princess Katherine was member of the Board of Directors of “World in Harmony” Organization. The main goal of this activity was to help children from poor families, with the desire to provide them with a stable source of milk, by sending many dairy cows. Crown Princess Katherine found the cows in the United Kingdom, and Princess Irene organized their transport to India. This donation was of special significance because the cows are sacred.

HRH Crown Princess Katherine’s letter which she sent to the editors of the Diplomatic Bulletin is also included in the first edition of the magazine, in which Her Royal Highness stated: “It is truly a great honour to receive this medal, and I need to say that this is not a recognition only for my work, but also for all the efforts and support of all those wonderful people who have been, for so many years, supporting my wish to help all those in need. It would be impossible without their help to bring happiness to hearts and smiles to the faces of all those people whose lives were touched and changed for the better by their generosity and selfless help.

What I also need to say is that all of this would not have been possible without the great support of my dear husband, Crown Prince Alexander, whose love towards his people and his country inspired me and given me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska. I fell in love with this beautiful country, and Serbia became my homeland as well. The people accepted my support with open hearts and gave me their love and respect in return, through the ability to make a difference in their lives. I want them all to know that I will always be there for them, and there is nothing I would not do to support them. The people of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska have gone through a lot that they did not deserve, and they are always in my prayers and in my mind, they are the centre of my life.

It has been 30 years since my husband and I gave our first donation for the people of Serbia, and I am especially happy that it was for the Children’s Clinic Tirsova. Because helping the children, who are our future and the true treasure of our world, bringing smiles to their faces and comfort to their parents is the greatest prize. I am also very proud because it was for the hospital that was founded by my husband’s grandmother, Queen Maria, who was a great humanitarian and true inspiration to us trying to make a difference.

When I look back, I always, with great fondness, remember my parents, who were great humanitarians, and who taught me in my early years that the true joy of life is the joy of giving. And that is something I want all of us to teach our children as well, what joy for each person brings the contributing to others. We have a responsibility to our children, to give them good directions and a proper example at an early age; with that Serbia and the entire world will have a good future.

I would also like to send my gratitude to all the dear doctors, members of the Royal Medical Board, for their support for all these years. My gratitude goes out also to all the hard-working people in Lifeline offices in Chicago, New York, Toronto, London, and Athens, who have, for over 25 years, contributed so much to our joint cause of helping those in need. Also, nothing would be possible without the helping hand of the Serbs in the diaspora, who, although living far from their homeland, have not forgotten our country, but also to all our dear foreign friends, who recognized the needs of the people of Serbia and helped generously. This medal goes to all of you, it is your work that is recognized today.

Once again, I would like to thank you for this recognition and to say that it will be a true inspiration for all of us to continue our mission of helping those in need. We will continue because there is no greater achievement than knowing that you have made a difference in someone’s life.”