As a reaction to the misleading and false statement made in the article published on certain Serbian media, regarding the status of the restitution of property, where it is written:” One of the big issues of Serbian restitution is the issue of returning property to the Karadjordjevic Royal family. This complex question, how to determine exactly what among Royal properties was King’s and what is directly or indirectly built with the money of the state, i.e., citizens (subjects), has been decided a bit “over the knee” (Serbian expression that some decision is made hasty) in Serbia”, HRH Crown Prince Alexander issues the following statement:
“If we do not correct mistakes from the past, who can guarantee that they will not happen again! That is why I am explicitly requesting that the lies from the past stop and that the wrongdoings are corrected now!
With great disturbance, I have read that somebody is again calling into question whether the private property that was illegally confiscated from my family was privately or state-owned and that there is a need to determine that. It was all determined a long time ago. I am very angry with such lies since all the evidence was provided to the Restitution Agency, attesting that all properties were bought, built, maintained, and financed with the private funds of my grandfather, King Alexander I, and my father, King Peter II and that taxes were paid, for what I have absolute and indisputable evidence, and from which it can be seen that the Royal Palace was the home of the Royal family, and this tax document is enclosed.
The fact that my ancestors paid taxes for these properties like every other citizen did and does in present days, in addition to numerous deeds and ownership documents, makes no space for the question of whether this property was private or not. It was also in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia – article 105 point 2 specifically said: “The King and the Heir to the Throne pay State taxes on their private property.”
Fairytales like this were started in the past by the non-democratic regime which stole, after World War Two, not only all my family’s private assets but those of other citizens as well and these lies must stop now, and the truth be told. Because even when the communists executed the confiscation, in the official document that was issued, they did not deny it was privately owned. But they started these lies, which regretfully last until nowadays. And it is time to stop them once and for all! Because constant repetition of them adds insult to previously inflicted injuries and injustices.
When, after decades of unwanted exile, we finally returned to our homeland, my wife, Crown Princess Katherine, and I sold everything we had and invested these funds into the repair and renovation of the Royal Complex, because I could not allow this beautiful place of my family’s legacy to deteriorate any more. This saved millions of euros for the state and citizens of Serbia. It was also done to make it suitable and safe for visitors because I did not want the Royal Palace anymore to be a “forbidden city”, as it was for decades, but to open it to the people of Serbia and the world. There was also the promise we got from the Government at the time, that it will be returned, and that the injustice from the past will be corrected. I hope that this will not be an “illusionary promise”.
There are still many families who demand justice and the return of their property. I say this on behalf of all of us, that justice must prevail. We have all been waiting for justice way too long. This issue must be resolved immediately, in a civilized way, and I am appealing that all issues of ownership over the stolen property are resolved correctly and without further delay. And one additional point is, if the property is returned to its rightful owners, it would not cost the citizens anything. The Royal Family Karadjordjevic came from the people, from the past we were always with the people, and we all dedicated our lives to give and to provide to our countrymen. But the point is that it should not be taken from us, as it is for all other citizens, and we should not be punished for being a Royal family.
Private property cannot be treated differently depending on whether it was acquired in the past or the present, or by whom it was acquired. The right to property is one of the basic human rights which should not be denied to anybody. It is also part of every modern, democratic Constitution. We must all preserve and cherish the ideals of just society, on which our entire world stands!”