HRH Crown Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic spends these days in Belgrade, sharing his destiny as he points out his people.
HRH Crown Prince Alexander Karadjordjevic and his wife HRH Crown Princess Katherine are like other citizens of their years in their home.
What do you do at this time?
I am in Belgrade, with my people. It is very different comparing to previous years. My wife and I follow instructions of President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, and I sincerely hope that everyone else do the same.
How you will mark the Easter?
The only possible way under current circumstances. In peace, watching the church ceremony on TV as anyone else. My wife and I are in the risk age group, and we will stay at home. My wife and I had a wonderful conversation with the Patriarch last weekend, when we congratulated his Slava, the Lazarus Saturday.
Do you remember some unusual Easter events, while you were in the exile?
Not in particular, except of a sad distance from the homeland and my roots.
Was there any nicer Easter in your lifetime?
The most beautiful Easter in my life was the first one in my Serbia in 2002, at the Temple of Saint Sava, with the late Patriarch Paul officiating. It was very nice spiritual experience.
Are our people responsible enough and solidary enough in these difficult times?
Our people are extraordinary. They lived through painful and dreadful times. Our people always emerge victorious, and it will be the case now, as well. We are proud and responsible people, and we only need the world to understand us better.
Did Europe show solidarity, or each country focused on its own?
It looks like that the European Union went into confusion, nobody was prepared for what have happened. Nevertheless we are grateful for medical aid, not only from Europe, but especially from China, Russia and other countries. On the other hand, I am very proud of the work of our president, prime minister, Serbian Government, doctors, nurses, all medical professionals who cooperate excellently in the times of this pandemics. Our army and police were also excellent, they all deserve praises, but we must never forget all the others that make life goes on, salespeople, utility workers, post service men and women, and many others.
If we cannot celebrate one of greatest holidays in Church, what do you suggest, how to celebrate it?
I already answered that question. We will watch it on TV. We are happy to have TV to watch church service and to celebrate the Easter in our hearts, because God is pleased with every individual who truly believes, and who is looking for the meaning, justice, truth.
POKS (Movement of Renewal of Kingdom of Serbia) strongly condemned and arrest of Metropolitan Amfilohije, how do you feel about that?
I believe it was not a good message. We should leave our church dignitaries to do their job and to be with their people. Harsh deeds lead to harsh words and vice versa. I believe that we have to show wisdom and gentleness in these times.
When this is all over, the great economic crisis will follow, and the number of those who need help will grow. Do you believe that the humanitarian work your grandmother, Queen Maria, was famous of and your wife Princess Katherine as well, will be even more important?
– Yes, economic situation will be very difficult and serious, as it is already now. My wife was very active and she is providing help through her foundations. She made several donations including medical equipment and computers to hospitals in Serbia. I am very proud of what my grandmother Queen Maria did. We have been founding proofs of her incredible humanitarian work everywhere during our travels.
What we can learn from experience of King Peter and then regent Alexander who also fought the war epidemics?
– I believe that the most important lesson that we can learn is to stay together, to be disciplined, and that most competent should define course of action. That only together and with responsible behavior we can always prevail.
There were pages and pages written about assassination of King Alexander, but it looks like that some are missing. Do you know what is missing?
– yes I know, the great monument of King Alexander in Belgrade is missing, but I hope it will happen soon.
Thirty years ago you said you were Yugoslav, although your family was Serbian one. Would you say the same now?
– I must first say that I was shocked by ethnical cleansing and complete madness of the ninety nineties of last century. I am so sad because of people who lost their loved ones and all their properties. We should never forget operation “Storm/Oluja”. I was shocked by the use of negative nationalism and misuse of religion. All our people were hurt then and they are still recovering from all that evil. I am the head of the Royal family and there is no question about that, everything is explained clearly at our website.
How do you remember your father, King Peter?
– My father was an excellent man who loved his homeland and who was a great martyr. Dictatorship and political games of great powers caused much damage to my father, as well as many of our citizens and the whole country. Have we forgotten what was done “in the name of the people”?
Is the family the safest harbor in difficult times, and was your family best shelter for you?
– there is no happy and successful person without their family to stand behind them. The family is pillar of everything, and our people are famous for that. We keep our families, and we are stronger when we are together. I feel the best when I am surrounded by my loved ones. People, take care of your loved ones.