Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine celebrated today The Royal Family’s Patron Saint Day – Saint Andrew the First Called in the Royal Palace in Belgrade.
In the morning, the Divine Liturgy was served in the Royal Chapel of Saint Andrew the First Called by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia with the clergy of the Belgrade-Karlovci Metropolitanate, in the presence of Their Graces Bishop Lavrentije of Sabac, Bishop Ignatije of Branicevo, and Vicar Bishop Andrej of Remeziana.
The ceremony of the cutting of Slava cake followed in the Blue Room of The Royal Palace, and was officiated by His Grace Bishop Lavrentije of Sabac.
After the ceremony, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander II decorated His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia with the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Star of Karadjordje. “The Royal Order of the Star of Karadjordje has always been a sign of the exceptional ones and the pride of the chosen… The Crown of the Karadjordjevic’s and my home have no greater and more important award for those who bear the burden of responsibility for Serbian nation, preservation of its moral and historic identity, its institutions and its spirit. It is with great joy and pride that I present Your Holiness the insignia of the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Star of Karadjordje. I pray to the Lord to give you long life, good health and strength to bear this great responsibility not as a burden, but as a reward. I wish you all the luck. Axios!” said the Crown Prince.
Expressing his gratitude for this high honour, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia has said: “Your Royal Highness, I really miss the right words to express what I feel at this moment. I receive this high Order as gesture of gratitude of the Royal Home, but not just to me, but to all my great predecessors as well, who led our Church and our nation through very difficult times. I personally take a great burden, but I will pay my debt if I manage to fulfil all my obligations that our church and our nation put in front of me. Let our Lord, who led our ancestors in the past, be with us today. Thank you!”
The Holy Liturgy and Slava lunch were also attended by Mrs Alison Andrews, daughter of the Royal Couple with her son Mr Michael Garfinkel, the Rt. Hon Sir Desmond de Silva QC PC, and his daughter Victoria (whose godmother is HRH Crown Princess Katherine), Prof. Dr. Oliver Antic, councilor to President of Serbia, members of the Privy Council, Hon. Branko Terzic, Mr Dragomir Acovic, Dr Dusan Batakovic and Mr. Dusan Babac, members of the Crown Council Mr. Matija Beckovic, Mr. Dusan Kovacevic, Prof. Dr. Miroslav Gasic, Prof. Dr Dragoljub Kavran, Dr. Cedomir Antic, Mr. Vladan Zivulovic, Prof. Dr Slobodan Markovic, Dr Milan Parivodic, Mr. Djordje Djurisic, Mr. Darko Spasic, members of the Crown Cabinet, Mr. Milorad Savicevic, Prof. Dr Kosta Cavoski, Mr. Djurjde Ninkovic, Mr Mirko Petrovic, Mr Vladan Vukosavljevic, Mr. Mileta Radojevic, director of Government office for cooperation with churches and religious organisations, leaders and representatives of other churches, His Grace Djuro Gasparovic, Bishop of Srem, His Grace Janos Penzes, Bishop of Subotica, Reverend Leopold Rohmes, and many others.