HRH Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine visited today the town of Inđija, Serbia, to see the monument to Queen Maria in the park of the same name and deliver jerseys for two basketball clubs, a donation from the Crown Prince Alexander’s Foundation for Education and Culture. On this occasion, an exhibition of photographs dedicated to the return of the remains of the Queen Mother to the Homeland in 2013 was opened as well.

Their Royal Highnesses gladly responded to the invitation of the Committee for the Building of the Monument, which is a gift of this group of people to the citizens of Indjija. This is the first public monument to HM Queen Maria in Serbia, and its author is Dr. Jelena Božović Đorđević.

The Crown Prince laid a rose on the monument to his grandmother, while the Board and members of the Kingdom of Serbia Association, who were the first to welcome the body of the blessed Queen upon her return to the Homeland, laid wreaths. Before that, HRH Crown Prince Aleksandar and Deputy President of the Indjija Municipal Assembly Mr. Lazar Vukmirović laid wreaths at the monument to King Peter the Great Liberator, which is located nearby.

“I am grateful to you for preserving the memory of my grandmother, that her spirit, her legacy, her charity, humanity and the immense love she had for our people still live in the collective memory. Queen Maria, King Peter, and all other members of the Royal Family are our role models and inspiration, and my wife and I and the entire Royal family must always look up to them, and always follow their example,” said Crown Prince Alexander.

In the continuation of the visit, the Crown Prince officially opened the exhibition “Fulfilled Legacy (from London to Oplenac)” by Mr. Predrag Medenica. Mr. Uroš Parezanović, Head of Public Relations and Protocol of the Royal Palace, as one of those who carried the coffin of the late Queen, spoke about this exhibition that follows Queen Maria’s journey from exile in London to her return to the Homeland and finding eternal peace in the family endowment at Oplenac next to her husband, Knightly King Alexander.

On this occasion, on the sports fields of the former Sokol Home and now the Cultural Center, the Royal couple presented a donation in the form of jerseys to the basketball clubs “Železničar” from Inđija and “Hajduk” from Beška. Representatives of both clubs expressed great gratitude for the support of the Royal couple to their teams, and the members of Železničar Club presented the Crown Prince with a gift – a basketball signed by all the players and coaches.

The jerseys are the result of a generous donation from Mr. Danilo Bijelica, CEO of the company “Intec Ltd.” from Novi Sad. Namely, the jerseys were purpose-made for the 3×3 basketball tournament, which was supposed to be held at the Royal Palace, as a special send-off for our national team to the Olympic Games and other major competitions, but the plans were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to help athletes from smaller clubs, who don’t have the same resources as the first league ones, the Crown Prince and his Foundation decided to donate the jerseys to these clubs from Srem, thus helping the promotion of sports and a healthy lifestyle among young people. Crown Prince Alexander is very grateful to Mr. Bijelica for his great help. It is a pity that our national team members were not able to play with this equipment, but we are very glad that we were able to help our athletes.

In his welcome, the Chairman of the Committee for Monument, Mr. Predrag Medenica said: “With the words that the citizens of Serbian Athens welcomed your grandfather, the Knightly King Alexander, we welcome you today. Our hearts are filled with joy. On behalf of the Committee for the Building of the Monument, I express my great gratitude for your visit and wish you a warm welcome. Our city has never had more important and beloved guests. Welcome, our dear King!”

The visit ended in the Temple of Holy Emperor Constantine and Empress Jelena, in front of which a solemn reception was held for distinguished guests, and then a thanksgiving service was held for the Royal couple, which was held for the first time on the soil of Vojvodina in the presence of Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine. This gave the visit a very special character.

After the service, His Royal Highness, in the company of the Elder of the temple, Father Bogoljub Milovanović, planted a tree in the yard of the church as a memory of this visit.

During the welcoming, Jovana Savić, a student of the Inđija High School, playing the role of Queen Maria gave a monologue especially prepared for this occasion, which talks about the life of the Queen Mother, and the member of the Committee for the Building of the Monument, Mr. Stevo Lapčević also greeted Their Royal Highnesses with a colorful speech.