His Royal Highness Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia
The private property topic is a matter of basic human rights principles and it should be applied to everyone, also to the Karadjordjevic family, said Alexander Karadjordjevic
Crown Prince Alexander II Karadjordjevic opened the door to his royal palace and talked about electricity debts, relations with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, but also about what he thinks of Vojislav Seselj, Vuk Draskovic, and when will Karadjordjevic’s property from Tito’s safe be returned to family members.
Modest and homely, with cakes and tea, we were greeted at the White Palace, Crown Prince Alexander revealed his wish for 2017 – that his family get bigger and that his sons tie the knot.
– I sincerely hope that they will, one by one, start to “tie the knot” which will give great joy to us, and make my wife and I very proud.
In Serbia there is a petition for changing the Constitution of Serbia and establishing monarchy. Has the time come for Serbia to become a kingdom again?
– Serbia, as a small country, would benefit from the restoration of constitutional monarchy which provides for political stability and neutral non-partisan mediation. Many European Union member states, such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, and the Scandinavian countries are examples of successful monarchies. Nevertheless, this decision should be made by our citizens.
Do you still hope that the gold from Tito’s safe will be returned to Karadjordjevic’s or you do not believe in that so much?
– The private property topic is a matter of basic human rights principles and it should be applied to everyone, also to the Karadjordjevic family.
The Prime Minister Vucic called out to you regarding the unpaid electricity bills. Let’s put a dot on that story and to reveal how much is that famous debt?
– That was before the Prime Minister and I had the opportunity to meet and before I had an opportunity to discuss the details regarding the real situation of the large Royal Complex in Dedinje. There is huge interest in The Royal Complex (Royal Palace, Royal Chapel, White Palace and the Royal Park) since it has thousands of domestic and foreign visitors every year.
We are helping in medical treatments of children and renewing the hospitals!
– This year was full of sad moments when we were realized again and again how many people are living a very difficult life, but at the same time it was very successful because of many humanitarian activities thanks to the hard work of my wife and her foundation in Serbia and Lifeline in the following countries United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Greece which contributed to better the life of our citizens. I would emphasize donations for healthcare facilities – starting with electric beds for intensive care units, medical vehicles for the patients transport, as well as very important medical equipment such as bronchoscope for the Children’s Hospital in Novi Sad and the Institute for Pulmonary Diseases Sremska Kamenica, patient monitors for the children’s department of the Institute of Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, a cardiac probe, respirator and infusion pump for the University Children’s Hospital Tirsova, two ultrasound machines for the Maternity hospital Narodni Front, two most modern respirators for the children’s hospitals in Belgrade and Nis… Project “Help for Babies” which was realized in cooperation with Ivan Ivanovic and TV Prva raised over 94,000 euros to help children’s hospitals, and we also remember Roksanda Ilincic’s fashion show at the White Palace when funds were raised to support children with cancer.
What do you think of Tomislav Nikolic and how is your relation with him?
– With the President of the Republic I have more than correct relations. The function that he performs is very responsible and requires great respect.
From all the politicians, who helped you the most since you came back to Serbia?
– Many have helped, in accordance to the circumstances that were at the time, in accordance with the possibilities and the will. I do not want to single out anyone in particular. Since the impact of the economic crisis, we have passed a very difficult period, but it seems that this wave of positive change is affecting us.
How much money per year needs for the maintenance of the White Palace?
– Here we need to separate in to two categories: one is current preventive maintenance and many ongoing repairs of the cultural monument and the other is investment maintenance. For the first one there is needed as much as the Government of the Republic of Serbia marked for next year, and I hope that soon there will be space for the latter, for what this cultural heritage is longing for decades.
How far came the request of family Karadjordjevic regarding the returning of the property?
– We as a family are still waiting and others too. Nothing so far has been returned to us, which is very sad and not correct. Please note there is the exception of Princess Elizabeth and her late brother Knez Aleksandar. However, it seems like that the issue of property restitution is legally set like that any return or compensation should be avoided. That what has been restored by now is completely peripherally in relation to the total of the claims. I do not underestimate no one or anything, but it’s quite insulting when, from the process is been excluded something what has been described as “property that State is using or needs” and then that same State brings out for sale the part of that property which it “is using or needs”.
Do you think that there is a political will for the property to be returned to you?
– This issue should be legal, not political, and I sincerely believe that today it is exactly like that. My family and I hope that there will be positive news in 2017 and for other families too.
What would you wish to the citizens of Serbia for the New Year?
– To the all citizens of Serbia, I wish them that health and happiness are always be with them in 2017, and to spend as much time with their most loved ones, with their families, in peace and love. That is the most important, and all the rest will come by itself.
Vucic is ready to help Karadjordjevic’s
After everything, what is your opinion of Prime Minister Vucic?
With Prime Minister Vucic I have a very constructive and good relations. He understands very well the problems of the Royal Compound in Dedinje which have accumulated for decades, he showed great willingness to help and I’m very grateful for that. We both realize that the Royal Compound in Dedinje is of great historical importance to the people of Serbia. The fascinating history relates to before the Second World War and afterwards. The two palaces contain part of the most important art in Serbia especially French and Italian classic art.
Seselj, as a duke, will be judged by the history
Are you in touch with Vojislav Seselj and what can you say about him as a duke?
– I last saw him at the Spanish National Day at the Hotel Metropole where he was also a guest. Only competent assessment of dukes is given by the history.
Relations with Vuk depends on him
Do you still socialize with Vuk Draskovic and what do you think of him?
During the nineties I had equally high-quality communication with all the leaders of the democratic opposition – with Djindjic, Kostunica and many others. We worked together to establish a democratic regime in Serbia and it was hard work, not socializing. My relationship with Vuk Draskovic never had any exclusivity in relation to others, but how the media understood it and informed the public, it doesn’t depend on me.
Friendly talk to Rama
At the wedding of the Royal Family from Albania you met with Edi Rama, what did you talk about?
– Our conversation was friendly, correct and constructive, but do not forget that I have no authority to, in conversation with the foreign political figures, to open topics which the state of Serbia and its authorities are deciding.