1,000 CHILDREN REJOICE AT ROYAL FAMILY’S CHRISTMAS RECEPTION
05 Jan 2024
Home of the Royal family of Serbia, the White Palace in Belgrade, was once again the site of joyful children's laughter and play, as TRH Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine hosted the traditional Christmas gathering for more than 1,000 children in need from Serbia and the Republic of Srpska.
Children without parental care, children with difficulties in intellectual development, and socially vulnerable children, aged one to fourteen, from institutions and associations throughout Serbia and the Republic of Srpska, had the opportunity to rejoice Christmas together with Their Royal Highnesses and share the spirit of this beautiful Christian holiday on three separate receptions held today. The events were supported and held in the presence of His Grace the Vicar of His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia, Bishop Peter of Toplica, as well as Mr. Lav Grigorije Pajkic, State Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs.
The highlight of these holiday events is the moment when Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine give gifts personally to the young ones, together with numerous friends. Christmas receptions for children in need is a tradition that Their Royal Highnesses started immediately after their return to Serbia in 2001, but it has its roots way back in the Karadjordjevic tradition, and in the similar gatherings at the Palace that were done during the time of the Kingdom.
The receptions were made possible thanks to great efforts of the Lifeline Humanitarian Organization of Chicago and its benefactors who made it possible again this year for children in need in Serbia and the Republic of Srpska to feel the joy and love of Christmas. Thousands of gifts that were provided by generous donors of Lifeline Chicago, including clothing, shoes, toys, hygiene bags, and school supplies, were delivered today, but also yesterday, when Crown Princess Katherine visited three institutions in Belgrade and delivered the designated presents herself.
In addition to the packages, Lifeline Chicago and the Crown Princess Katherine Foundation in Belgrade this year as well organized the delivery of food for Christmas dinner for children in Homes, so that the youngest could enjoy a nice holiday meal.
Significant contribution was also made by children from Belgrade international schools who, together with their teachers, have joined the charity campaign “Children helping children” and brought gifts to the Palace, to be given to their peers in need on these receptions.
During the day, three receptions were held where children enjoyed wonderful gifts and spent time with Santa Claus, the animators from the ensemble “Cigra”, as well as a music program by the Sabac Diocese Choir “St. John the Theologian”.
His Grace Bishop Peter explained the meaning of Christmas and its significance to the children and delivered them the blessing of His Holiness the Patriarch. Mr. Pajkić conveyed the support of the Ministry in this particular, but also all other related activities of the Royal Family.
“The opportunity to enjoy every possible moment with these beautiful children, to give them our love, to make them feel at home and for them to know they are not forgotten, is a special blessing. It is the gift of its own, the biggest gift in the whole world. The White Palace and the Royal Palace are not just our home, they are the home for all of you. When we see all the children playing and smiling here, it brings much joy to our hearts. My husband and I are very happy for the Joy of Giving that this day brought to the children, and all of us”, stated HRH Crown Princess Katherine on this occasion.
This wonderful Christmas gathering was greatly helped by Humanitarian Organizations Lifeline from Chicago, New York, Toronto, and London, whose patron is HRH Crown Princess Katherine, as well as by numerous donors, among which are: Embassy of Czech Republic, Embassy of Greece, Embassy of Finland, Coca-Cola HBC - Serbia A.D, Žito promet Mlin AD Company, Ballon Center, British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Dutch-Serbian Business Association, Canadian-Serbian Business Association, Creanova doo, Atlantic Group, Petrikić & Partners Law Office, Ardagh Metal Packaging Serbia d.o.o, Beohemija; International schools in Belgrade: Brook Hill International School, the British International School of Belgrade, the International School of Belgrade, PRIMA International School, Russian School, Rudjer Boskovic International School, the German School in Belgrade, and the French School in Belgrade, as well as Mrs. Frieda Tsakiroglou, Mr. Zoran Curcin, and Mrs. and Mr. Danijela and Jugoslav Celikovic.
Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank all the donors who generously helped with this year’s receptions for children and together made this holiday more meaningful for the young ones.
-Photos - Igor Ursić (Royal Palace)
-Photo #5 - Srđan Stevanović