25 Apr 2024

Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine were once again hosts of the yearly traditional Easter receptions at the home of the Royal family of Serbia, the White Palace in Belgrade, for more than 1,000 socially vulnerable children. This is a tradition Their Royal Highnesses started more than 20 years ago, upon their arrival to Serbia, with a desire to share the joy of holidays with children in need, inviting the young ones to come to their home, and making them feel at home.

The receptions were supported and held in the presence of His Grace the Vicar of His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia, Bishop Peter of Toplica, who spoke about the importance of Easter to the children, as well as His Excellency Nikola Selakovic, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs of Serbia, and Her Excellency Mrs. Maria Levanti, Ambassador of Greece to Serbia. Children without parental care, children with difficulties in intellectual development, and socially vulnerable children, from homes, associations, and schools throughout Serbia and the Republic of Srpska, had the opportunity to receive Easter gifts from Their Royal Highnesses.

Three receptions were held on this day, where young guests had the opportunity to enjoy wonderful gifts and to spend time with the Easter bunny, the animators from the ensemble “Cigra”, as well as a music program by the Children’s Cultural Center DKC’s choir. Like every year, there was great joy for the children when they searched for colored eggs in the Royal Park in front of the White Palace, after which the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, together with Mrs Betty Roumeliotis, Crown Princess’ sister, and other friends of the Royal family, delivered toys, sweets, and other appropriate gifts to them.

“It is my wish that every child leaves the Palace today with a sincere smile on their face and joy in their heart. Because when children are smiling, the whole world becomes a better place for us all, their smile is the greatest blessing for us, and the biggest reward. The most important thing is that our children always know that they are loved and that they are not being forgotten, and they never will be. My husband and I are very happy for the Joy of Giving that this day brought to the children, and all of us.

I know how much this means to them, as I have heard from the people working in Homes they live in, that the children wake up at night and ask “Is it time for us to go to the Palace?” Earlier, when children came to the Palace, they would look surprised and ask me “Princess, where is your Crown” and I would say to them “My Crown is in my heart, without love we have nothing!” Now when they see me, they just point to the left side of their chest, showing me that they have remembered what I told them about the Crown”, stated HRH Crown Princess Katherine on this occasion.

This wonderful Easter gathering is, same as each year, greatly helped by Lifeline Humanitarian Organization of Chicago, whose patron has been HRH Crown Princess Katherine for over 30 years, as well as company Jumbo Serbia, with a generous donation of creative toys that brought great joy to the youngest, together with numerous donors, among which are: The embassies of the Kingdom of Belgium, Kingdom of Spain, Japan, Croatia, Finland, Greece, and Slovakia, companies: Coca Cola, Žito Promet, Confida Consulting d.o.o, Atlantic Group,, as well as Mr. Slobodan Bekvalac and the Hellenic Business Association of Serbia.

Also, great support came from international schools in Belgrade which joined the charity campaign which HRH Crown Princess Katherine started a long time ago “Children helping children”: the British International School of Belgrade and the German School in Belgrade. This project is following Her Royal Highness’s determination and vision, that it is crucial to teach children at an early age the importance of the Joy of Giving, as well as to encourage them to bring their gifts to the Palace, to be given to their peers in need for the forthcoming Easter holidays.

Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank all the donors and supporters who generously helped with this year’s receptions for children and together made this holiday more meaningful for the young ones.