Serbian Royal Family Visits Pennsylvania for Christmas

by 1389 on January 7, 2011

in 1389 (blog admin), Belgium, Christianity, Christmas, Germany, Netherlands, Orthodox Christianity, Pennsylvania, Scandinavia/Nordic region, Serbia, Spain

Serbian royals to visit Aliquippa

(h/t: NoThreat2U)

By: Bill Utterback – Beaver County Times
Tuesday January 4, 2011 10:05 PM

ALIQUIPPA — The most creative minds at Disney have never imagined a more improbable script: A prince and princess who live in a royal palace in Europe will celebrate Christmas in Beaver County this week.

Crowned Prince Alexander II of Serbia, son of Yugoslavia’s last king, grandson of the a past king of Greece, and godson of Queen Elizabeth II of England, will participate in Christmas Eve activities Thursday at the St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church in Aliquippa.

The prince, the man who would have been king of Yugoslavia had the 20th century unfolded with less turbulence, will be accompanied by his wife, Crowned Princess Katherine.

Although Prince Alexander and his family returned to the royal palace in Belgrade in 2001 after a 60-year exile, he has no governmental authority.

“When we told the Sunday school kids that a real prince and princess were coming, their eyes lit up … They were transfixed,” Brian Hayden, a Sunday School teacher who is coordinating the Christmas Eve activities said. “The kids are excited. Their parents and grandparents are excited. We’re all excited to have this opportunity to share Christmas with them.

“We’re very proud of how we have continued the traditions our grandparents and great-grandparents brought from Europe.”

Hayden said the royal couple will be visiting Pittsburgh this week and were seeking a Serbian-American church where they could celebrate Christmas. They were directed to Aliquippa, where 300 to 400 people gather annually on Christmas Eve.

“They wanted a place that represented a traditional Serbian Christmas,” Hayden said.

Hayden said the prince and princess are expected to arrive at 4 p.m. for the cutting of the yule log, and attend a children’s program at 4:30 p.m. They will leave by 7:30 p.m. to attend another engagement in Pittsburgh.

The Prince has asked to address the congregation, and to “meet and greet as many people as possible”, Hayden said.

Prince Alexander, in a Serbian newspaper last week, urged his nation to someday adopt a constitutional monarchy similar to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands and Luxemburg.

Hayden said Prince Alexander, while not in power, remains an important figure in Serbian-American churches, where Serbian history is embraced.

Advertisement “Absolutely,” Hayden said when asked if children knew of the prince. “We teach a lot of our history and tradition at church, and he’s part of the royal family. It’s a well-known part of our history. We’re Serbian-Americans and were proud of both sides of the hyphen.”

According to his official online biography, Prince Alexander was born in London after his father, King Peter II of Yugoslavia, was forced into exile after refusing to ally with Nazi Germany in 1941. Alexander’s mother was Princess Alexandra, daughter of King Alexander of Greece. At the time of the prince’s birth, Winston Churchill declared Suite 212 in the Claridge Hotel to be Yugoslavian territory. The prince was baptized at Westminster Abby with his godparents, King George VI and Elizabeth II of England, standing with him.

Alexander, according to his biography, decided not to use the title of king after his father died in 1970, but “made if very clear that he was not renouncing his title, or the dynastic right to the throne.”

Read the rest.


Crest of HRH Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia The Public Relations Office of HRH Crown Prince Alexander

Belgrade, 5 January 2011 – His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander II extends his Christmas and New Year’s message to the citizens of Serbia who celebrate Christmas according to the Julian calendar.

Dear Citizens of Serbia,

The past year brought us both, encouragements and disappointments. Neither disenchantments should discourage us, neither success should please us.

I hope and I expect in the following year to find that people will achieve their dreams and wishes or at least to find enough reason for optimism that is essential for overcoming difficulties.

We should all aspire to continue building a democratic, stable and prosperous society, for the benefit of our country, our families and all citizens of Serbia regardless of religion or ethnic origin.

My family joins me in wishing all citizens of Serbia a good and prosperous New Year for 2011.

Merry Christmas!

Christ is born!

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