It is not everyday that I find a message from my administrative assistant like the one above. “Oh, Mr. Kralovec, by the way, the Princess called you twice this morning and wants you to call her.”
Serbia does have a royal family. Princess Katherine married into the Serbian royal family and is from Greece. The crown prince of Serbia, Alexander Karađorđević, married Katherine in 1985 in London. It was the second marriage for both. Alexander’s family goes back to the first Serbian uprising against the Ottomans in 1804. His ancestor was the famous, Black George, who established an autonomous Serbia within the Ottoman Empire. George, like most Serbians at the time, came from typical peasant stock, growing up on a pig farm. Very nice to see that Serbia didn’t import their royals like many European countries did.
Alexander is the “crown prince” and the official heir to the vacant throne. His father, Peter, was the last king of Serbia before Tito and the communists came in 1945 and got rid of the monarchy. Alexander is a good guy, having come back to Serbia permanently in 2001. He says that Serbia must first establish a democracy before they can establish a monarch again. He lives close by in the Royal Palace. Katherine invited the school to come anytime to take tour.
Alexander and Katherine do much charitable work here in Seriba. Katherine heads the HRH Crown Princess Katherine Humanitarian Foundation
and she is working with the ministry of health to improve the health care system of the country. Her current focus is cervical and breast cancer. She had a charity fashion show last night to raise funds for a cervical cancer center. Serbia’s health care needs improvement and it is nice to see her taking a role in improving it.
Princess Katherine called asking if the school would promote the charity show with our families. I was hesitant to do this, because we often receive requests from organizations seeking access to our community. In this case, I allowed it because it was for a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Serbia. It is a chance for ISB to give back to our wonderful host country. I hope to visit the palace someday and meet the Princess in person.
That is a cool thing about living in a small country and working at an international school. I get to meet and work with the leaders of Serbia. If I was working in a school in the USA, that would not be possible. I feel honored and grateful to be a part of ISB.