Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia have hosted a Christmas gathering for more than 1,000 children in need from Serbia and the Republic of Srpska. The event took place at the White Palace in Belgrade, the official residence of the Royal Family of Serbia.
These children, who are without parental care, have intellectual disabilities, or are socially vulnerable and range in age from one to fourteen. They were given the opportunity to celebrate Orthodox Christmas with the royal couple and share in the holiday’s spirit. The events were supported by the patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Porfirije, the Serbian Minister for Family Welfare and Demography, and several private individuals including the sister of HRH Crown Princess Katherine.
The tradition of hosting Christmas gatherings for children in need was started by Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine after their return to Serbia in 2001. After a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, during which gifts were delivered directly to institutions, the royal couple were pleased to be able to host the gatherings again at the White Palace and give gifts to the children in person.
The events were made possible by the Lifeline Humanitarian Organisation of Chicago, which collected donations to purchase gifts for the children, as well as by children from Belgrade international schools who participated in the “Children helping children” charity campaign and brought gifts to the palace.
In total, thousands of gifts, including clothing, shoes, toys, hygiene bags, and school supplies, were donated by the generous supporters. During the day, three receptions were held where the children received wonderful gifts, spent time with Santa Claus, participated in music and dance programs, and received a blessing from His Holiness the Patriarch.
The Minister of Family Welfare and Demography thanked Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine for their ongoing support for the children and expressed her hope that they would feel like princes and princesses during their time at the palace. The royal couple and their guests were moved by the children’s joy and the sound of their laughter, and the White Palace was filled with love and happiness on this special occasion.