Over the weekend, Prince Philip and Princess Danica of Serbia attended the national day celebration of the Serbian region of the Republika Srpska – an unknown part of Europe for many, one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The son of Serbian Crown Prince Alexander arrived in the nation on Saturday, 8 January and took part in a series of events on Sunday, 9 January, including Orthodox services and a major military parade.
During the visit, the Prince said: “Republika Srpska is not just a part of the Serbian country. It is an obligation and an inspiration for us and our descendants. Our generation has a great and historical responsibility to save the Republika Srpska from more and more frequent attempts to make it meaningless and collapse from various addresses.”
He continued: “I am happy that tonight and tomorrow, Danica and I, together with the people of Banja Luka and the state leadership of the Republika Srpska, will take part in the celebration of a significant jubilee – 30 years of existence of the Republika Srpska. We love and cherish it as much as we love and cherish Serbia. Long live Serbia! Long live Republika Srpska.”
In recent years, Prince Philip has gained a prominent place in Balkan politics after he became even more strongly involved on behalf of the Serbian Royal Family. He has strong opinions in favour of the Serbian nation, Serbs who live in other parts of the Balkan region and the promotion of Serbian national heritage and tradition.
As a result, this has created many reactions from politicians but has helped to strengthen the awareness and support surrounding the Serbian Royal Family.
The Day of Republika Srpska is a national holiday of Republika Srpska, but it was proclaimed unconstitutional by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Constitutional Court.
It is celebrated on 9 January, with its unofficial patron saint being Saint Archdeacon Stephen. A referendum was held on the holidaying 2016, but yet again, it was deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court. Despite the ban by the Constitutional Court, people still celebrate the holiday in the Republika Srpska.