On Saturday of last week, a large-scale protest was organised in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. The rally was attended by thousands and heavily arranged by the Serbian monarchist movement together with other anti-government and anti-immigration movements. The protest was aimed at the current government who are heavy criticised for not doing what they have promised.
Among many of the protesters you could see royalist symbols and hear the protesters shout “long live King Alexander” and “King Alexander will bring back Kosovo!” Opposition protests have been relatively rare in Serbia since the popular unrest that ousted former strongman Serbian and Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Milosevic has been called “the Butcher of the Balkans” for his role in the Bosnian Genocide, and he would later be indicted in The Hague by the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for crimes against humanity.
Current Serbian President Vucic’s approval ratings have dropped dramatically since he won a 2016 presidential election. “Corruption, violence, stifling of press freedoms, they (the Progressive Party) do it all and Vucic is their kingpin,” said Radovan Peric, 49, a mechanic from Belgrade during the protest to Reuters. Vucic brought about a controversy by praising former dictator Milosevic and has been accused of leading the nation toward authoritarianism.
The last poll in Serbia stated that more than 60% of the population wanted the re-establishment of the Serbian monarchy. The support for Crown Prince Alexander is, therefore, increasing year by year. While in parliament, only 40% of the representatives are in favour for the monarchy, so there is still a long way to go to hold a referendum on the case or start the political proses to re-establish a monarchy in the Balkan nation.
Royal Central’s Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen met with Crown Prince Alexander in the summer of 2017. Aanmoen asked the Crown Prince about his own views on a potential restoration of the monarchy. His Royal Highness responded: “We notice a tremendous feeling for the history of our country. We were always a monarchy. This year we will be celebrating 800 years of monarchy. My father never abdicated in 1945. The Kingdom [of Serbia] was stolen from him on the 29th of November 1945”.
Crown Prince Alexander continued: “The objective is a constitutional monarchy, not an absolute monarchy. We respect everyone, regardless of religion, ethnic origins and political persuasion provided they believe in the democratic process”.