The Royal Family of Serbia celebrated their Patron Saint’s Day at the Palace in Belgrade this week as they recognised St Andrew the First-Called. His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia – together with the clergy of the Belgrade and Karlovac Diocese – officiated the Holy Liturgy in the Royal Chapel. This was followed by the act of cutting the “Slava” cake in the Blue Salon of the Royal Palace.
Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine were joined for the ceremony by their family – Their Royal Highnesses Prince Philip, Princess Danica and Prince Stefan and Prince Alexander – and a number of distinguished guests. These included Mr Milan-Cile and Mrs Beba Marinkovic, the parents of HRH Princess Danica, Mrs Betty Roumeliotis, sister of HRH Crown Princess Katherine, Serbian Orthodox Church Bishops Lavrentije, Atanasije, Jovan and Dositej, Islamic community of Serbia Mufti of Bačka and of Niš, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Belgrade Monseigneur Stanislav Hocevar, the Great Rabbi Isak Asiel, and Anglican Church chaplain Fr. Robin Fox.
The Crown Prince said: “His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, this year again, has honoured us by officiating at the Royal Chapel on the day of our Patron Saint, Saint Andrew the First-Called. Thank you for that, Your Holiness. On the day of our Slava, we Serbs always remember what happened in the previous year. What brought us most happiness was the birth of our grandson Stefan. We look forward to his entry into orthodoxy, his christening. Prince Stefan is the seventh generation of Karadjordje’s descendants, and I am immensely happy that our family has rejuvenated. The young shall inherit the world, and it is up to us to do everything to leave them the legacy of peace and harmony. To all of you here, and to all citizens of Serbia, I wish good health, to have faith, patience and wisdom.”
In honour of Patron Saint’s Day Archimandrite Metodije, prior of the Hilandar monastery donated three authentic crosses made of the Hilandar olive tree to the Royal Family. Each cross was consecrated on the piece of the Holy Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified, which Saint Sava had brought to Hilandar from Nicea eight centuries ago.