Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Aleksandar and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia during their recent American visit.
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CHICAGO, IL – Two Chicago organizations joined together in hosting a reception and dinner honoring Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Aleksandar and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia on Saturday, June 29, during their recent American visit.
The Royal Couple arrived at the Serbian American Museum St. Sava, 448 West Barry Avenue, to an eagerly awaiting capacity crowd. The celebration marked the first official visit by the Prince and Princess to open the Royal Room at the Museum. Among the artifacts in the collection is the naval uniform of King Peter II, generously donated by his son. It stands on display next to an historic picture of the King in the identical uniform.
Guests were welcomed by the President of Lifeline Humanitarian Organization’s Chicago Office, Kathy Fanslow, and by Museum President Dr. Zivojin Pavlovic.
Several dignitaries were on hand for the evening including Serbian Consul General Desko Nikitovic, the Consul General of Bosnia and Herzegovina Brane B. Pecanac, and the Consul General of Greece Ioanna Efthymiadou. The room was filled with Board Members of the Museum, the Lifeline Chicago Office, and the Lifeline American Medical Association, as well as several distinguished invited guests.
The second floor of the Museum is the exhibit area. The Royal Room includes pictures and items relating to the Karageorgevich Dynasty, the Hilandar Room is filled with religious displays, and the Tesla Room has several exhibits of a scientific nature. The fourth room displays memorabilia of famous Serbian athletes of international renown.
Before the dinner, the Royal Couple patiently posed for pictures with each of the guests taken by volunteer photographer Dorothy Paunovich. Her husband Mike Paunovich recorded the evening’s festivities on video. Brief remarks were given at dinner by the presidents of the two host organizations who then introduced Consul General Nikitovic. He spoke of the strength in unity of all Diaspora Serbs, comments that were echoed strongly by HRH Prince Aleksandar in his remarks.
His Highness then asked Princess Katherine to address the guests. She began by saying how she is grateful to her husband every day for giving her the opportunity to be in Serbia. “I am so honored to be there in Serbia, with my husband, with our people. I will always do everything possible to make life better for everyone there,” she added.
Her Highness founded the Lifeline Humanitarian Organization in 1993 as an international effort and urgent response to the devastation resulting from the Yugoslav conflict. Her mission was to offer assistance to everyone in need, delivered with dignity and respect. She stated her vision 20 years ago, and it remains the same today: “We will make a positive difference in peoples’ lives through our humanitarian work. We will be the lifetime partners of the people of Serbia in promoting health, wellness, and stability.”
The Princess further acknowledged the immeasurable help of the Chicago office by thanking President Fanslow and her Board. “You have made such an impact. Thank you for giving so many people the one thing they need the most – hope.”
In concluding his remarks for the evening, HRH Crown Prince Aleksandar emphasized this open invitation for everyone to visit the Royal Compound. “Come home. Come see us. You are always welcome.”
It was announced that two separate performances this summer at Carnegie Hall in New York City will be setting aside profits to benefit Lifeline. One is the celebrated opera Diva Jadranka Jovanovic, who has donated her time and talent in the past to benefit Lifeline. The other is a July performance by Momcilo Nikolic, renowned tamburitza artist, who was on hand to entertain at the Museum event.
At the end of the evening, guests were given a DVD of the State Reburial of Their Majesties King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and HRH Prince Andrej which took place at the Royal Mausoleum in the St. George Church in Oplenac on May 26, 2013.