Prince Charles voices ‘despair at pointless cruelty’ throughout Serbia go to
The Prince of Wales expressed his “despair over senseless cruelty” in the world when he gave a speech on reconciliation – with reference to his beloved uncle, Lord Mountbatten.
Charles delivered the speech at a reception hosted by the Speaker of the Serbian Parliament, Maja Gojkovic.
It was held to celebrate British women on the Serbian front during World War I and the relationship between Britain and Serbia.
On St. Patrick’s Day, the Prince spoke of the 1979 death of Lord Mountbatten, who was killed by an IRA bomb on a boat off the west coast of Ireland.
He said: “In 1979 my beloved great-uncle Lord Mountbatten died in a terrible bombing raid in Ireland along with his grandson, godson and others who were in his boat with him.
“So I feel that from my own experience I have at least some understanding of the heartbreaking agony that so many families in this region, regardless of nationality, race or religion, have experienced from the loss of loved ones.
“But after many years of reflection and despair over the senseless cruelty and destruction we are witnessing around the world, my own conclusion is that only reconciliation provides assurance that our children and grandchildren will not suffer the same torments as our generation . ”
Before the evening reception, the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall made a series of stops and started the day at a Novi Sad cultural market.
Crowds gathered in the square to see the royal couple – some went to the windows to catch a glimpse – and cheered and applauded as Charles and Camilla walked around the house, occasionally stopping to shake hands and exchange a few words.
They also visited the Matica Srpska Gallery, where the prince turned his hand to art restoration.
He was shown the gallery’s conservation studio, which is currently working on the iconostasis of the Serbian Church in Budapest, and when shown one of the pieces that was being cleaned, he was invited to try it out.
He took a tool and began to gently scratch the surface. He said, “This is very exciting. It’s amazing. You have to be careful.”
After enjoying himself for a moment, he laughed and said “I better not do too much” before turning off the device.
During the afternoon the prince visited the Kovilj monastery, where he was received by his abbot, Father Isihije Hesychios.
At the convent, Charles took some time to speak to addicts who have taken advantage of the convent’s rehabilitation program, The Land of the Living.
The project is free and aims to promote cessation of drug use by taking participants out of an addictive environment and promoting recovery through manual labor and community service.
After hearing from some users of the service, Charles was shown where the monastery makes candles and brandy.
He tried different types of spirit and described the plum brandy as “special”.
The afternoon ended with the prince being led through the Kovilj-Petrovaradin marshes on a boat.