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Bucharest, April 15 /Agerpres/ - Prince Nicholas, who will participate in the cycling tour "Childhood books on bicycle," initiated by Curtea Veche Association, says in an interview to AGERPRES, that through this initiative he wants to draw the attention on a serious problem existing in Romania, the lack of education and illiteracy.

He confesses he also reads out loud in Romanian, to exercise the fluency of the language. Prince Nicholas speaks in his interview of the passion for adventure and travel books, the preference for the printed books, but also of the need for constant reading and the initiation of some projects aimed at educating children on the importance of sports.

Prince Nicholas will pedal over one thousand kilometres together with national cycling champion Alex Ciocan, within the charitable cycling tour "Childhood books on bicycle," devoted to promote reading nationwide. The tour will be carried out in the period April 23 - May 3 and will cover 13 counties, from Sighetu Marmatiei to Constanta. All those wanting to pedal next to the Prince are invited to bid for the available places in the platoon or to freely join the welcoming events taking place in the cities of Sighetu Marmatiei, Dej, Cluj Napoca, Sibiu, Brasov, Sinaia, Bucharest, Calarasi, Constanta.


AGERPRES: What determined you to join the "Childhood Books on a Bicycle" project, initiated by Curtea Veche Association?

Prince Nicholas: I have chosen to get involved in this cycling tour we embark on from Sighetu Marmatiei to Constanta, together with Curtea Veche Association, to raise necessary funds for the charitable projects conducted by the Association and to disseminate the richness of knowledge through the stories of the books. Secondly, we wanted to raise the awareness of the public concerning a serious problem we have in Romania, nationwide: the lack of education and illiteracy. Thirdly, as obesity is another serious problem Romania is confronted with, we want to promote a healthier lifestyle for children, addressing their parents and teachers. I want to continue this initiative in the future, with new projects aimed at educating children concerning the importance of sports.

As coordinator of the Association, I proposed a fund raising event, more practical and new, different from the festivities and concerts we have gotten accustomed with in the area, and, at the same time, addressing everyone, regardless of age.


AGERPRES: Are you passionate about cycling? Since when?

Prince Nicholas: Before having a car, the bicycle was my main means of transportation, and it continued to be until June 2014, when, under a sponsorship, I received a Giant bicycle to train for the 'Childhood books on bicycle' tour. That was my first time in eight years that I rode a bicycle and also my first time to ride a professional bicycle.


AGERPRES: What do books, reading mean to you, Your Royal Highness?

Prince Nicholas: Books are a means of educating and broadening the personal horizon of knowledge; they are a door to another world that can be accessed by words and imagination. Books allow us to reach those parts of our imagination that are forbidden in the real world. Reading is important in order to develop the brain since a tender age, because reading allows us to analyse and process information, even if that happens differently for each of us.


AGERPRES: Do you remember the first book you were given as a present and who made the present? What was the first book you bought?

Prince Nicholas: I do not remember exactly what the first books I got were, but I remember that most of them contained adventures, journeys and, of course, cars.


AGERPRES: Which books do you prefer: scientific or fiction?

Prince Nicholas: I prefer adventure and travel books. I have read many books by Chris Bonington, who has climbed the Everest several times.


AGERPRES: Do you also read books in Romanian?

Prince Nicholas: I read out books in Romanian in order to exercise the fluency of my spoken Romanian and pronunciation.


AGERPRES: Going back to cycling, do you know the route? Are you ready for the challenge?

Prince Nicholas: I know some parts of the route and I can tell you it will be difficult and wonderful. I guess it is hard being completely ready for such a challenge, but with encouragement from my friends in the Netherlands and the UK, plus encouragement from Alex Ciocan and the participants, I believe we will manage.


AGERPRES: Are you expecting other Romanians to join the demarche of Your Royal Highness? How important do you think that will be?

Prince Nicholas: Other Romanians will join us; there will be 6-7 participants per leg and I hope they will accompany us 20-30 km before our arrival in and departure from each city. I think it would be wonderful for entire communities to get involved and pedal with us, local authorities and families included. I think it is important for all communities to get closer and help one another.


AGERPRES: What chance does reading stand in a world that is captured by the Internet?

Prince Nicholas: This is surely a continual battle in our days that has a huge impact on reading and printing, from books to newspapers. Reading will always have a place, although books will suffer. As for me, I prefer reading a paper book, because that gives me a different feeling and a special interaction with the story.

****

Prince Nicholas was born on April 1, 1985 in Geneva to Princess Elena and Robin Leslie Medforth-Mills, a United Nations official.

He completed his formal primary and secondary education at Argyle House of Sunderland, the UK, in 1999. In 1999, he enrolled with the Shiplake College of Henley on Thames, the UK.

In high school, Prince Nicholas won a GCSE certificate in Mathematics, French, German, English Literature and Language, Information Technology, Geography and Sciences (Chemistry, Biology, Physics), and he graduated the GCSE A-level in French, Business Sciences and Physical Education.

In 2004, Prince Nicholas was assistant leader of an expedition to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. In 2005, he lived in Kenya for four months and joined an expedition to Madagascar. In 2006, he was employed in Kenya as a rafting trainer for the British Armies.

In 2009-2012, Prince Nicholas attended Management classes at the Royal Holloway College, the London University.

He is a sports lover, having gone into soccer, hockey, rugby, cricket, kayak-canoeing and occasionally tennis.

On his 25th birth anniversary in 2010, King Mihai bestowed on him the title of Romania's Prince and Royal Highness, at a ceremony hosted by Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest.

Under the Fundamental Rules of the Royal Family, Prince Nicholas became in 2007 third in line to the defunct throne of Romania.

Prince Nicholas also received a Nihil Sine Deo decoration in 2010 and the Grand Cross of the Romanian Crown's Order in 2013, both from King Mihai.

Prince Nicholas' charity endeavours include cooperation with the British School of Bucharest under an ecological project and support for environmental organisations 'Mai Mult Verde' and 'Tasuleasa Social.'

Prince Nicholas has lent his High Patronage to the 'Planet BSB' project carried out by the British School of Bucharest. He has also lent his High Patronage and became a coordinator of the Curtea Veche Association that promotes reading among children. He is also a Duke of Edinburgh's Award ambassador and a current collaborator of the Curtea Veche publishing house. AGERPRES

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