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Bulgarian Royal Family | Past and Present

Mention the royal family within Europe and most of us think of Queen Elizabeth II and her family of royals. There is actually a Bulgarian royal family and has been since 1878.

Prince Alexander of Battenburg became the leader of Bulgaria in 1878. At the young age of only 22 Prince Alexander was to remain on the throne for just 8 years when he would lose his throne in 1886. Bulgaria at this time was emerging from being a principality to becoming a Kingdom in 1908.

In 1908 Bulgaria witnessed the declaration of independence from Turkish rule. At this time Prince Ferdinand whose full name is Ferdinand Maximilian Karl Leopold Maria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha became the Prince of Bulgaria. Incidentally Prince Ferdinand was the cousin of King Edward II of England. He became known as Tsar Ferdinand and reigned for 32 years until his death in 1918. His son Boris took the place of his father and became known as Tsar Boris III. King Boris led his country through the very difficult times of World War 2 until his death in 1943. It is thought that Boris had been in a meeting with German leader Adolf Hitler just prior to his death.


Boris had a son named Simeon and at just 6 years old Simeon became the Bulgarian Royal family member known as Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria. In September 1946 Bulgaria became the establishment of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and shortly after this both Simeon and his family had to take exile in Alexandria, Egypt. He lived with his grandfather Giovanna, former King of Italy. Five years later Francisco Franco of Spain invited King Simeon and his family to take asylum, of which was greatly accepted.

Communism in Bulgaria ended in 1990 and Simeon was granted a Bulgarian passport. He returned to his homeland Bulgaria in April 2001 where he was elected as Prime Minister of Bulgaria. This was to last until August 2005.

Simeon who is just one of three surviving members of state from World War 2, the other members being: 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso, and former King Michael of Romania. Simeon is still an important figure of Bulgarian politics and he is respected by a very large population of Bulgaria. He has been married since 1962 to Spanish aristocrat Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela and between them they have 5 children, 1 daughter, Kalina and 4 sons Konstantin, Kiril, Kardam, and Kubrat

Read more information about Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and the Bulgarian Royal Family with this Wiki article