Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha: Wikis

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Simeon Sakskoburggotski


In office
24 July 2001 – 17 August 2005
President Petar Stoyanov
Georgi Parvanov
Preceded by Ivan Kostov
Succeeded by Sergei Stanishev

In office
28 August 1943 – 15 September 1946
(&0000000000000003.0000003 years, &0000000000000018.00000018 days)
Serving with Kiril (Regent)
Prime Minister Bogdan Filov
Bogdan Filov (Acting)
Dobri Bozhilov
Ivan Ivanov Bagrianov
Konstantin Muraviev
Kimon Georgiev
Preceded by Boris III
Succeeded by Vasil Kolarov (as Chair of the Provisional Presidency)

Born 16 June 1937 (1937-06-16) (age 72)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Birth name Simeon II of Bulgaria
Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Political party National Movement for Stability and Progress
Spouse(s) Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela
Children Kardam
Kyrill
Kubrat
Konstantin-Assen
Kalina
Alma mater Valley Forge Military Academy and College
Religion Bulgarian Orthodox Church
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bulgaria

Simeon of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Bulgarian: Симеон Борисов Сакскобургготски, Simeon Borisov Sakskoburggotski; German: Simeon von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha or Simeon von Wettin) or Simeon II of Bulgaria (born 16 June 1937) is an important political and royal figure in Bulgaria. He was head of state as the Tsar of Bulgaria from 1943 to 1946, when the monarchy was overthrown. He later served as Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria from July 2001 until August 2005.

Simeon is one of the last living heads of state from the World War II-era, the only living person who bore the Bulgarian title "Tsar", and one of the few monarchs in history to have become the head of government through democratic elections.

Contents

Royal history

Simeon is the son of Tsar Boris III and Tsarita Giovanna di Savoia and is related to various European royals, including Queen Elizabeth II, King Albert II of Belgium and the former Kings Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Humbert II of Italy. Following his birth, Boris III sent an air force officer to the River Jordan to obtain water for Simeon's baptism in the Orthodox faith.[1] He became Tsar on 28 August 1943 upon his father's death, who had just returned to Bulgaria from a meeting with Adolf Hitler.[2][3] Since Tsar Simeon was only six years old upon assuming the throne, his uncle Prince Kyril of Bulgaria, Prime Minister Bogdan Filov, and Lieutenant-General Nikola Mihailov Mihov of the Bulgarian Army were appointed regents.[4]

On 5 September 1944 the Soviet Union declared war on Bulgaria and the Red Army invaded the country. On 9 September 1944, Prince Kyril and the other regents were deposed by a Soviet-backed coup and arrested. The three regents, all members of the last three governments, Parliament deputies, heads of the army and eminent journalists were executed by the Communists in February 1945.[5]

Towards exile

The royal family (Queen Giovanna, Simeon II, and his sister Maria-Louisa) remained at Vrana Palace near Sofia, while new communist regents were appointed. In her memoirs, Queen Giovanna recounts that Soviet soldiers at that time would entertain themselves by shooting at random in the direction where she was walking with the children. On 15 September 1946, a plebiscite was held in the presence of the Soviet army. It resulted in over 97% approval for a newly established republic and abolished the monarchy. On 16 September 1946, the royal family was exiled from Bulgaria. However, Simeon II never signed any abdication papers (which were unlikely to have any legality anyway, as he was still a minor). The royal family first went to Alexandria, Egypt, where Queen Giovanna's father Victor Emanuel III, King of Italy, lived in exile. There, Simeon II finished Victoria College (along with Crown Prince Leka of Albania). In July 1951, the Spanish government of Francisco Franco granted asylum to the family.

Education and business career

In Madrid, Simeon studied at the Lycée Français, but did not graduate. On 16 June 1955, upon turning 18, in accordance with the Tarnovo Constitution Simeon II read his proclamation to the Bulgarian people as the Tsar of Bulgaria, confirming his will to be king of all Bulgarians and follow the principles of Tarnovo Constitution and free Bulgaria. In 1958, he enrolled at Valley Forge Military Academy and College in the United States, where he was known as "Cadet Rylski No. 6883",[6] and graduated as a second lieutenant. Once again in Spain, Simeon studied law and business administration.

He became a businessman. For thirteen years, he was chairman of the Spanish subsidiary of Thomson, a French defence and electronics group. He was also an adviser in the banking, hotel, electronics, and catering sectors.

Monarch in exile

Simeon issued several political declarations during his exile through his "chancellery" in Madrid directed at the Communist regime in Bulgaria and his exiled compatriots. His early attempts at forming an official government in exile did not come to fruition, however.[citation needed]

Marriage and family

In 1962 Simeon married a Spanish aristocrat, doña Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela. The couple have five children — four sons (Kardam, Kiril, Kubrat and Konstantin) and a daughter, Kalina, all of whom subsequently married Spaniards.[7] All of his sons received names of Bulgarian kings.

Political return

In 1990, after the fall of communism, Simeon was issued a new Bulgarian passport. In 1996, 50 years after the abolition of the monarchy, Simeon returned to Bulgaria and was met in many places by crowds cheering: "We want our King!" [8] He did not, at that point, make any political announcements or moves.

Various estates in Bulgaria that had been nationalized under the republic were returned to Simeon and his family. In 2001, Simeon announced he would return to Bulgaria to form a new political party, the National Movement Simeon II (NMSII), dedicated to "reforms and political integrity." Simeon promised that in 800 days the Bulgarian people would feel tangible positive effects of his government and would enjoy significantly higher standards of living.

NMSII won a large victory in the parliamentary elections held on 17 June 2001, capturing 120 of the 240 seats in Parliament and defeating the two main pre-existing political parties. Simeon gave an oath as Prime Minister of Bulgaria on 24 July, forming a coalition with the ethnic Turkish party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF). He gave ministerial positions in his government mainly to technocrats and Western-educated economic specialists. In 2002, his efforts were recognized by his receiving the 2002 Path to Peace Award from the Path to Peace Foundation.[9] The development of Bulgaria's capital markets moved forward, with the first Eurolev issue in 2004. During his time in power, Bulgaria joined NATO, but the country remained mired in the poverty, deteriorating public services, official corruption and organized crime.

In the 2005 elections, Simeon's party ranked second and participated in the grand coalition government with the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms. Simeon II was given the unofficial ceremonial post of Chairman of the Coalition Council.

The party got just 3.01% of votes and no seats at the parliamentary elections of 2009. Shortly after, Simeon had also resigned as NDSV leader on 6 July.[10]

Views on restoration of the Bulgarian monarchy

Simeon II has never renounced his royal claim to the Bulgarian throne. He used the title "Tsar of the Bulgarians" in his political statements during his exile. Since his return to Bulgaria, however, Simeon has consistently declined to reveal his views on the restoration of the Bulgarian monarchy. Upon taking office as prime minister, he took an oath to protect the country's republican Constitution.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Styles of
Simeon II
Coat of arms of Bulgaria (1927-1946).svg
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Sir
The Rt. Hon
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Honours

Ancestors

See also

References

  1. ^ Kate Connolly, "Once upon a time in Bulgaria", The Guardian, 20 June 2001.
  2. ^ "Bulgarian Rule Goes to Son, 6. Reports on 5-Day Illness Conflict", United Press dispatch of 28 August 1943, in a cutting from an unknown newspaper in the collection of historian James L. Cabot, Ludington, Michigan
  3. ^ Theo Aronson, Crowns in Conflict, p.202. London: John Murray (Publishers) Ltd., 1986. ISBN 0-7195-4279-0
  4. ^ Geoffrey Hindley, The Royal Families of Europe, p.156. London: Lyric Books Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-07-093530-0
  5. ^ Ibid.
  6. ^ Ibid.
  7. ^ Ibid.
  8. ^ Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha - Prime Minister of Bulgaria
  9. ^ Path to Peace Foundation website
  10. ^ "Симеон Сакскобургготски подаде оставка" (in Bulgarian). Труд. 2009-07-06. http://www.trud.bg/Article.asp?ArticleId=170311. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  11. ^ Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George (2008). "Membership of the Constantinian Order". Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George. http://www.constantinianorder.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=12. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  12. ^ The Royal House of the Two Sicilies (2008). "MEMBERSHIP OF THE ROYAL ILLUSTRIUOS ORDER OF ST. JANUARIUS". The Royal House of the Two Sicilies. http://www.bourbon-two-sicilies.org/english/januarius_membership.html. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  13. ^ Spanish: [1] BOE 07-10-02, Spanish Official Journal (accessed on 30 October 2008)

Bibliography

Books

In addition to the books listed in the References, the following may be mentioned:

  • Walter J.R. Curley, Monarchs in Waiting. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1975. (pp.23-25: "Bulgaria: His Majesty King Simeon II")
  • Pashanko Dimitroff, Boris III of Bulgaria 1894-1943. London, 1986. ISBN 0-86332-140-2
  • Charles Fenyvesi, Royalty in Exile. London: Robson Books, 1981. (pp. 153-171: "Czar Simeon of the Bulgars") ISBN 0-86051-131-6
  • Stephane Groueff Crown of Thorns, Lanham MD. and London, 1987. ISBN 0-8191-5778-3
  • Gregory Lauder-Frost, The Betrayal of Bulgaria, Monarchist League Policy Paper, London, 1989.
  • Robert K. Massie and Jeffrey Firestone, The Last Courts of Europe. New York: Greenwich House, 1983. ISBN 0-517-41472-4

Articles

  • The Daily Telegraph, Obituary for "HM Queen Ioanna of the Bulgarians", London, 28 February 2000.

External links

Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 16 June 1937
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Boris III
Tsar of Bulgaria
1943–1946
Served alongside: Kiril (Regent)
Vacant
Government offices
Preceded by
Boris III
as Tsar of Bulgaria
Head of State of Bulgaria
as Tsar of Bulgaria

1943–1946
Served alongside: Kiril (Regent)
Succeeded by
Vasil Kolarov
as Chair of the Provisional Presidency of Bulgaria
Political offices
Preceded by
Ivan Kostov
Prime Minister of Bulgaria
2001–2005
Succeeded by
Sergei Stanishev
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
— TITULAR —
Tsar of Bulgaria
1946–present
Incumbent
Heir:
Kardam
Preceded by
Lord Frederick Windsor
Line of succession to the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha throne
21st position
Succeeded by
Kardam

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