Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

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Simeon II / Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Former Tsar of Bulgaria (Royal), Chairman of the Coalition (Political)
Image:Simeon de Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.jpg
Simeon Sakskoburggotski as Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Reign 28 August, 1943 - 15 September, 1946
Born 16 June, 1937
Sofia, Bulgaria
Predecessor Boris III of Bulgaria
Successor Kingdom abolished
Consort Margarita Gomez-Acebo y Cejuela
Issue Kardam, Prince of Turnovo
Kyrill, Prince of Preslav
Kubrat, Prince of Panagiurishte
Konstantin-Assen, Prince of Vidin
Princess Kalina of Bulgaria
Royal House Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father Boris III
Mother Giovanna of Italy

Simeon of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (born June 16, 1937) is a Bulgarian politician who was also the last Tsar of Bulgaria, Tsar Simeon II, from 1943 to 1946. He served as Prime Minister of Bulgaria from 2001 until August 2005 under the name Simeon Borisov Sakskoburggotski (Симеон Борисов Сакскобургготски). He is also known in the English speaking world as Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, which is an English form of his family's original German name Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha.

Simeon is one of the last living heads of state from the pre-World War II-era and he is also one of the few monarchs in history who regained political power through democratic election to a different office (see Norodom Sihanouk for another example).


[edit] Royal history

See also: Ancestry of royals of Bulgaria

Simeon is the son of Tsar Boris III and Tsaritsa Giovanna (of the House of Savoy). He became Tsar on August 28 1943 upon the death of his father, shortly after returning to Bulgaria from a meeting with Adolf Hitler. Since Tsar Simeon was only six years old upon assuming the throne, his uncle Prince Kyril of Bulgaria and two others were appointed regents. On the 9th September 1944, Kyril and the other regents were removed by a Soviet-backed coup. Prince Kyril and the former Prime Minister Professor Bogdan Filov were subsequentl executed.

Styles of
King Simeon II of The Bulgarians
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Sir

Simeon remained on the throne with Regents appointed by the new Communist government. On 15 September, 1946 the monarchy was abolished after a typically Soviet-style referendum that resulted in 95% approval for abolition. All political parties supported the abolition. The royal family initially travelled to Alexandria, Egypt, where Tsaritsa Giovanna's father Victor Emanuel III, former king of Italy, was living in exile. In July 1951 the Spanish government of Francisco Franco granted asylum to the exiled family. In Madrid Simeon graduated from the Lycée Francais and studied law and political science. In 1955, upon turning eighteen, he proclaimed himself the Tsar of Bulgaria, in accordance with the Tarnovo Constitution. In 1958 he enrolled at Valley Forge Military Academy and College in the United States, where he was known as "Cadet Rylski", and graduated as a second lieutenant. Once again in Spain, Simeon studied law and business administration, and went on to become a businessman.

[edit] Marriage and family

In 1962 Simeon married a member of the Spanish aristocracy, Doña Margarita Gomez-Acebo y Cejuela. The couple had five children — four sons (Kardam, Kyril, Kubrat and Konstantin, in that order) and a daughter, Kalina, all of whom subsequently married Spaniards. Simeon spent most of his adult life working as a businessman: thirteen years as chairman of the Spanish subsidiary of Thomson, a French defence and electronics group, and as an advisor in the banking, hotel, electronics, and catering sectors.

Titular Bulgarian Royal Family

Pedigree: Bulgarian ancestry of royals of Bulgaria

[edit] Political return

In 1996 Simeon visited Bulgaria for the first time since his childhood and was met with thousands of Bulgarians, cheering: “We want our King!"[1] At this time, however, he did not make any political pronouncements or take political moves.

The estates of his family in Bulgaria that had been nationalised under Communism were returned to him. At first he declared that he was willing to donate forests returned to him in Rila Mountain to the eponymous National Park but later reneged. Instead, he expressed his support for a controversial Super Borovetz project which aims to expand the ski resort of Borovetz at the expense of the neighbouring forests.

In 2001 Simeon, now using the name Simeon Borisov Sakskoburggotski, saying that he wished to return for good, announced the formation of a new political party, the National Movement for Simeon II ("NMSII"), dedicated to "reforms and political integrity." Simeon himself promised a period of 800 days, after which the Bulgarian people would start feeling the positive effects of his government's rule and they would have a higher standard of living. These promises worked and in an election held June 17, 2001, the NMS won 120 out of 240 seats in Parliament, overturning both of Bulgaria's pre-existing political parties. Sakskoburggotski was sworn in as Prime Minister of Bulgaria on July 24, forming a coalition with the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms ("MRF"). He assembled a cabinet composed mainly of technocrats and Western-educated economic specialists. In 2002 his good works were recognised by his receiving the 2002 Path to Peace Award from the Path to Peace Foundation[2]. In 2005, he formed a new coalition government consisting not only of NMSII and MRF but also of New Time, a splinter group from NMSII.

Simeon's popularity faded during his four year rule as prime minister. In particular the 800 days economic quick fix program did not meet popular expectations. However, the development of Bulgaria's capital markets have moved forward, with the first Eurolev issue in 2004 -- a feat which Romania has yet to match. Allegations that his government was involved in corrupt privatisation have not led to any official conclusion.[citation needed].

[edit] Political defeat

At the June 25, 2005 elections, Sakskoburggotski's party polled only 20% of the vote, being overtaken by the Socialists with 31%, although no single party won a majority of seats. After nearly a month of political uncertainty, Sergey Stanishev of the Bulgarian Socialist Party undertook on July 20 to form a Cabinet. When Sakskoburggostski refused to take part in a coalition government, on July 27 the BSP formed a coalition with the MRF. Stanishev's Cabinet, however, was rejected by the Parliament. After another three weeks of deadlock, Sakskoburggotski agreed on 15 August to join a three-party coalition government headed by Stanishev, including BSP, NMSII and MRF. Simeon was given the unofficial ceremonial post of Chairman of the Coalition. Bulgaria is now set to join the EU in 2007.

[edit] Views on restoration of the Bulgarian monarchy

Sakskoburggotski has declined to comment on whether he believes Bulgaria should restore the monarchy, saying it is a matter for the people of Bulgaria to decide. His oath to the Republican Constitution in 2001 was seen as a rejection of monarchy. High-ranking representatives of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church declared that they would join an eventual discussion about the restoration of monarchy although it seems unlikely that the majority of Bulgarians would support the idea in a plebiscite.

Sakskoburggotski has always refused to take part in political debates. This has been largely to his desire to be seen as King of his entire people, regardless of political affiliation.[citation needed].

[edit] Quotes

  • Upon winning the 2001 elections: "Although I am pragmatic and realistic, I will take the liberty of dreaming of a richer, stronger, more secure, fairer and more moral Bulgaria. The road will be hard but my government and I are confident in our success."[citation needed]

[edit] References

  • Royalty in Exile by Charles Fenyvesi, London, 1981, pps:153-171 - "Czar Simeon of the Bulgars". ISBN 0-86051-131-6
  • Boris III of Bulgaria 1894-1943, by Pashanko Dimitroff, London, 1986, ISBN 0-86332-140-2
  • Crown of Thorns by Stephane Groueff, Lanham MD., and London, 1987, ISBN 0-8191-5778-3
  • The Betrayal of Bulgaria by Gregory Lauder-Frost, Monarchist League Policy Paper, London, 1989.
  • The Daily Telegraph, Obituary for "HM Queen Ioanna of the Bulgarians", London, 28 February 2000.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

Born: 16 June 1937; Died:

Regnal Titles
Preceded by:
Boris III
Tsar of Bulgaria
Preceded by:
Boris III
Bulgarian Head of State
Succeeded by:
Vasil Kolarov
Titles in pretence
New Title * NOT REIGNING *
Tsar of Bulgaria
Designated heir:
Prince Kardam
Political offices
Preceded by:
Ivan Kostov
Prime Minister of Bulgaria
Succeeded by:
Sergey Stanishev
Bulgarian monarchs
Great Bulgaria (632–681)

Kubrat | Batbayan

First Bulgarian Empire (681–1018)

Asparukh | Tervel | Kormesiy | Sevar | Kormisosh | Vinekh | Telets | Sabin | Umor | Toktu | Pagan | Telerig | Kardam | Krum | Omurtag | Malamir | Presian | Boris I | Vladimir | Simeon I | Peter I | Boris II | Roman | Samuil | Gavril Radomir | Ivan Vladislav | Presian II

Second Bulgarian Empire (1186–1396)

Ivan Asen I | Peter IV | Ivanko | Kaloyan | Boril | Ivan Asen II | Kaliman I Asen | Michael Asen I | Kaliman II Asen | Mitso Asen | Constantine I Tikh | Ivailo | Ivan Asen III | George Terter I | Smilets | Chaka | Theodore Svetoslav | George Terter II | Michael Shishman | Ivan Stephen | Ivan Alexander | Ivan Shishman | Ivan Sratsimir

Kingdom of Bulgaria (1878–1946)

Alexander I | Ferdinand I | Boris III | Simeon II

bg:Симеон Сакскобургготски

cs:Simeon II. da:Simeon Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha de:Simeon Sakskoburggotski et:Simeon II es:Simeón de Sajonia-Coburgo Gotha fr:Siméon II de Bulgarie gl:Simeón II de Bulgaria - Симеон Сакскобургготски ko:불가리아의 시메온 2세 it:Simeone II di Bulgaria he:סמיון סקסקובורגוצקי mk:Цар Симеон ІІ nl:Simeon Sakskoburggotski ja:シメオン・サクスコブルクゴツキ no:Simeon av Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha pl:Symeon II pt:Simeão II da Bulgária ro:Simeon al II-lea al Bulgariei ru:Сакскобургготский, Симеон sk:Simeon II. fi:Simeon Sakskoburggotski sv:Simeon Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha zh:西美昂·萨克森-科堡-哥达斯基

Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

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