REPUBLICAN PRINCE: Simeon II of Bulgaria From King to Prime Minister


REPUBLICAN PRINCE: Simeon II of Bulgaria From King to Prime Minister
by Darius Kadivar

From King to Prime Minister of The Republic of Bulgaria. Rather than regaining his throne, King Simeon II returned to Bulgaria in 2001 after more than 50 years in exile at the head of a democratically elected government.

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 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 Slavonic title "Tsar", and one of the few monarchs in history to have become the head of government through democratic elections.

Documentary by ABC Australia:

(NOTE: To Watch Double Click Here and Skip Ad)

The King Returns:

8 February 1990, first appearance of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha on Bulgarian TV. Less than 3 months after the beginning of the collapse of Communism - the resignation on 10th November of Todor Zhivkov, who ruled the country for more than 30 years.

(NOTE: To Watch Double Click Here)

The Kingdom of Bulgaria existed from 1908 to 1946. It had earlier become independent of the Turkish Ottoman Empire as the Principality of Bulgaria but after joining with East Rumelia became a full kingdom with the monarch given the title of "Tsar". As such, it is sometimes known as the 3rd Bulgarian Empire. Following the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe at the end of World War II the young monarch King Simeon II was deposed and Bulgaria became a communist republic, a puppet regime of the Soviet Union in 1946. After the end of the Cold War Simeon II was finally able to return and eventually was elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria; the only former monarch to return to politics in such a way. The royal house is Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Royals of Bulgaria:

About Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha known as King Simeon II of Bulgaria:

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 Czar on 28 August 1943 upon the death of his father, shortly after his return 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. 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. 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.

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.

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. More Here

Related Pictory:

Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi and Bulgaria’s Crown Prince Kardan at Belgian Royal Christening (2004)

Related Blogs:

RESTORATION: Greek Constitutional Monarchy Toppled by Military Coup (April 21st, 1967)

RESTORATION: Belgium King Baudouin takes Oath Amidst Republican Animosity (31st July ,1950)

HISTORY FORUM: How Truly Democratic is The British Monarchy ?

HISTORY FORUM:The Monarchy with David Starkey (Cambridge University)


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Add Yourself to the list too ...


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Not sure I can say the same about an invisible 'poet' who is passing through here on IC with multiple Anonymous ID's ...




Just to congratulate himself on his own comments ... 


Take Care Truth Seeker !












I Want You To Always Remember This .....

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I am not going to stand by, and let you attack and disparage good people, such as Shirin Ebadi, as you did in this blog:




Respectfully, your comments regarding Shirin Ebadi, and people who support her, are pathetic - To call people who support her as "Losers" shows more about you than anyone else -

If you are looking for a "True Loser", please look in the mirror first ..... ! At least, these people are not a bunch of hired guns who would sell their souls to write complementary blogs regarding a corrupt family such as the Pahlavis ;) !


Finally, let me say this:


Others may have not challenged you sufficiently in the past regarding the garbage that you spew on the pages of - The arrogance that is in display by you, not only in this blog, but in other pages of, is quite self-evident, and needs no further explanation -

I want you to know that I intend to challenge you everytime that you get out of line as you did in the blog on Shirin Ebadi - Never Forget That ;) !





P.S. Looking Forward To Your Next Blog ;) !



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I may not know much but unlike You I know who I am

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As for Ad hominem Attacks ... ( No need to mention your patronizing comments on my French Roots ...) I did not start the hostilities hiding behind an Anonymous ID and Lecturing from Some other Safe Haven in Florida or elsewhere telling people how they should use their time or what they should or should not blog about or write or think ...

You are no more no less entitled than me or others to speak on behalf of Iranians back home as if you could read their minds in advance or speak for their genuine desires ...


SATIRE: The Burqa Republic of Our IRANICAN Dreams ;0)


Just Because You are unhappy when Their Voice: 





Doesn't Always Echo Yours ...



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Shab Khosh 'Poet' Inconnu ! ...


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This quote from Saul Bellow has been quoted Ad hominem, and Ad nauseum by you in the pages of ....

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Darius Kadivar

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Which very much like your lack of poetic vision (*) is Beyond Repair ...





(*) "A Country that Loses it's Poetic Vision is a Country that faces death" -Saul Bellow ( Often Quoted by Azar Nafisi's  In her Description of the Republic of Imagination)


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Yes we noticed you were familiar with EVERYTHING once published

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'Been there Seen it All' Kind of Guy Eh ? ... 


Or is it just your way of passing through ? ...






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is truly serious about serving our Beloved Iran, he should indeed follow in the example set by Simeon II -

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Darius Kadivar

Thank you Radius for your knowledgeable feedbacks

by Darius Kadivar on

Very interesting observations indeed which prove that entering the political arena is always risky for a Royal figurehead.


Something which Simeon seemed to have tried to do through perfectly democratic means which in itself was commendable.


You cannot rule and reign at the same time. Because either way you are bound to make mistakes which will be used against you by your political foes. Having been a King but accepting to relinquish that title so as to run the country as a Prime Minister ultimately jeopardized his own chances of Restoring the Monarchy on the short term at least.


That said I believe that Simeon's experience was an interesting and bold move which should serve as a useful political lesson to anyone in the same situation who aspires to a similar role in the future ( including our very own Royal figurehead). It is important to realistically evaluate the limits that define Royal (And or Presidential) Prerogatives particularly if on the long term one hopes to establish a Constitutional Government ( be it a Monarchy or a Republic).


From what I understand however Simeon never entirely gave up his rights to the Throne. His son Prince Kardan was victim to a terrible car accident a few years ago but apparently has since recovered.


It seems that the Crown Prince of Serbia may have greater chances than Simeon in this regard given that he does not intend to play any major political role and his years of upbringing in Great Britain and ties with the British Royal Family seem to have payed off from a Public Relations perspective:


ROYAL FORUM: Crown Prince of Serbia Seeks to Restore The Monarchy 


But the major problem with most of these east European countries is that the passage from the Communist Era to a capitalist market was followed with great disappointments and inequalities which deepened the gap between the "haves" and "have nots". All this amidst efforts by these countries to meet the democratic and economic standards necessary to join the European Union.


Ironically it is an Islamic country like Turkey which economically at least has met those standards but is being refused entrance in the European Union due to cultural and historical differences which distinguish it from the Christian heritage to which most European's (including Greeks) identify themselves with.   


Interestingly though many of these Balkan Countries actually share much in common with Turkey's ethnic and cultural mosaic. Yougoslavia having had an important muslim population. In addition the Monarchy played a constructive role for centuries in preserving the cultural diversity of the people which inhabited them. 


Unfortunately the Treaties of 1919 and the redesigning of the frontiers after WWI truly left deep scars and nurtured painful divisions which were enhanced with WWII and culminated after the Cold War with the Splitting of Yugoslavia and all the collateral conflicts and tensions which followed.


The Challenges of East European Countries today are so enormous that I don't think Restoring the Monarchy is their top priority for most of them today. But when you look at the economic slump in which Greece finds itself, one can truly wonder if they are any better off today than when they prospered under a Constitutional Monarchy ? ...


0nce a King - King Constantine of Greece


all the more that ever since the Coup which toppled King Constantine and the establishment of a Republic in Greece, only two families have shared political power in Greece. It's like if the US was run alternatively by the Kennedy's and the Reagans from Father to Son for the past 40 years.


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I hope they will find a way to overcome their political and economic challenges some day soon ... It's long due ... 





Tzar Simeon

by radius-of-the-persian-cat on

Hi Darius, When Tzar Simeon returned to Sofia in 2001 to be elected Prime Minister, he arrived with great hopes and promisses, having the ambition to bring back the country to prosperity and stability. Comming back from his life-long spanish exyl, he found a country that was devastated, but not so much by the 40 years of communism, but to a larger degree "thanks" to the ten years of post-communist "free market economy". Of course nobody wanted to have back the unfreedom and stagnation that ruled the country since the late fourties, but during this time there was a minimal living standard for everybody and the country made a peaceful and happy impression. After fall of communism, a rapid process of decay started everywhere around, paired with a unforseen rise of crime, organized mafiotic crime, corruption and political bribery and misusage of political influence. This caused the most devastating frustration in any of the former soviet block countries I have ever seen.

When Simeon arrived, he knew what he was facing. But he completely underestimated the efford and time it would take to repair all this. He was also not "political experienced" in the sense that he could cast "strategic alliances" with other groups appart from the minority who saw him as a possible reincarnation of the monarchy. Baldly said: The other political forces were mobbing him as good as they could. Simeon once attended a Gypsy wedding and declared (with obviously a very nostalgic feeling) that gypsy culture and tradition was and always deserves to be an integral part of Bulgaria. Although he was absolutely right in my eyes, most bulgarians had a big issue with this (I guess very typical of a small nation dreaming of its gorgeous past when they were raiding Byzanz or beeing part of the persian empire during the period of its largest extension). So Simeons sympathy with the gypsy minority took away from him the last support by his people. At the 2005 election his party "National Movement Simeon II" lost and had to form a coalition with the socialist. At the 2009 elections he ended 3 % and is nowadays virtually absent from the political scene.

He came with big ambitions, but little fortune, which reminds me a bit of the era of president Khatami in Iran. 

One interesting thing should be added to your historical scetch on Bulgaria: It was the only allies of Nazi Germany who resisted succesfully the deportation of the Jews. For this, I"d say, Bulgarias then Tzar BorisIII and its people would deserve the title "Righteous among the Nations" from Israel.