Tsar and Prime Minister

Tsar and Prime Minister

Royal families do not always stay royal. In the case of the royal family of Bulgaria, exile came on 16 September 1946 after the Soviet Army rolled into Bulgaria and held a referendum.  

Tsar Boris III had died (most likely poisoned) in 1943, and his young son Simeon was created Tsar under a regency.

The very young Bulgarian Tsar Simeon II

In any case, Simeon and his family were allowed to go into exile, a much better proposition than the alternative, and the young royal grew up in Franco’s Spain.  

He attended the French Lycee and Valley Forge Military College before eventually entering business as the chairman of the Spanish subsidiary of the French Defense firm Thomson.  

He also married a beautiful Spanish aristocrat and they had five children. 

The young royal family

Simeon never stopped being Bulgarian – upon turning 18 he released the necessary statement to affirm that he was Tsar of Bulgaria under the Tarnovo Constitution.  He released other statements from his exile in Madrid as well.  

And as soon as the communist government in Bulgaria fell, he procured a Bulgarian passport.  He used that passport to return to Bulgaria fifty years after he was exiled – in 1996.  

But it was on 24 July 2001 that Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria made history – by becoming only the second former ruler to serve his country as Prime Minister.

Simeon is a lot of “onlies”.  He’s the only European ruler to serve as his country’s Prime Minister. He’s the only son of Tsar Boris III, who refused to deport Bulgaria’s Jews in WWII.  He’s the only living person who ruled as Tsar.  Although he never formally renounced his throne, he hasn’t made public statements about regaining it, either.  

More About Bulgaria:
The Tsar Who Saved (most) of the Jews


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