European Royals

Simeon II of Bulgaria attends national day celebrations in Sofia

Last week Bulgaria’s former King Simeon II attended the Bulgarian National Day celebration in the capital city of Sofia. His Majesty was later received by the President of the Bulgarian Republic in a reception.

The national day celebration took place at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier. President Rumen Radev laid a wreath before a short military parade was held. The ceremony was also attended by Patriarch Neophyte, Chief of Defence, Bulgarian Generals and foreign diplomats. Later in the evening, His Majesty was at the firework show at the National Assembly Square.

The King of Bulgaria greets the president of Bulgaria and his wife. Photo: The Royal Bulgarian Court.

The Bulgarian nation day celebration is held every year on March 3rd. The day marks the Liberation of Bulgaria in 1878 and the events of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) that led to the re-establishment of the Bulgarian state under the Treaty of San Stefano.

The treaty forced the Ottoman Empire to give back to Bulgaria most of its territory conquered in the 14th century. Those territories seized from Bulgaria after the Berlin Congress, including most of Macedonia, Thrace and others, had a majority ethnic Bulgarian population.

The King of Bulgaria during the military parade held in Sofia. Photo: The Bulgarian Ministry of Defense.

In the past year, rumours of reestablishing the Bulgarian monarchy was flourished following national media revealed that a “secret” meeting had taken place between the King and former diplomats, ministers, deputies and senators in 2018. The meeting was held to figure a way to help Tsar Simeon keep his family palace. This started speculation around that the former Tsar and Prime Minister may return to politics at the age of 81.

Simeon II of Bulgaria is the last reigning Bulgarian monarch and later served as Prime Minister of Bulgaria from 2001 to 2005. His Majesty Simeon II, Tsar of Bulgaria, was monarch from 1943 to 1946. He is one of the two last living Heads of State from the time of World War II.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.