The infant prince Simeon.
 
Today, King Simeon II of the Bulgarians celebrates his eighty-fifth birthday!

 

King Boris III and his son Crown Prince Simeon.
 
Born on 16 June 1937, Prince Simeon of Bulgaria (later King) was the second child and only son of King Boris III of Bulgaria and Queen Giovanna (born Princess of Savoy). Simeon joined an older sister, Princess Marie Louise (b.1933). In her memoirs, Queen Giovanna recalled: “The spring of 1937 was unusually mild. The birth of my son seemed to add something to the good weather. There was a lull in the unsettled and complex Bulgarian internal situation, like a kind of divine truce. All Bulgarians, even the enemies, were happy for a time, open to some unknown hope, to the anticipation of something new, lacking clear contours, but no less real. Simeon’s birth came to break the chain of internal dramatic moments.” Simeon’s birth was announced to the population of Sofia by a 101 gun salute fired over the sky of the Bulgarian capital at 6:40am on the day of his birth. The park of the royal palace quickly filled with people. Queen Giovanna wrote: “In the meantime, the voice of the people had given my son a name. The streets were filled with shouts of ‘Simeon! Simeon!’ even before the palace had made an official announcement.” The queen noted that she had initially planned to name her son Borislav, but that the acclamations of the Bulgarians celebrating his arrival settled his name.  

 

 
The mayor of Sofia, Ivan Ivanov, wrote to King Boris congratulating the royal family on this happy occasion: 
 
“Your Majesty,
 
Today’s bright June day has brought the greatest joy to the Bulgarian people! Everywhere, in towns and villages, where a Bulgarian heart beats and Bulgarian speech is heard, joy and rapture fill us all. God has not forsaken Bulgaria after all, He loves her. The Bulgarian Kingdom today has its heir apparent! The Bulgarian state, besides its head of state, now also has its successor! The Bulgarian nation goes forward with new hopes and ideals, remembering the glorious times of Boris I and Simeon the Great. Long live Bulgaria! Long live King Boris III! Long live Queen Giovanna! Long live the Bulgarian successor to the throne Simeon, Crown Prince of Turnovo!”
 
The following official Act was drawn up by the government in accordance with the arrival of the heir to the King:
 
“This 16th Day of June in the year one thousand nine hundred and thirty seven, Wednesday, the undersigned Georgi Ivanov Kyoseivanov, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Religious Denominations and the official on the civil status of the members of the Royal Family, with the assistance of Alexander Petrov Ognyanov, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the State Seal of the Kingdom, by virtue of Article 138 of the Persons Act, in the presence of the witnesses Konstatin Georgiev Panov, head of the office of His Majesty the King, and Doctor Vladimir Penev Matev, administrator of the Princess Clementine hospital, drew up the present act concerning the following: at the Sofia Palace this morning at five o’clock, Her Majesty Queen Giovanna was examined by the private medical advisor Prof. Dr. Walter Stöckel, Director of the University Clinic of Obstetrics in Berlin, Doctor Dimiter Stamatov, Regular Professor, Director of the University Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Sofia, and Prof. Dr. Günther Schulze, Chief Physician at the University Clinic in Berlin, who established that the time had come for Her Majesty the Queen to give birth. 
 
For the purpose of greater hygienic safety, the professors Stöckel and Stamatov insisted that the expectant mother be taken to the Princess Clementine hospital where, accompanied by His Majesty the King and the above-mentioned persons, she arrived at five hours and thirty minutes.
 
At five hours and forty-five minutes we were told of the impending delivery of Her Majesty the Queen, immediately after which we proceeded to the above-mentioned hospital which we reached at six o’clock. There we were accommodated in the antechamber of the operating room in which Her Majesty the Queen was and remained waiting for the moment of the birth.
 
At six hours and forty minutes we were invited into the room where, besides Her Majesty the Queen, we also found His Majesty the King and the above-mentioned persons. As soon as we entered, Professor Stöckel showed us a living infant of the male sex, which he had just delivered and which was still tied with the umbilical cord (Funiculus umbillicalis) to the body of the royal mother. The cord was cut in our presence. The birth was normal, without any complications.
 
The newborn infant, which is the second child of His Majesty Boris III, King of Bulgarians, and of Her Majesty Giovanna, Queen of Bulgaria, Princess of Savoy, was given the name Simeon and the title Crown Prince of Turnovo.
 
At eight hours and thirty minutes Her Majesty the Queen and the newly born Prince were taken to the Sofia Palace, accompanied by His Majesty the King, and the professors Stöckel, Stamatov, and Schulze.
 
In confirmation of the above said, we sign the present act together with the above-mentioned witnesses and professors.”
King Boris and Queen Giovanna with their children.
 
Crown Prince Simeon was christened into the Orthodox faith on 12 July in the Saints Peter and Paul palace chapel with water from the River Jordan. In addition to the King and Queen, the christening of the heir of the throne was attended by his sister Princess Marie Louise and by his uncle Prince Kyrill and his aunt Princess Eudoxie. To commemorate the Simeon’s birth, an amnesty was granted to 4,000 prisoners, old taxes and fees and fines were cancelled, and the Minister of Education announced that the marks of students would be raised by one grade. Queen Giovanna remembered: “When my son started with his first school efforts, he smiled and said that he would never have this chance.
 
Our best wishes to His Majesty on his birthday!

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