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Prince Kiril of Bulgaria

Prince Kiril
Prince of Preslav
Prince Regent of Bulgaria
Tenure 28 August 1943 – 9 September 1944
Born (1895-11-17)17 November 1895
Sofia, Bulgaria
Died 1 February 1945(1945-02-01) (aged 49)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Full name
Kyril Heinrich Franz Ludwig Anton Karl Philipp
House House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Koháry
Father Ferdinand I
Mother Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma
Religion Roman Catholic

Prince Kyril of Bulgaria, Prince of Preslav (Kyril Heinrich Franz Ludwig Anton Karl Philipp) (Sofia 17 November 1895 – Sofia 1 February 1945) was the second son of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria and his first wife Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma. He was a younger brother of Boris III of Bulgaria and a prince regent of the Kingdom of Bulgaria from 1943 to 1944.

Biography

Royal Monogram of Prince Kiril of Bulgaria

He was born on 17 November 1895 in Sofia as the second son of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria and his first wife Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma.

In September 1936 Prince Kyril accompanied King Edward VIII on a whistle-stop tour of Iceland. Present at the death of his brother, Tsar Boris, on 28 August 1943, Prince Kyril was appointed head of a regency council by the Bulgarian parliament, to act as Head of State until the late Tsar's son, Simeon II of Bulgaria, became 18.

Prince Kyril, with the widowed Tsaritsa, Giovanna of Savoy, daughter of the Italian king, led the State Funeral for his brother Tsar Boris III on 5 September 1943 at the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia, thereafter proceeding across the city to the main railway station where the funeral train waited to take the body to the 12th century Rila Monastery in the mountains. Thereafter the three consecutive governments made efforts to extricate themselves from Bulgaria's agreements with Germany, notably that which permitted their use of the railway to Greece and the German troops stationed along it for protection. A Bulgarian Delegation travelled to Cairo in an attempt to negotiate with the United States and Great Britain but failed, the latter refusing to meet them without the participation of the Soviet Union.

Despite Sofia's continuous diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union, on 5 September 1944 that country declared war on Bulgaria and on 8 September Soviet armies crossed the Romanian border and Danube. The Fatherland Front, a coalition of the Communist Party, the left wing of the Agrarian Union, the Zveno group, and a few pro-Soviet politicians who had returned from exile in the Soviet Union, executed a Soviet-backed military coup on 9 September and seized power.

On the night of 1 February 1945, Kyril, along with former Prime Minister and Regent Professor Bogdan Filov, General Nikola Mikhov, and a range of former cabinet ministers, royal advisors and 67 MPs were executed. Their death sentences had been pronounced earlier that day by a "People's Tribunal."

References

  • Bulgaria in the Second World War by Marshall Lee Miller, Stanford University Press, 1975.
  • 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.
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