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EventsDiamond wedding anniversary for Simeon II Margaret, Queen of Bulgaria

Diamond wedding anniversary for Simeon II Margaret, Queen of Bulgaria

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On January 20, 2022, Simeon II Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Margarita, Queen of Bulgaria and Duchess of Saxony celebrate a diamond wedding or 60 years since the signing of their civil marriage.

On January 14, 1962, Father Albendea, a confessor to the King of Belgium, performed the first of three wedding ceremonies organized by the two. The second ceremony is on January 20 in Lausanne, where a civil marriage is concluded in front of the mayor of the city.

The next day the beautiful church in Vevey is crowded. Relatives as well as Bulgarians from all over the world are invited to the happy event. The blessing of the marriage was performed by Metropolitan Andrei in collaboration with the Russian Archbishop of Switzerland. Godparents are Dmitry Romanov, nephew of the last Russian tsar, and Princess Maria Louise. The bride’s head is decorated with the Bulgarian royal crown, inlaid with precious stones in the colors of the Bulgarian tricolor. “It is very difficult to dissolve three marriages – almost impossible,” Queen Margarita often jokes.

H.M. Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Dona Margarita met before the king entered the Military Academy in the United States. Margarita makes a strong impression on him, but their paths diverge. Their Majesties met for the first time in 1958 on the night of the San Juan holiday at the Puerta de Hierro Club in Madrid. “In fact, it was the only dance I danced in Puerta de Hierro because I didn’t like the place very much. When I saw her, she looked very sad and elegant and I invited her to dance. She was extremely beautiful, graceful and spiritual. I told her that I was going to a military academy in the United States. And she replied, “Look, I’m going to visit a friend there in December,” Tsar Simeon II said years later. Hope gives him the news of her upcoming visit to a friend in America. Upon learning the address, the King sent her an invitation to the annual ball of the academy, but her departure for Japan did not allow them to see each other. They meet again in Madrid next summer.

They decide to get married, but a religious problem arises again because Margarita is a Catholic. The Roman Church required the non-Catholic country to make a written promise that the children of this marriage would be baptized Catholics. Simeon could not accept this without violating the Tarnovo Constitution. He turned to a prominent lawyer, an expert on marital affairs, who set a precedent in 1938 in Japan. The local bishop claimed responsibility for the marriage between a Catholic and a Shinto governor, without requiring any guarantees. To overcome the difficulties, N.V. Simeon II visited the Vatican twice. He was received by Pope John XXIII, who is called the “Bulgarian Pope”. The Holy Father, who spent more than ten years in Bulgaria, has warm feelings for the Royal Family.

Queen Mother Johnna is also involved in the search for a solution, using her good relations with the Holy Father – former nuncio in Sofia Monsignor Roncalli. Their efforts are crowned with success. On August 10, 1961, Her Majesty Queen Johanna announced her engagement. In May 1961, the engagement of Juan Carlos Bourbon and Sofia, an Orthodox Greek, was announced. At the same time, the Second Vatican Council is still in Rome, aimed at improving relations between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. These circumstances contribute to the favorable development of events. The five children of the royal family – Prince Kardam of Tarnovo, who died after a severe accident, Prince Kiril of Preslav, Prince Kubrat Panagyurski, Prince Konstantin Asen of Vidin and Princess Kalina grew up in an atmosphere of love and understanding. They all play sports, travel, their parents pass on their love of nature. They receive a good education and are fluent in several languages.

Tsar Simeon II and Queen Margarita also have 11 grandchildren.

When Tsar Simeon II decided to return to his homeland and founded a political movement/party, Queen Margarita supported him and followed him readily, although this separated her from her children, home and friends in Madrid. With humor, she remembers arriving at Vrana Palace, when they had to spend the first night in sleeping bags. The queen quickly won the sympathy of people with her naturalness, delicate presence and slightly shy smile. Many see her walking around Sofia, traveling by public transport, riding a bike, walking in the mountains. She does not seek publicity for her charity work – one of the traditions in the royal family that she preserves. She delicately supports her husband in important and difficult moments. And the King often looks for her presence when the two have to attend official events. Years ago, in an interview with the Spanish magazine Hello, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha said of his wife and children: “She has been with me for 57 years and has handled all the circumstances. You know, it was very difficult for my family, because the media said that when I returned I would try to restore the monarchy and put my children in key positions, of course. So instead of leaving my family to be with me and support me, I called on them to stay away from Bulgaria so that no problems would arise, and the only one they didn’t criticize was one of my sons, doctor “. Simeon of Bulgaria and Dona Margarita remain living in Bulgaria, in the Vrana Palace, but their children and grandchildren remain living outside the country.

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