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The largest Gypsy ghetto in Europe is waiting for Charles again but now as a king

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Petar Gramatikov
Petar Gramatikovhttps://www.europeantimes.news
Dr. Petar Gramatikov is the Editor in Chief and Director of The European Times. He is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Reporters. Dr. Gramatikov has more than 20 years of Academic experience in different institutions for higher education in Bulgaria. He also examined lectures, related to theoretical problems involved in the application of international law in religious law where a special focus has been given to the legal framework of New Religious Movements, freedom of religion and self-determination, and State-Church relations for plural-ethnic states. In addition to his professional and academic experience, Dr. Gramatikov has more than 10 years Media experience where he hold a positions as Editor of a tourism quarterly periodical “Club Orpheus” magazine – “ORPHEUS CLUB Wellness” PLC, Plovdiv; Consultant and author of religious lectures for the specialized rubric for deaf people at the Bulgarian National Television and has been Accredited as a journalist from “Help the Needy” Public Newspaper at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

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The Plovdiv district “Stolipinovo” in Bulgaria, is again ready to welcome the English heir to the throne, but this time as a king. “If I had known what the protocol procedure was, I would have sent a letter of condolence for the loss of Queen Elizabeth,” said Asen Karagyozov to Elitza Kandeva for marica.bg.

At the moment, he manages the Foundation for Regional Development “Roma”, which in November 1998 hosted the visit to the hamlet during the visit of Prince Charles to Plovdiv. His father – the chairman of the organization and Roma leader Anton Karagyozov, died last summer from Kovid.

Let the coronation and the mourning in Buckingham pass, and if the royal family wishes, let them come to visit us again, said Asen Karagyozov. There is a lot to talk about and about new projects of the organization, and about the problems in the neighborhood, and even in the whole world.

In addition to the most distinguished guest, “Stolipinovo” also briefly had its own Princess Diana. But only a few years. Today, the young lady, born at the beginning of the new century, is already called Eugenia and is expecting her third child in a month, and she was rechristened after her parents Zhivka and Valcho severely offended Prince Charles.

The tragic story of the Roma Cinderella, who never became a queen, did not end with a wedding as in fairy tales, but began with a wedding. During the visit of the current King of England – then Prince Charles, in November 1998 in Plovdiv, the program took him to Stolipinovo. And in order to see up close how people live there and what kind of customs the locals have, the crown prince attended a Roma wedding.

After all the media coverage, the royal person left alive and well. How does he know what the sequel will be? A year later, Valcho wrote a letter to Charles with the help of the most read members of the “Roma” foundation, headed by its chairman at the time, Anton Karagyozov.

Dear Prince Charles, my name is Valcho Atanasov. You probably don’t remember me because of your many dates around the world. I live in the poorest neighborhood of Plovdiv – Stolipinovo.

On November 7, 1998, you attended my wedding, which coincided with your visit to Bulgaria. After that, a daughter was born to me, whom I named after your eternally deceased Diana,” he read in the office for the official correspondence of the royal family. And a photo of the Stolypinov infant princess also fell out of the envelope.

“She has the same eyes as the deceased’s,” her father boasted.

Valcho took the address from the “internet”. The local Roma foundation helped him find the words. The father explained that he lives in a dilapidated council house without sewerage and lighting. And made a fervent request:

Help me, I will be very grateful to you for the rest of my life, otherwise we are doomed.

At that time, the whole neighborhood laughed at his desire to correspond with the prince. “He was going to help you, but he didn’t give anything,” the neighbors teased Valcho. “Charles should not be your Soviet comrade”, the Bulgarians used to tell him.

Only a month later, however, a response from England arrived in the ghetto. “The Prince thanked me very much for receiving a picture of Diana. He regrets that he cannot help, because he gave aid all over the world, but only to foundations, Valcho said then. Thus, the hopes of his household to get an apartment for Diana collapsed. And he stayed in a municipal apartment on the eighth floor of Kraina Street in a block where there is no elevator, all the windows on the staircase are broken, and no one remembers that there was ever any lighting at all.

Diana took her first steps in a 3 by 4 meter room – the only one that could be lived in. The rest are without wallpaper, with torn out contacts.

Because the water doesn’t rise higher than the fifth floor, they went there to bathe. And to wash the baby’s clothes, the then 23-year-old mother Zhivka packed up a basket and went to her mother’s house in the neighboring block, from where she returned with a full basin.

Valcho was a security guard at the local branch of “Social Assistance” for some time. However, he left and is better known in the neighborhood as a taxi driver.

I only need 300 marks for a new Tico and to fix my life,

had long hoped for some translation from Buckingham. And as he still did not come, he again sat down to write a letter, but this time directly to Mrs. Holloway, whose signature sat next to Charles’s initial in the first reply from England. “She’s a woman, she’ll be more moved,” read the father. “I am touched and fascinated by the humanity of His Excellency Prince Charles. But my joy is darkened by Diana’s state of health,” wrote the most literate in the neighborhood in unison. And they waited again for an answer.

Then the “Roma” Foundation sent a congratulatory letter for the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla.

“We expected him to give us an apartment or some amount, to stay forever,” says Valcho regretfully. And having received only kind words instead of help, he decided once and for all to draw the line on relations with the royal family. So the Stolypinov Diana became Evgenia.

Valcho still lives in block 4006 in “Stolipinovo” and already drives a taxi legally, but today he did not fit in the “parking lot” at the end of “Landos” street. Locals claim his family is abroad. Evgenia is already 23 years old and married, and her younger brother is a 17-year-old teenager.

“It’s here, find a good man who works in trade,” Valcho told “Maritsa”. She has two children, ages 1 and 5, and is currently pregnant with her third child. It will be a girl, they are expecting him to be born next month.

And Valcho no longer expects anything from King Charles and earns his own money with his labor.

Source: marica.bg.

Photo: Diana of Stolipinovo with her parents in December 2000 when the family exchanged letters with Buckingham Palace. / author: Atanas Kanev

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