Friday, October 31, 2008

Boris and Giovanna receive blessing

October 31, 1930 King Boris III and his new wife, Giovanna, received today the "nuptial benediction" from the Bulgarian Orthodox church. King Boris, who is Orthodox, and Giovanna, a Roman Catholic, were married in a Roman Catholic service at Assisi earlier this month.
The couple arrived in Sofia at 10 a.m., and were driven "through beflagged and garlanded streets past madly cheering crowds" to the Nevski Cathedral, where their marriage was registered "according to the Orthodox rite."
There is much disappointment by Sofia clerics that this was a blessing on the marriage, and not a true Orthodox ceremony. They fear that Boris has secretly returned to the Roman Catholic church.
But this was not evident in the King's speech: "Now that a foundation has been laid for an Orthodox dynasty, the Bulgarian people will hope, with God's help, for unity, happiness and prosperity."

For the ceremony, Giovanna, who is known in Bulgaria as Joanna, wore a long high-necked white silk dress with a gathered skirt, an ermine coat and a richly embroidered veil which reach down to her knee and was crowned by a diamond diadem." King Boris was clad in "top boots and a general's uniform."

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