Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Former Queen Giovanna asks for DP aid

August 4, 1950

Former Queen Giovanna of Bulgaria, 43, who has been living in exile in Egypt since Bulgaria voted her son, King Simeon, off the throne in 1946, has asked IRO, the international relief organization, "whether she is eligible for aid as a displaced person," according to a Reuters report.

Giovanna, the widow of King Boris of Bulgaria, is the daughter of the late King Victor Emmanuel of Italy. She is the sister of ex-king Umberto of Italy.

The former queen is one of the heirs to a fortune of at least $104,000,000 in cash and property left by Victor Emmanuel. She is expected to come to Geneva this month as there is no IRO office in Egypt to discuss her situation with officials and make a formal application for assistance. It is understood that the queen will not request financial assistance.

In May, the Egyptian press reported "the foiling of an attempt to assassinate Simeon." Queen Giovanna wants "legal and political protection" for her family, and perhaps "help in resettlement in another country.

Egyptian police seized two men from Bulgaria "in the assassination attempt."
The IRO could provide Giovanna with legal assistance in "obtaining residence permits and travel documents," which she would not be able to obtain from the communist government in Bulgaria.

In June, a Rome court decreed that Giovanna, as one of Victor Emmanuel's three surviving daughters, "should share in four-fifths of his confiscated property."
The full extend of the property was not disclosed, but was believed to include "large estates, palaces, villas and priceless art treasures, apart from bank accounts abroad."

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