Friday, January 11, 2013

Will it be a boy or a girl in Bulgaria: it matters

January 11, 1933

Queen Giovanna of the Bulgarians is expected to give birth to her first child "toward the end of the month," according to a Chicago Daily Tribune dispatch.

A boy will become the heir to the throne.  If the queen gives birth to a daughter, "most attention will be paid to selecting a name conforming to Bulgarian lore."

But there are also the questions of state and religion.  King Boris and Princess Giovanna of Italy were married in October 1930.  Pope Pius would not allow the marriage to take place unless Giovanna and Boris were married according to the rites of the Roman Catholic church.

The marriage took place at Assisi, but shortly after the couple arrived in Sofia, they were married again, this time according to the rites of the Orthodox church.  Queen Giovanna is Roman Catholic, and King Boris is Orthodox.  The Bulgarian constitution requires that the King be Orthodox.

It has been reported, but not verified, that Boris agreed that his first born child would be baptised as Roman Catholic and any other children would be raised Orthodox and Catholic.

Shortly after Boris' marriage, the pope "thundered from the Vatican a long encyclical on mixed marriages."

The Bulgarians will insist that if the first child is a boy, he must be baptized in the Orthodox church or he will not be able to succeed to the throne.

Queen Giovanna is now staying at Varna, 12 miles from Sofia.  Her doctors and her mother, Queen Elena of Italy, are expected to arrive within the next few days.

Bulgarians are "speculating over suitable names." If the Queen gives birth to a daughter, she may be named Maria or Clementine, and be christened in the Roman Catholic church.   Clementine is the name of a "princess a century ago, who played an influential role in Bulgarian history." It is also the name of King Boris's paternal grandmother.

There are three possible choices if the baby is a prince.    The first name is Ivan Assen, a 15th century Bulgarian king, who reigned at the "height of Bulgarian prestige and power."  The second possibility is Simeon, who ruled during the tenth century.   Boris, for the baby's father, is the third possibility.

This will be the fourth grandchild for King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elena, and the first grandchild for Boris's father, former King Ferdinand, who now lives in exile in Cairo.

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