August 28, 1943
King Boris of Bulgaria is dead, according to the New York Times and other sources. He died shortly after 4 p.m. in Sofia after "four days of suffering following a reported shooting outside a small railway station," outside Sofia.
Boris had been returning to Sofia from a visit to Adolf Hitler's field headquarters. Hungarian sources state he was "shot in the abdomen" by one of his protections officers.
His wife, Queen Giovanna, was with him when he died. His 6-year-old son, Simeon, ascends to the throne as King Simeon II. Simeon has an older sister, 10-year-old Princess Maria Luisa.
Premier Bogdan Philoff has released the following proclamation:
"His Majesty, King and Czar Boris III, the uniter of Bulgaria, surrounded by his family, died at 4:22 this afternoon after a brief but grave illness. The sorrow of the nation and the Bulgarian people is immeasurable. We now all have the sacred duty of carrying out his last wishes and continuing united on the path he traced for us."
A second proclamation was released shortly afterward.
"Bulgarians: this twentieth-eighth day of August 1943, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Simeon of Tirnovo, beloved child and hope of Bulgaria, ascended to the throne under the name of Simeon II in accordance with Article 34 of the Constitution. Under the terms of Article 151 of the same Constitution the Council on Ministers will assume the direction of the country until such time as the question of the regency will have been settled.
"We call upon all Bulgarians to tighten their ranks behind the King in the conviction of a happy future for Bulgaria and united to continue on the path already entered as we confide ourselves to God. Long Live the King! Long live Bulgaria!"
According to reliable Bulgarian sources, the King had not died, he had "until midnight to answer Hitler on three main demands," which would have meant the end of Bulgaria as an 'independent' Axis ally.