Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's a girl for Giovanna and Boris

January 13, 1933 

 Queen Giovanna of Bulgaria gave birth to a daughter at 9:30 this morning in Sofia. Both mother and baby are doing well, according to official reports. At 10:30, a twenty-one gun salute announced the birth of a princess.

 At the first shot, school teachers suspended classes, and a national holiday was proclaimed. "As if by magic flags appeared in the windows," and within an hour "the streets outside the palace were filled with cheering crowds." Although a male heir was hoped for, the birth of a princess "postpones the political difficulties that would have arisen," if the queen had given birth to a son. 

There is now nothing to prevent the implementation of an agreement between King Boris III and Pope Pius. When the king married the Princess Giovanna of Savoy in 1930, he agreed that their children would be raised as Roman Catholics. Without this agreement, the Pope would not have permitted Giovanna to marry in the Catholic church. 

The birth of a son would have made the agreement difficult to maintain as the Bulgarian constitution requires that the eldest son be raised Orthodox. King Boris is a member of the Orthodox church. 

The yet-unnamed Princess will be raised as a Roman Catholic. The National Holiday will continue for the next two days.

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