Kardam II
Kardam of bulgaria.png
Reign 10 November 1989 – 7 April 2015
Predecessor Simeon II
Successor Boris IV
Regent Prince Kyril (2010 – 2015)
Spouse Miriam de Ungría y López (m. 1996)
Boris IV
Prince Beltrán
House House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father Simeon II of Bulgaria
Mother Doña Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela
Born 2 December 1962(1962-12-02)
Sofia, Bulgaria Flag of Bulgaria
Died 7 April 2015(2015-04-07) (aged 52)
Sofia, Bulgaria Flag of Bulgaria
Religion Orthodox

Kardam II (2 December 1962 – 7 April 2015), was the Tsar of Bulgaria from 1989 until his death in 2015. Kardam was the eldest son of Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria and his wife Doña Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela.

Early life

Kardam was born in the Royal Palace in Sofia on 2 December 1962. At the time of his birth his father, Simeon II of Bulgaria had been tsar 19 years but only ruled without a regency for six years. As heir apparent to the throne his was created Prince of Turnovo.

Kardam is credited with cutting across red tape and ensuring the rapid construction of Sofia's enormous and very complex National Palace of Culture at the age of sixteen. Another of his achievements was the opening of Sofia's National Gallery of World Art, for whose collection a large number of foreign paintings and statues were acquired on world markets. He also helped establish the 1300 Years of Bulgaria Foundation, a quasi-independent entity to endow the arts.

Alongside bringing foreign culture to Bulgaria, Kardam did much to permit and encourage Bulgarian artists to travel abroad for study and practice. She also organised the Thracian Gold Treasures from Bulgaria travelling exhibition which visited over 25 world cities, bringing much acclaim. Kardam is also indirectly credited with the opening of a number of cafés, restaurants and other establishments which returned a measure of grace to Bulgaria's cities.

Restrained nationalism was another feature of Kardam's term as leader of Bulgarian arts, with greater than customary emphasis on indigenous culture and great fanfare to mark the 1300th anniversary of Bulgarian presence on the Balkans. On 9 November, just after he returned from a trip to China, Kradam and members of the government forced his father to abdicate. Later that same day he was proclaimed Tsar Kardam II.


Having seen the overthrow of the other European nationalist governments, Kardam embarked on a much more open government policy in hopes of bringing about change from above. He let it be known that he supported free elections, a greater role for the legislature and other reforms. Events, however, moved faster than he planned. Despite his promises of reforms, the people took to the streets almost every day to demand greater freedom. Bowing to the inevitable, on 11 December Kardam announced in a nationally televised address that a multi-party election would be held in the spring.

In January 1997 protests ensued in response to the worsening economics in Bulgaria resulting by the immature government of Jean Videnov which was also not internationally supported and accepted (esp. in the Western countries). President Stoyanov utilized his constitutional authority and appointed functionary government with PM Stefan Sofianski. Early elections were also called in which UDF-led coalition won an absolute majority in Parliament

Car accident

On 15 August 2008, the Tsar and his wife were involved in a serious car accident in El Molar, near Madrid. Kardam was taken by helicopter to the Doce de Octubre Hospital, while his wife was taken to the La Paz Hospital. The car they were in crashed into a tree, then turned over just ten meters away from a nearby house.

Kardam suffered severe brain-skull trauma and severe injuries to his hands. Miriam suffered a broken elbow, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. She was treated and released from the hospital on 4 September. Galya Dicheva, a spokeswoman for the royal family, confirmed the information about the car accident and explained that Kardam had undergone surgery in the evening following the accident. As of 18 August 2008, Kardam was being kept in an artificial coma. According to doctors at the Doce de Octubre Hospital, his hands were paralyzed and reports mentioned that he had lost two fingers. A Bulgarian news agency reported on 15 October, that Kardam was in critical condition but stable and that his breathing and vital signs had improved. The news agency reported on 23 January 2009 that the prince had been released from the hospital and was slowly recovering in his private residence in Sofia. Kardam was now able to stand and communicate. In January 2010 however, he suffered a critical setback and was re-hospitalized. He remained in a coma for the rest of his life.

In May 2010, Bulgarian authorities issued a proclamation. Citing that Prince Boris was to young to act on his fathers behalf, that a regency would be created until either the prince came of age or Kardam recovered. The government rejected initial plans for the deposed Simeon II to become regent. Instead the National Assembly appointed the tsars brother Prince Kyril.

Titles and styles

Monarchical styles of
Kardam II of Bulgaria
Coat of arms of Bulgaria
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Sir
  • 2 December 1962 – 10 November 1989: His Royal Highness The Prince of Turnovo, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Saxony
  • 10 November 1989 – 7 April 2015: His Majesty The Tsar of the Bulgarians

The Tsar is also a Prince of Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and a Duke of Saxony. These subsidiary titles are not in active use. He is the nominal head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and formally the commander-in-chief of the Bulgarian Armed Forces.

Kardam II
Born: 2 December 1962 Died: 7 April 2015
Royal titles
Preceded by:
Simeon II
Tsar of Bulgaria
Succeeded by:
Boris IV