Tsar of the Bulgarians
Prince Boris
Boris IV
since 7 April 2015

Style: His Majesty
Heir apparent: Boris, Prince of Turnovo
First monarch: Asparukh
(as Khan)
Formation: 681
Residence: Royal Palace, Sofia
Vrana Palace

The monarchs of Bulgaria ruled the country, with interruptions, from the establishment of the First Bulgarian Empire in 681 to present day. The Bulgarian monarchy had two periods of foreign domination: one century and a half of Byzantine rule and almost five centuries of Ottoman rule. Early Bulgarian rulers possibly used the title khan, later knyaz for a brief period, and subsequently tsar.

The title tsar, the Slavic form of the Latin caesar, was first adopted and used in Bulgaria by Simeon I, following a decisive victory over the Byzantine Empire in 913. It was also used by all of Simeon I's successors until the fall of Bulgaria under Ottoman rule in 1396. After Bulgaria's liberation from the Ottomans in 1878, its first monarch Alexander I adopted the title knyaz. However, when de jure independence was proclaimed under his successor Ferdinand in 1908, the title was elevated to the customary tsar once more. The use of tsar continued under Ferdinand and later under his heirs Boris III, Simeon II, and Kardam II. It is used today by the current monarch Boris IV.

While the title tsar was translated as "emperor" in the First and Second Bulgarian Empires, it was translated as "king" in modern Bulgaria.

In the few surviving medieval Bulgarian royal charters, the monarchs of Bulgaria styled themselves as "In Christ the Lord Faithful Emperor and Autocrat of all Bulgarians" or similar variations, sometimes including “... and Romans, Greeks, or Vlachs".

List of Bulgarian monarchs

This list only includes monarchs of the Third Bulgarian State. For all others please see the corresponding article on Wikpiedia.

Image Title Name Reign Notes/Death

Principality of Bulgaria and Kingdom of Bulgaria (1878–present)

House of Battenberg
Alexander I of Bulgaria by Dimitar Karastoyanov Prince Alexander I 29 April 1879 – 7 September 1886 Abdicated due to Russian pressure. Died on 23 October 1893 in Graz.
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Zar Ferdinand Bulgarien Prince/Tsar Ferdinand I 7 July 1887 – 3 October 1918 Became Tsar after the official proclamation of independence on 22 September 1908. Abdicated on 3 October 1918 after World War I. Died on 10 September 1948 in Coburg.
BASA-3K-7-342-28-Boris III of Bulgaria Tsar Boris III 3 October 1918 – 28 August 1943 Died on 28 August 1943 in unclear circumstances.
Simeon II of Bulgaria Tsar Simeon II 28 August 1943 – 10 November 1989 Abdicated on 10 November 1989 after mass demonstrations led to government pressure against him.
Kardam of bulgaria Tsar Kardam II 10 November 1989 – 7 April 2015 Reigned with a regency since 2010.
Prince Boris Tsar Boris IV 7 April 2015 – present Reigned with a regency until he came of age.