HISTORY. The Principality of Bulgaria and the Autonomous Province of Eastern Rumelia, both under Turkish suzerainty, were constituted by the Treaty of Berlin, 13 July 1878. Prince Alexander I of Battenberg (the British branch of the family in 1917 adopted the name of Mountbatten), a Hessian Prince and a nephew of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, became the first ruler (1879–86). In 1885 Rumelia was reunited with Bulgaria. On 22 Sept. (5 Oct.) 1908 Bulgaria declared her independence of Turkey, and Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Koháry, who had been elected prince on 7 July 1887, assumed the title of Tsar of the Bulgarians. This was recognized by the Porte and the Powers in April 1909. Tsar Ferdinand abdicated on 3 Oct. 1918 and was succeeded by his son, Tsar Boris III, who died on 28 Aug. 1943. His son, Simeon II (born on 16 June 1937), lost his throne as a result of the referendum held on 8 Sept. 1946. 3,801,160 votes were cast in favour of a republic, 197,176 votes in favour of the monarchy; 119,168 voting papers were invalid.
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