Prince of Tarnovo

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Prince of Turnovo or Prince of Tarnovo (Bulgarian: Княз Търновски, Knyaz Tarnovski) is the title held by the first-born son of the Bulgarian monarch. This title is held only by the heir to the throne.[1]

Tarnovo (Veliko Tarnovo) was an old Bulgarian capital and the strongest Bulgarian fortification of the Middle Ages between the 12th and 14th century and the most important political, economic, cultural and religious centre of the empire. In the 14th century as the Byzantine Empire weakened Tarnovo claimed to be the Third Rome based on its pre-eminent cultural influence in the Balkans and the Slavic Orthodox world.

In 1393 after vigorous resistance to a 3-month siege Turnovo was seized and the whole Bulgarian Tsardom was destroyed by the invadingOttoman Empire. The Bulgarian tsar Ivan Shishman moved his residence to the castle of Nikopol but took the title Prince of Turnovo (Lord of Turnovo, Bulgarian: Господин Търновски, Gospodin Tarnovski).

In 1593 a Bulgarian noble and a descendant of the medieval Shishman dynasty, Theodore Ballina of Nikopol took the title 'Prince of Turnovo'. He was the leader of the First Tarnovo Uprising against the Ottoman Empire. In 1686 Rostislav Stratimirovic, another descendant of the dynasty and the leader of the Second Tarnovo Uprising, also took the title. During the Third Tarnovo Uprising in 1835, the title was taken by the leader of the uprising, Velcho Atanasov.

After his abdication from the Bulgarian throne, Prince Alexander Batenberg claimed the title Prince of Tarnovo and used it until his death.

In 1894 the first son of Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, Boris was given the old title 'Prince of Turnovo' as a title for the Crown Prince, the heir apparent to the Bulgarian throne. The use of the title was continued by the royal family after the abolition of the monarchy in 1946. The wife of a Prince of Turnovo is also titled Princess of Turnovo (Bulgarian: Княгиня Търновска, Knyagina Tarnovska). The current Prince of Turnovo is Prince Kardam, the eldest son of Tsar Simeon II.

People who to have held the title Prince of Turnovo:

Portrait Name From To Dynasty Arms
Ivan shishman preobravenski manastir.jpg Prince Shishman 1393 1395 Shishman Stratemirovic Coat of Arms.jpg
Theodore ballina.jpg Prince Theodore 1593 1593 Shishman Stratemirovic Coat of Arms.jpg
Rstratimirovic.jpg Prince Rostislav 1686 1686 Shishman Stratemirovic Coat of Arms.jpg
V atanasov djamdjiata.jpg Prince Velcho 1835 1835 None
Alexander-von-Battemberg.jpg Prince Alexander 1886 1893 Hesse Hessen-Wappen.png
Boris3bulgaria1894.jpg Prince Boris 1894 1918 Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Wappen Deutsches Reich - Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (Grosses).png
Simeon Vtori Popovo crop.jpg Prince Simeon 1937 1943 Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Wappen Deutsches Reich - Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (Grosses).png
Kardam of bulgaria.jpg Prince Kardam 1962 present Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Wappen Deutsches Reich - Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (Grosses).png


  1. ^ Black, Floyd H (1958). The American College of Sofia: a chapterin American-Bulgarian relations. Original from the University of California: Trustees of Sofia American Schools, inc. p. 59.