Kardam, Prince of Turnovo

2 Dec 1962
7 Apr 2015
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Kardam, Prince of Turnovo, Duke of Saxony (2 December 1962 – 7 April 2015), was the eldest son of Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria and his wife Doña Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela.

Kardam was born after the abolition of the Bulgarian monarchy. As such, it was only by courtesy that he was sometimes styled as if being a crown prince.

He was known also as Kardam of Bulgaria and Kardam of Turnovo, the latter being the title of the heir apparent of the Bulgarian throne.

He was born in Madrid, was baptised into the Orthodox faith and had a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Penn State University.

In Madrid, on 11 July 1996, Kardam married Doña Miriam Ungría y López, born in Madrid on 2 September 1963, a gemologist and a historian, daughter of Don Bernardo Ungría y Goiburu, Honorary President of the Colegio Heráldico de España y de las Indias, and author of Los Titulos Nobiliarios Utilizados Como Distantivos Comerciales, and his wife, doña María del Carmen López y Oleaga, both of Basque descent, paternal granddaughter of Alfonso Ungría y Gargallo (1893 – 21 de diciembre de 1965) and wife María del Pilar Goiburu y Careche, great-granddaughter of Agustín Ungría y Castro (1847 – Madrid, 5 de octubre de 1930) and wife María de la Visitación Gargallo y Lahoz (1870 – Madrid, 10 de marzo de 1946), and great-great-granddaughter of Mariano Ungría y Bordería and wife Ana María de Castro.

They had two sons, who are first and second, respectively, in the line of succession to the now-defunct Bulgarian throne:

Prince Boris Turnovski of Bulgaria (b. 12 October 1997 in Madrid)

Prince Beltrán Turnovski of Bulgaria (b. 23 March 1999 in Madrid)

Kardam was the godfather of Prince Achileas-Andreas of Greece and Denmark, son of Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece.

On 15 August 2008, the Prince and his wife were involved in a serious car accident in El Molar, near Madrid. Prince 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 metres away from a nearby house.

Prince 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 Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family, confirmed the information about the car accident and explained that Prince 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 at home. 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 until his death on 7 April 2015.

In May 2010, Bulgarian authorities issued a summons to the comatose prince over issues relating to the management of property returned to him, to his father, and to his aunt (as heirs to Kings Ferdinand and Boris III) by the post-communist government.

Former King and Prime Minister Simeon II and his sister Princess Maria Louisa objected to the summons on the grounds that the Prince was incapacitated.

Prince Kardam died of a lung infection in hospital in Madrid on 7 April 2015, aged 52. After an Eastern Orthodox funeral, he was buried at San Isidro in Madrid.

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