Ferdinand I of Bulgaria - Personal Life

Personal Life

Ferdinand was thought to be bisexual throughout his life, but up to middle age, his proclivities for women predominated.

Ferdinand entered a marriage of convenience with Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma, daughter of Roberto I of Parma and Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, on 20 April 1893 at the Villa Pianore in Lucca in Italy, producing four children:

  • Boris III (1894–1943)
  • Kyril (1895–1945)
  • Eudoxia (1898–1985)
  • Nadezhda (1899–1958). Married Duke Albrecht Eugen of Württemberg.

Marie Louise died on 31 January 1899 after giving birth to her youngest daughter. Ferdinand did not think again about marriage until his mother, Princess Clémentine died in 1907. To satisfy dynastic obligations and to provide his children with a mother figure, Ferdinand married Eleonore Caroline Gasparine Louise, Princess Reuss-Köstritz, on 28 February 1908.

Ferdinand's regular holidays on Capri, then a famous haunt for wealthy gay men, were common knowledge in royal courts throughout Europe.

Bulgarian Royalty
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Ferdinand I
Children
Prince Boris
Prince Kyril
Princess Eudoxia
Princess Nadejda
Boris III
Children
Princess Marie Louise
Prince Simeon
Simeon II
Children
Prince Kardam
Prince Kyrill
Prince Kubrat
Prince Konstantin-Assen
Princess Kalina
Grandchildren
Prince Boris
Prince Beltran
Princess Mafalda
Princess Olimpia
Prince Tassilo
Prince Mirko
Prince Lukás
Prince Tirso
Prince Umberto
Princess Sofia
Prince Simeon

Stambolov's fall (May 1894) and subsequent assassination (July 1895) paved the way for a reconciliation of Bulgaria with Russia, effected in February 1896 with the conversion of the infant Prince Boris from Roman Catholicism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. However, this move earned him the animosity of his Catholic Austrian relatives, particularly that of his uncle, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.

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