Charles III was crowned King of the United Kingdom today in a ceremony at St James’s Palace in London. King Charles III visited Bulgaria twice in his capacity as the heir to the throne of Great Britain – in 1998 and 2003, according to a reference in the BTA archive.
For the first time, Prince Charles visited Bulgaria from 6 to 8 November 1998. The visit was official and was at the invitation of the President of Bulgaria, Petar Stoyanov. It is part of the tour of the British heir to the throne in four Balkan countries – Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia, and is the first of a British heir to the throne in Bulgaria. In the “Boyana” residence, Prince Charles had a private conversation with President Petar Stoyanov, who presented him with a copy of a Neolithic clay ritual table more than eight thousand years old, discovered near the village of Galabnik in Pernik. The wife of the president, Antonina Stoyanova, presented the prince with seeds of typical Bulgarian herbs – basil, thyme, yarrow and St. John’s wort. The herbs are for Bulgaria’s special alley at the prince’s estate in Highgrove.
In Sofia, Prince Charles viewed the Boyan Church, visited the Queen Joana University Hospital, to which he donated 10 ambulances on behalf of the organization “Humanitarian Aid” to the ambulance personnel in Staffordshire. On November 6, 1998, Prince Charles attended the official launch of the Bulgarian Forum of Business Leaders at the Sheraton Hotel, which is the 30th consecutive international commitment that the Prince of Wales has made to the organization he founded, of which he has been chairman since 1990 Twelve companies founded the forum in 1994, and by 1998, 49 projects supporting the state sector and civil society had been implemented in 12 Bulgarian cities.
On November 7, 1998, Prince Charles visited Plovdiv, where he was welcomed by the regional governor Andon Andonov and the city’s mayor, Spas Gurnevski. Prince Charles visits the Roma Foundation in the Stolipinovo district, where local master blacksmiths, members of the Craftsmen’s Cooperative, present him with shepherd’s vats, fireplace utensils and a horseshoe for good luck. In “Stolipinovo” he got acquainted with the program of the Bureau for self-help in the neighborhood. President Petar Stoyanov shows the British heir to the throne sights in the Old Town – the Balaban House, where the two sing Beatles songs, the Church of St. St. Constantine and Elena and the Zlatyu Boyadjiev art gallery, the Ancient Theater. Prince Charles also visited the Agricultural and Ecological Center of the Higher Agricultural Institute in Plovdiv, where he met with students and young farmers specializing in Great Britain.
On November 8, 1998, Prince Charles left Sofia for Skopje, Macedonia.
The second official visit of Prince Charles was from March 13 to 14, 2003 at the invitation of the President of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov, during which Prince Charles visited Sofia and Varna. On the first day of his visit, he held face-to-face talks with President Georgi Parvanov in the presidency. Prince Charles also had a meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon of Saxe-Coburg, after which the two took part in a ceremony to present business ethics certificates to Bulgarian companies from the Bulgarian Forum of Business Leaders, which the prince established during his previous visit to Bulgaria in 1998.
On the second day of his visit, Prince Charles participated in the conference “Public-Private Partnership in Countering Drug Distribution” at the Center for the Study of Democracy in Sofia, where he delivered a speech at the opening. He also visited Varna, where he was welcomed by the mayor of the city, Kiril Yordanov, and the regional governor, Yani Yanev. Prince Charles visited the ethnographic complex “Chiflika Chukurovo” in the nice village of Prilep, the home for homeless children “Gavros” in Varna and the Archaeological Museum, the monument to the British troops and the “Karin House” sponsored by the British Foundation in the Sea Garden. In the residence “Evksinograd” there is a meeting with leaders of Varna and the district, and with students from the Varna Free University. In the hall of mirrors of the “Evksinograd” palace, he received a gift from the mayor of Varna, Kiril Yordanov – a copy of a gold ring discovered during archaeological excavations in the 70s of the 20th century in a Thracian mound grave in the “Galata” district of Varna. The mayor also honored him with the special “Honour badge of the mayor of Varna – with a ribbon”.