- historical event:
- Alexander Battenberg was only 22 when the Bulgarians elected him as their Prince, following the recommendation of the Russian Emperor (at that time, Battenberg was a mere lieutenant in the Prussian Guards).
The first ruler of modern Bulgaria died on this day in 1893. His name was Alexander Battenberg, and he became a Bulgarian prince in 1879, following the recommendation of Russian Emperor Alexander II, his uncle (the sister of Battenberg’s father was the Russian Empress).
Alexander Battenberg was of German origin, like most of the Russian imperial family. Namely, his father was the prince of the German statelet of Hessen, situated on the territories north and south of Frankfurt. However, his mother was of lower birth. Her name was Julia Hauke, and she came from a German-Polish family, being the daughter of General Count Johann Moritz Hauke. Such marriages of sovereign princes and mere counts used to the considered “unequal” and “morganatic”. Thus young Alexander was not the Prince of Hessen, but was instead given the newly-created title of “Prince of Battenberg”, according to Battenberg Castle north of Marburg, in Hessen.
Alexander Battenberg was only 22 when the Bulgarians elected him as their Prince, following the recommendation of the Russian Emperor (at that time, Battenberg was a mere lieutenant in the Prussian Guards). The young prince was inexperienced in matters of the state and his reign ended quite badly. In 1886 he abdicated and had to flee the country.
Battenberg spent the last years of his life in Graz, Austria, where he died on this day. After his abdication, the Bulgarian throne was inherited by another dynasty – Sachsen-Coburg (also of German origin).