Kardam Saxe-Coburg, the eldest son of Bulgaria’s last king and former prime minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg, died on April 7 in a Madrid hospital after spending more than six years in a coma, the former royal family said in a statement.
The cause of death was a lung infection, which was the result of the years he has spent immobile. His family, including parents Simeon and Margarita, spouse Miriam and brothers Konstantin and Kiril were with Kardam in his last moments, the statement said.
Kardam has been in a coma since a road accident in August 2008, when the vehicle he was driving crashed into a tree and flipped over. He suffered brain trauma and both his hands were seriously injured, while his wife had numerous bruises and an elbow fracture, but her life was never in danger.
Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic, but many people in the country still referred to Kardam as knyaz (“prince”) and heir to the (no-longer-existent) crown. He and his siblings were born in Spain, where Simeon Saxe-Coburg settled soon after the communist regime expelled him, aged nine, from Bulgaria in 1946.
Simeon returned to Bulgaria in 2001 and his party National Movement Simeon II (later renamed National Movement for Stability and Progress) rode the wave of public support for the former monarch to a convincing victory in the parliamentary elections held several months later.
(Kardam Saxe-Coburg, left, with his father Simeon. Photo: kingsimeon.bg)