Bulgaria 1895, Ferdinand Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is well established as Prince Regnant. His would be nemesis, Stefan Stombolav the former Prime minister, has been pushed out of the political scene, and was in fact assassinated by July of that year.
There are many fascinating things in the long history of Bulgaria, but the fact that it is known as the" Land of the Roses" is the most beautiful. Brought to Thrace(ancient name of area) by Alexander the Greats armies, there are whole valleys dedicated to the growing of the Rosa Damascene, and Bulgaria produces 70% of the worlds rose oil.
The national flower of Bulgaria, the Rose(specifically Rosa Damascene)
How remiss of me. According to Miss Francesca, our baby will arrive around November 5th...how exciting to be born on such an amazingly festive day! I have not really thought about the point at which I would feel it necessary to return home. I can not imagine a more suitable midwife than Miss Francesca, and so long as we are in a Commonwealth country he will still be British. Oh my, I said "he", do you suppose that is a good sign?I would so love our first child to be a boy, for Richards sake you understand. Though I am sure he will be pleased either way.
We are touring Bulgaria at the moment, and it is all pretty quiet. Richard took me up the mountains...we could see for miles across the Thracian Plains, such a romantic place.
I am to be introduced to his Excellency Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha this evening. I believe he is a first cousin of our own dear monarch. I have to say though, that I do not believe he is as well loved by his people, and the name "Stefan Stombolav" is whispered amongst the servants with what I can only describe as a sense of loss.
affectionately yours, Ophelia XXX
p.s. Wait until you see the dress Richard bought me for this evening. Powder blue silk, gold embroidery and red velvet trim!"
" My Darling Ophelia,
November seems like a lifetime away. I had hoped you would be coming home to have your baby, but you sound supremely confident, and I am sure Sir Richard and Miss Francesca will take great care of you.
Your dress sounds absolutely divine darling, and yes, Ferdinand is a first cousin to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, as well as being first cousin to His Royal Highness Prince Albert...not to mention the numerous other continental Royals. It would seem that the Saxe-Coburgs are planning to take over the entire known world!
It is sad to hear about Mr Stombolav's decline. It was hoped he would bring about even more prosperity for the people of Bulgaria. He was certainly bringing that country into the modern world.
The sun has been shining here, so I have managed to get some of your magnificent gifts planted at last. My garden is becoming quite a local attraction.
your devoted friend, Lillian xxx
p.s. Those Tulips you sent me from the Netherlands are flowering beautifully, and are an assortment of reds, pinks and white. I shall separate them into kind when they start to fade."
Images on my page are;
Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha,
a girl in national costume circa 1895'
THE dress circa 1895,
and a view across the Thracian Plains
Enjoy :D XXX