BULGARIA: Rex Felix

Earnest Tsar Boris of Bulgaria put on one day last week a surgeon's white gown and red rubber gloves.

Citizens of Sofia were on the qui vive. If they should hear an 101 gun salute that would mean that Tsaritsa Ioanna had been delivered of a Crown Prince—not by Tsar Boris of course. In his antiseptic gear he merely watched.

Boom!—went the first gun and all Sofia began to count. Only 21 blanks were fired. It was only a girl—but Sofia responded nobly. By Tsar Boris' order the small Palace grounds were thrown open to the people, including Communists who have a majority in Sofia's Civil Government. Popular and fearless, the white-gowned Tsar appeared on the very balcony from which, three weeks ago, he watched while several Macedonian terrorists pumped each other full of lead (TIME, Jan. 16).

To a jovially shouted question His Majesty was rumored in Sofia to have replied: "About three and a half kilos" (8 lb.).

News that Tsar Boris' devoutly Catholic mother-in-law, Queen Elena of Italy, was rushing to Sofia in her gilded baroque private car caused His Majesty to order a rush-baptism of the babe, Maria Louise, hastily performed in the Palace Chapel by Archbishop Stefan according to Bulgaria's Orthodox rite. Prince Cyril, the Tsar's Catholic brother, met Queen Elena at the frontier, convinced her that a Catholic baptism would have been impossible in view of Bulgarian public opinion. At the Sofia station Queen Elena embraced Tsar Boris, whatever she may think of him. In Rome a spokesman for the Vatican said: "His Majesty signed an undertaking [at the time of his marriage] to baptize his children in Catholicism. If he does not fulfill the pledge, he must answer to his own conscience."

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