22nd September 1908
In accordance with the will of the unforgettable Tsar Liberator, on 19 February 1878 the great Russian people, who are for us like brothers, with the assistance of our good neighbors, subjects to His Majesty the King of Romania, and of the brave heroic Bulgarians, broke the chains which had tied Bulgaria, once so great and glorious, as a slave for so many centuries. Thereafter, for more than thirty years the Bulgarian people, preserving the memory of those who toiled for their liberty and inspired by their tradition, have worked without rest for the progress of their beautiful land, and have created, under my leadership and the leadership of the late Prince Alexander, a state that can become an equal member among the family of civilized nations. My people have been always peace-loving and have always longed for cultural and economic progress.
In this endeavor, nothing shall stop the progress of Bulgaria, nothing shall hinder her success. This is the desire of my people, this is their will. Let it be as they wish! The Bulgarian people and their leader cannot think and feel differently. Being de facto independent the Bulgarian state is impeded in her normal and peaceful development by certain illusions and formal limitations, which as a result cool the relations between Turkey and Bulgaria.
The people and I sincerely rejoice in the political revival of Turkey!
Turkey and Bulgaria, free and completely independent from each other, may exist under conditions which promote their friendly relationship and may devote themselves to peaceful internal development.
Inspired by this sacred deed and to respond to the national exigencies and in harmony with the will of the Bulgarian people, I proclaim, in the name of the God Almighty, Bulgaria, united upon 6 September 1885, as an independent Kingdom. Together with my people I profoundly believe that this act will meet the approval of the Great Powers.
Long live independent Bulgaria! Long live the Bulgarian people!
Given in the ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo, 22nd September 1908, 22nd year of my reign.