Boris Skossyreff and monarchical AndorraDecember 15, 2013
Andorra is a microstate between France and Spain. Until XVI century the power of the state remained in France or Spain hands generating conflicts between the two countries but after that and with some particularities the state became independent. Napoleon reaffirmed the condition of the country.
Andorra was poor country, his citizens lived from the subsistence farming, but in the second part of XIX century the principality made some great advances in tourism infraestructures, shopping and attracted external capital because of his low rate taxes.
Boris I was born in the actual capital of Lithuania, Vilnius by these days was Russia. His family was noble family and so in 1917 when the revolution took erupted Boris moved to England, there he enrolled in the British army and served worldwide for two years. After that he went to Netherlands and according him, worked for the crown. In 1931 he married with french girl, ten years older and quickly he get away from her.
Boris traveled with a Nansen passport (The passport for stateless) and was gifted with the quality of easy learn languages. He changed his name few times and called himself Orange Baron but he had not any title, he just made up.
The man and the country
He arrived to Andorra in early 1934 and lived near of Sant Julià de Lòira for a few month, he saw the problems of the principality and had keen on help the economy of the country. He was deported because his attitude did not like to the goverment (Called “Síndic”) in may of 1934.
But in July of the same year he returned to Andorra and convinced the government for be the king and in exchange he was going to improve the economy of the country attracting external capital, building casinos and “put in the map” the country.
More or less he was the king for nine days, the president of France said he was okey with the situation of Andorra, is mandatory remember by these times Andorra state heads was the president of France and the archbishop of Seu of Urgell but when the archbishop knew the situation went to Boris house with few Spain polices and arrest him. The people of Andorra did not say anything and no one acted.
After that he stayed some time in a Barcelona prison and was deported, he traveled in Europe and what happened with him is a mystery. Some people think he died in WWII others think he died in 80s in Germany.
In the book Boris I rey de Andorra at the end said he returned to Andorra and died in the monastery but I think that is just fictional.
Despite of the crazy history of this adventurer, his plan was to modernize Andorra like is now so his ideas was correct. Maybe if he succeeded Andorra will be more important than now is.