The Albanian Monarchy
Albania was a monarchy between 1928 and 1939 and ruled by His Majesty King Zog I. The King originally belonged to one of Albania’s noble families and a descendent of the national hero of Albania, General Skanderberg who lived between1405-1468. King Zog I was born as Ahmet Bey Zogu in 1895 and held many prestigious positions in Albania such as prime minister and president – until he was proclaimed King of the Albanians by the Constitutional Assembly in 1928. The years of monarchy have often been described as the golden era of Albania.
The King married the Hungarian Countess Geraldine Apponyi in 1938 and at that moment she became Her Majesty Queen Geraldine of the Albanians. The Queen was a beloved member of the royal family and was called the white rose of Hungary. She gave birth to King Leka I on the 5th of April 1939. Two days later Albania was invaded by the Italian fascists and the royal family had to leave their country and live in exile. King Zog died in Paris 1961 and his son Leka I was named King of the Albanians on April 15th 1961 at Hotel Bristol in the French capital. By that time Albania was since several years ruled by a communist dictatorship and it took several years after the fall of the Berlin wall until King Leka could return to Albania with his wife Queen Susan, their son Crown Prince Leka II and the Queen mother Geraldine.
King Leka I passed away in 2011, Queen Susan died in 2004 and Queen Geraldine died in 2002. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Leka II is the sole heir to the Albanian crown and he will marry Miss Elia Zaharia on October 8th in Tirana, which will start a new chapter for the Albanian royal family.