Leka II, Crown Prince of Albania

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His Royal Highness
Prince of the Albania
Head of the Royal House of Albania
Period 30 November 2011 – present
Predecessor Leka I of Albania
Heir presumptive Skender Zogu
Born (1982-03-26) 26 March 1982 (age 42)
Sandton Clinic, Johannesburg, South Africa
Spouse
(m. 2016; div. 2024)
Issue Princess Geraldine Zogu
Full name
Leka Anwar Zog Reza Baudouin Msiziwe Zogu
House Zogu
Father Leka I of Albania
Mother Susan Cullen-Ward
Signature

Leka II, Crown Prince of the Albanians (Leka Anwar Zog Reza Baudouin Msiziwe Zogu, born 26 March 1982) is the heir to the throne of Albania and the head of the House of Zogu.

Born in South Africa, Leka is the only child of Leka I of Albania and his wife Susan Cullen-Ward. He is the only grandchild of Zog I of Albania, succeeding as head of the royal house upon the death of his father in 2011. He has worked as an official at the country's interior and foreign ministries.

In May 2010, Leka became engaged to Elia Zaharia,[1] an Albanian actress and singer. They married on 8 October 2016 in Tirana.[2]

Early life[edit]

Leka is the son of the pretender to the defunct throne of Albania, King Leka I, and his Australian wife Susan Cullen-Ward known as Queen Susan.

At the time of his birth on 26 March 1982, the South African government declared his maternity ward temporarily Albanian territory to ensure that Leka was born on Albanian soil,[3] although the Communist Albanian government would not have recognised it as such. He was named in honour of Egyptian president Anwar El Sadat, his grandfather King Zog I, Emperor Mohammed Reza of Iran, and Baudouin I, King of the Belgians. Msiziwe is a Zulu honorific. Leka is a member of the House of Zogu founded by King Zog.

Education and activities[edit]

Leka's secondary school education took place at St Peter's College, an Anglican school in Johannesburg. In December 2005, he graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy, United Kingdom, as did his father before him. Prince Leka was named Best Foreign Student of the Academy.[4] He was congratulated by the Albanian Minister of Defence for this achievement. He completed studies at the Università per Stranieri in Perugia, Italy, in the Italian language and at the Albanian Military Academy Skanderbej. He has also studied international relations.[5]

Leka resides in Tirana. He speaks Albanian, English, some Zulu, and Italian. He owns boxer dogs, and his interests include martial arts, volleyball, and swimming. He is fond of wildlife and has taken part in mountain climbing, abseiling, and target shooting.

On 5 April 2004 Leka accepted the Mother Teresa Medal on behalf of his late grandmother, Queen Géraldine, for her humanitarian efforts.[6]

Leka is known to have worked with youth organizations, like MJAFT!, and supported a wide range of humanitarian efforts in Albania, but he maintains that he only supports self-help projects to stimulate Albanian and Kosovar economic growth, Gazeta Sot.

Leka is known as a supporter of Kosovo independence from Serbia and has close ties with the Kosovo leadership in Pristina.

Leka founded the youth leadership of the Movement for National Development, which was a movement created by his father in 2005 to change the political face of Albania.

On 24 June 2010 Prince Leka unveiled a blue plaque at Parmoor House in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, which was the home of King Zog during his wartime exile. [7]

Public service[edit]

On 21 August 2007, Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha announced that Leka had been appointed to his office. The prince intended to pursue a career in diplomacy.[5] After three years he transferred to the office of the Minister of Interior. After the election of Bujar Nishani as president in 2012, Leka was appointed as political adviser to the President.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Leka met Elia Zaharia in Paris, and in May 2010 they were engaged. Since then she has accompanied him on most of his visits and meetings with members of royal families. She is also head of the Queen Geraldine Foundation, which is a humanitarian, charitable and non-profit organisation, created by the Royal Court. The foundation aims to be close to the Albanian families who need help and to children who need care. It has reconstructed numerous schools and kindergartens in northern Albania, especially in the Mat District, from where the Zogu Family comes.

On 27 March 2016 it was announced by Skënder Zogu (born 1933), a member of the Zogu family, that the couple would be married on 8 October 2016 in the Royal Palace in Tirana.[2]

On 17 January 2024 Prince Leka announced that he and Princess Elia would be getting a divorce.[9][10]

Wedding[edit]

Leka was married on Saturday 8 October 2016 in Tirana. The ceremony was a semi-official ceremony, held in Tirana in the Royal Palace, with many guests including members of other noble and royal families. The event was a civil wedding officiated by the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj. A blessing was given by the five religious leaders of Albania representing the faiths of Sunni Islam, Bektashi, and the Christian traditions of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant. This tradition of the Albanian royal family is part of the tradition of religious tolerance in Albania.[11]

Wedding guests included friends and relatives from around the world including relatives of his mother from Australia. Guests also included members of other royal families from neighbouring countries and further afield. These included Queen Sofia of Spain and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Prince Michael of Kent is a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and his wife Princess Michael of Kent is related to Prince Leka through her mother, Countess Marianne Szapáry, who was a 5th cousin of Queen Géraldine and had been a bridesmaid at her wedding to King Zog in 1938. Other royal guests included Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran, Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia, Crown Princess Margareta of Romania, Custodian of the Crown and Prince Radu of Romania, Crown Prince Nikola of Montenegro, Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg together with Princess Sibilla, Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia, Princess Léa of Belgium and other members from the royal families of Russia, Liechtenstein, Romania, Greece, Georgia, Morocco and members of other noble families. Heads of state of Albania also attended the ceremony.[12]

Leka is Muslim, while his wife Elia Zaharia is Albanian Orthodox Christian.[13]

Children[edit]

Elia Zogu gave birth to a daughter on 22 October 2020 at Queen Geraldine Maternity Hospital in Tirana, on the 18th anniversary of Leka’s grandmother Queen Geraldine’s death. Their daughter was named Geraldine in her honour.[14][15]

Honours and awards[edit]

Honours[edit]

National dynastic honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]

Awards[edit]

  • Honored Citizen of the City of Burrel (2012)
  • Honored Citizen of the Commune of Bërdicë (2012)
  • Key to City of New Orleans (2011)
  • Honorary Mayor of the City of Baton Rouge

Ancestry[edit]

8. Xhemal Pasha Zogu, Hereditary governor of Mati
4. Zog I of Albania
9. Sadijé Toptani
2. Leka I of Albania
10. Count Gyula Apponyi of Nagy-Appony
5. Countess Géraldine Margit Apponyi of Nagy-Appony
11. Gladys Virginia Steuart
1. Leka II, Crown Prince of Albania
12. Rupert Allen Cullen-Ward
6. Alan Robert Cullen-Ward
13. Mary Winifred Collins
3. Susan Cullen-Ward
14. Robert Sterling Murray-Prior
7. Phyllis Dorothea Murray-Prior
15. Estella Augusta Herring

References[edit]

  1. "membres.htm". Archivesgotha.chez-alice.fr. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Boda real de Leka y Elia de Albania: Leka y Elia de Albania: así son los novios de la boda que reunirá a la realeza de Europa. Noticias de Casas Reales". Vanitatis.elconfidencial.com. 2016-08-24. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  3. "Albanian Royal Family - Prince Leka". Albanianroyalcourt.al. Retrieved 2022-03-15.
  4. [1][dead link]
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Ministria e Punëve të Jashtme". Mfa.gov.al. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  6. "Archived copy". worldroots.com. Archived from the original on 8 May 2004. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. Our county’s fascinating royal links - including how it gave Buckingham Palace its name (25 April 2021) Bucks Free Press
  8. [2][dead link]
  9. https://people.com/royal-couple-albania-announce-divorce-8-years-marriage-8426855
  10. https://www.skynews.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity-life/halfaustralian-prince-leka-ii-of-albania-one-of-europes-most-eligible-bachelors-after-announcing-divorce/news-story/1df358977ee039c1f5a4cfd9ea3f5a45
  11. "Fotot+Video/ Dasma mbretĂŤrore, Elia Zaharia i thotĂŤ "Po" Princ LekĂŤs. Marrin bekimin e krerĂŤve fetarĂŤ". BalkanWeb.com. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  12. "Royal Couple at Royal Wedding in Albania | The Royal Family of Serbia". Royalfamily.org. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  13. "Albanian Royal Family - King Zog & Queen Geraldine". Albanianroyalcourt.al. Retrieved 2021-06-05.
  14. "Official Announcement".
  15. "EKSKLUZIVE/ Princ Leka dhe Elia Zaharia bëhen prindër për herë të parë, zbulohet emri i veçantë i vajzës". 22 October 2020.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 "Albanian Royal Family - Royal Decorations and Warrents". Albanianroyalcourt.al. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  17. "Italy honours HRH Prince Leka II and the Albanian Independence". Gazetadielli.com. 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  18. "22052012LekaII". Albania.dyndns.org. 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  19. "Albania's Crown Prince Leka II invested as Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Francis I - Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George". Constantinian.org.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  20. Imperial Wedding in Russia

Bibliography[edit]

  • Patrice Najbor, Histoire de l'Albanie et de sa maison royale (5 volumes), JePublie, Paris, 2008, (ISBN 978-2-9532382-0-4).
  • Patrice Najbor, la dynastye des Zogu, Textes & Prétextes, Paris, 2002
  • Geraldine of the Albanians; Robyns, Gwen – ISBN 0-584-11133-9
  • Rees, Neil: A Royal Exile – King Zog & Queen Geraldine of Albania including their wartime exile in the Thames Valley and Chilterns, 2010 (ISBN 978-0-9550883-1-5)

External links[edit]

Leka II, Crown Prince of Albania
Born: 26 March 1982
Preceded by — TITULAR —
King of the Albanians
30 November 2011 – present
Reason for succession failure:
House of Zogu deposed 1939
Incumbent
Heir:
Skender Zogu
This article initially used material from the Wikipedia article Leka, Crown Prince of Albania (born 1982), which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (view authors). Changes by Royalpedia users can be viewed by clicking 'View history'.