Succession to the Albanian throne

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The line of succession to the Albanian throne is an ordered list of those eligible to succeed to the headship of the Royal House of Albania and to ascend the throne of Albania in the event the monarchy is restored. The native monarchy of Albania was deposed in 1939. The current head of the royal house is Leka II, Crown Prince of Albania.

House of Wied[edit]

The first modern Albanian monarchy, the Principality of Albania was established on 21 February 1914. The German prince William of Wied was selected by the Great Powers to rule the newly independent country.

Wied law of succession[edit]

The succession to the Principality of Albania was set out in Chapter II (Sovereign) Article 7 of the 10 April 1914 Organic Statute of Albania: Article 7:

The throne of the Albanian principality is hereditary within the family of Prince Wilhelm of Wied. Inheritance is based on the principle of the firstborn in the male line.[1]

Prince Wilhelm left Albania on 3 September 1914 due to serious unrest in the country, however he never renounced his claim to the throne and was succeeded upon his death in 1945 by his only son Carol Victor, Hereditary Prince of Albania who died childless in 1972.

As the 1914 Organic Statute specifies the succession as being hereditary amongst the “family” of Prince Wilhelm as opposed to his “descendants” this leaves open the possibility that Wied claim did not end with the death of Hereditary Prince Carol Victor in 1972. The head of the House of Wied in 1972 was Prince Friedrich Wilhelm (1931-2000), who was succeeded by his second son Prince Carl (1961-2015), who was in turn succeeded by his eldest son Prince Maximillian (born 1999).

The senior agnate of the House of Wied is the former Hereditary Prince Alexander (born 1960) who renounced his rights shortly after the death of his father. However, no member of the House of Wied has made a claim to the Albanian throne.

House of Zogu[edit]

The second Albanian monarchy was established on 1 September 1928 when President Ahmet Zogu was proclaimed King of the Albanians. He reigned until 1939 when he was forced to flee the country following an invasion by Mussolini's Italy. With the death in exile of King Zog in 1961 he was succeeded as claimant to the throne and head of the House of Zogu by his only son Leka, Crown Prince of Albania, who was proclaimed King of the Albanians by the Albanian National Assembly in exile.[2] King Leka remained head of the house and claimant to the throne until his death in 2011 when he was succeeded by his only son, Leka II.

Zogu law of succession[edit]

The following articles of the Albanian kingdom's constitution of 1928 set out the succession to the throne:[3]

Article 51. The Heir to the Throne shall be the King's eldest son and the succession shall continue generation after generation in the direct male line.

Article 52. Should the Heir die or lose his rights to the Throne, his eldest son shall succeed. Should the Heir to the Throne die or lose his rights and leave no son, the succession shall pass to the brother coming after him.

Article 53. Should there be no Heir to the Throne under articles 51 and 52, the King shall select his successor from among the male members of his family, but the King's selection shall be with the consent of Parliament. Should the King not use his prerogative, and the succession remain vacant, Parliament shall then select a male member of the King's family as successor to the Throne. In case no heirs exist in the King's family, or such as may exist are held incapable by a special parliamentary decision taken by a two-thirds majority of the members of the House, Parliament shall select a successor from the line of the King's daughters or sisters, but such successor must be of Albanian origin. When there are no males in the families above mentioned, Parliament shall select a successor of Albanian origin. Should the Throne remain vacant, the Council of Ministers shall exercise the Royal powers until the question of the successor is settled.

Upon the establishment of the monarchy as King Zog had no son, in accordance with the constitution he appointed his nephew Tati Esad Murad Kryeziu as heir to the throne.[4] Prince Tati was displaced in 1939 by the birth of Leka, Crown Prince of Albania, the only son of King Zog.[2]

Crown Prince Leka II, the only living male descendant of King Zog I and the head of the royal house as of 2012, has no sons only a daughter Princess Geraldine. The current heir presumptive to Prince Leka is Skënder Zogu, his first-cousin once removed.[5] After him the following currently living male members of the Zogu family could also become heirs:


  1. Organic Statute of Albania (Statuti Organik I Shqipërisë), Vlorë, 10 April 1914/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (1977). Burke's Royal Families of the World, volume 1: Europe & Latin America. Burke's Peerage. pp. 7–8.
  3. Albanian Royal Family — Official Website. Constitution
  4. Pearson, Owen (2007). Albania in the Twentieth Century, A History: Volume III: Albania as Dictatorship and Democracy, 1945-99. I.B.Tauris. p. 304.
  5. Niget, Florian (5 December 2012). "Chantilly : à 79 ans, il peut devenir roi d'Albanie". Le Parisien. Retrieved 19 December 2012.