Leka, Crown Prince of Albania (born 1982)

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

Leka Zogu II
LekaZoguII.jpg
Head of the House of Zogu
Period30 November 2011 – present
PredecessorLeka I, Crown Prince of Albania
Born (1982-03-26) 26 March 1982 (age 40)
Sandton Clinic, Johannesburg, South Africa
Spouse
(m. 2016)
IssuePrincess Geraldine Zogu
Names
Leka Anwar Zog Reza Baudouin Msiziwe Zogu
HouseZogu
FatherLeka I, Crown Prince of Albania
MotherSusan Cullen-Ward
SignatureLeka Zogu II's signature

Born in South Africa, Leka is the only child of (the first) Leka, Crown Prince of Albania and his wife Susan Cullen-Ward. He is the only grandchild of King 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. He also served as a political advisor to the Albanian President from 2012 to 2013[1]

In May 2010, Leka became engaged to Elia Zaharia,[2] an Albanian actress and singer. They married on 8 October 2016 in Tirana.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Leka is the son of the pretender to the defunct throne of Albania, Crown Prince 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,[dubious ][4] 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 term meaning 'the one who was assisted'. Leka is a member of the House of Zogu founded by King Zog.

Education and activitiesEdit

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[citation needed]

On 5 April 2004, Leka accepted the Mother Teresa Medal on behalf of his late grandmother, Queen Géraldine, for her humanitarian efforts.[7]

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.[citation needed]

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

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.[citation needed]

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.[8]

Public serviceEdit

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.[6] After three years he had been 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.[9]

Leka was considered as a candidate in the 2022 Albanian presidential election,[10][11] though the position ultimately went to Bajram Begaj.

Personal lifeEdit

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.[3]

WeddingEdit

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.[12]

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.[13]

ChildrenEdit

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 awardsEdit

HonoursEdit

National dynastic honoursEdit

Foreign honoursEdit

AwardsEdit

AncestryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Albanian Royal Family - Crown Prince Leka II". Albanianroyalcourt.al. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  2. ^ "membres.htm". Archivesgotha.chez-alice.fr. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b "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. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Albanian Royal Family - Prince Leka". Albanianroyalcourt.al. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ a b "Ministria e Punëve të Jashtme". Mfa.gov.al. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  7. ^ "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)
  8. ^ Rees, Neil (25 April 2021). "Our county's fascinating royal links - including how it gave Buckingham Palace its name". Bucks Free Press. Archived from the original on 25 April 2021.
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ "Prince Leka candidate for president? What was hidden from the meeting he had with Philip Ricker and Yuri Kim". politiko.al. 8 April 2022. Archived from the original on 8 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Princ Leka kandidat për President? Takimi me ambasadoren Yuri Kim dhe zyrtarin e lartë amerikan që ngriti dyshimet". newsbomb.al. 8 April 2022. Archived from the original on 9 April 2022.
  12. ^ "Fotot+Video/ Dasma mbretĂŤrore, Elia Zaharia i thotĂŤ "Po" Princ LekĂŤs. Marrin bekimin e krerĂŤve fetarĂŤ". BalkanWeb.com. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Royal Couple at Royal Wedding in Albania | The Royal Family of Serbia". Royalfamily.org. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Official Announcement". Albanianroyalcourt.al. 22 October 2020. Archived from the original on 30 March 2022.
  15. ^ "EKSKLUZIVE/ Princ Leka dhe Elia Zaharia bëhen prindër për herë të parë, zbulohet emri i veçantë i vajzës". abcnews.al. 22 October 2020. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020.
  16. ^ a b c REGISTER OF ORDERS OF CHIVALRY (PDF). International Commission for Orders of Chivalry. 28 February 2022. p. 26. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  17. ^ "Italy honours HRH Prince Leka II and the Albanian Independence". Gazetadielli.com. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Albanian Royal Family - Royal Decorations and Warrents". Albanianroyalcourt.al. Archived from the original on 18 March 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  19. ^ "COMMUNIQUE DE LA COUR ROYALE D'ALBANIE". Albania.dyndns.org. 22 May 2012. Archived from the original on 7 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Albania's Crown Prince Leka II invested as Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Francis I". Constantinian.org.uk. 9 October 2016. Archived from the original on 6 May 2021.
  21. ^ "PICTORIAL: Russia's first royal wedding since 1917". PromptNews. 1 October 2021. Archived from the original on 2 October 2021.
  22. ^ (blog) https://royalblog.org/2017/06/15/prince-gharios-el-chemor-and-royal-delegation-received-by-crown-prince-leka-ii-of-the-albanians/. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

BibliographyEdit

  • 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 linksEdit

Leka, Crown Prince of Albania (born 1982)
Born: 26 March 1982
Albanian royalty
Preceded by — TITULAR —
King of the Albanians
30 November 2011 – present
Reason for succession failure:
House of Zogu deposed 1939
Incumbent