Crown Prince Leka II of Albania
|Leka Zogu II|
Crown Prince of Albania
The Crown Prince and Princess of Albania
|Head of the House of Zogu|
|Period||30 November 2011 – Present|
|Predecessor||Crown Prince Leka I of Albania|
|Crown Prince of Albania|
|Period||1982 - Present|
|Predecessor||Crown Prince Leka I of Albania|
|Adviser to the President of Albania|
|Term||2012 - Present|
|Born||26 March 1982|
Sandton Clinic, Johannesburg, South Africa
|Wife||Crown Princess Elia of Albania|
|Father||Crown Prince Leka I of Albania|
|Mother||Crown Princess Susan of Albania|
|Occupation||Crown Prince of Albania|
|Albanian Royal Family|
Crown Prince Leka II of Albania (26 March 1982-Present) is the only child of Crown Prince Leka I of Albania (1939-2011) by his wife Crown Princess Susan of Albania (1941-2004). He married once to Elia Zaharia (1983-Present) on 08 October 2016 and does not have any children by that marriage yet. On 30 November 2011 Crown Prince Leka II of Albania succeeded as head of the Royal House of Zogu upon the death of his father, Crown Prince Leka I of Albania. The Crown Prince also known, to a lesser degree as the Titular King of the Albanians, but he has never actually been crowned King - yet. Legally, Albania should be a Monarchy after the results of the 1997 referendum when Prime Minister Sali Berisha of Albania admitted in 2011 that there was vote manipulation in the referendum and that the Albanian Monarchy should have been restored. Thus far, however, the Kingdom of Albania has yet to be restored.
Crown Prince Leka II of Albania was born on 26 March 1982 at the Sandton Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. When he was born the South African Government declared his maternity ward temporarily Albanian territory to ensure that Prince Leka II was born on Albanian soil even if the illegitimate Communist Albanian government would not have recognized it as such.
1997 Referendum to Restore the Albanian Monarchy
A referendum on restoring the monarchy was held in Albania on 29 June 1997. Officially the proposal was rejected by 66.7% of voters; however, Crown Prince Leka I of Albania claimed that 65.7% voted in favour of restoring the Albanian Monarchy. The Royal House of Zogu never accepted the official result of the referendum. After the publication of the result by the Central Election Commission of Albania, during the 1997 rebellion in Albania, Crown Prince Leka I of Albania returned again, this time being greeted by 2,000 supporters. After a recount it was announced that the restoration was rejected by approximately two-thirds of those voting. Crown Prince Leka I of Albania questioned the independence of the election saying that the corrupt Albanian Republic fraudulently manipulated the results. Then the Albanian Police intervened, gunfire broke out, one person was killed, and Crown Prince Leka I of Albania fled.
The Truth Comes Out
On 30 November 2011, after the death of Crown Prince Leka I of Albania Prime Minister Sali Berisha admitted that there was vote manipulation in the referendum and that the Albanian Monarchy should have been restored. Thus, the current government of Albania is an illegitimate government. The Prime Minister blamed the manipulation on the "flames of communist rebellion", but has done nothing to honor the will of the people and restore the Royal Family to the throne as the rightful and legitimate rulers of Albania.
Education and Activities
Crown Prince Leka II of Albania's secondary school education took place at St Peter's College, an Anglican school in Johannesburg, South Africa. In December 2006, he graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy, United Kingdom, as did his father before him. Crown Prince Leka II of Albania was named Best Foreign Student of the Academy. 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. Prince Leka resides in Tirana, Albania and is fluent in Albanian, English, Zulu and Italian languages. 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 Prince Leka accepted the Mother Teresa Medal on behalf of his late grandmother, Queen Géraldine, for her humanitarian efforts. Prince 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.
Crown Prince Leka II of Albania is known as a supporter of Kosovo independence from Serbia and has close ties with the Kosovo leadership in Pristina. Iliria Royal University in Pristina and Tirana is styled as regal and functions with some reference to him. Crown Prince Leka II of Albania 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 Crown Prince Leka II of Albania unveiled a blue plaque at Parmoor House in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, which was the home of King Zog I of Albania during his wartime exile.
Career in Albanian Leadership
On 21 August 2007, Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha announced that Crown Prince Leka II of Albania had been appointed to his office. The Crown Prince intended to pursue a career in diplomacy and after two years he transferred to the Office of the Minister of Interior. After the Albanian presidential election of Bujar Nishani as President in 2012, Crown Prince Leka II of Albania was appointed as political adviser to the President.
Crown Prince Leka II of Albania met Crown Princess Elia of Albania|Elia Zaharia]] in Paris, France and in May 2010 they got engaged. Since then she has accompanied the Crown Prince on most of his visits and meetings with members of other 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 Prince Skënder Zogu of Albania (1933-Present), a member of the Albanian Royal Family, that the couple would be married on 8 October 2016 in the Royal Palace in Tirana.
Crown Prince Leka II of Albania 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 denominations of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant. This tradition of the Albanian Royal Family is part of the tradition of religious tolerance in Albania.
Wedding guests included friends and relatives from around the world including relatives of Queen Susan's 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.
- House of Zogu: Sovereign Knight with Collar of the Royal Order of Albania
- House of Zogu: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Fidelity
- House of Zogu: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Skanderbeg
- House of Zogu: Sovereign of the Royal Order of Bravery
- Italian Royal Family: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
- Two Sicilian Royal Family: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Francis I
- Albania – Honored Citizen of the City of Burrel (2012)
- Albania – Honored Citizen of the Commune of Bërdicë (2012)
- USA – Key to City of New Orleans (2011)
- USA – Honorary Mayor of the City of Baton Rouge
- Papathimiu, S. (2012). The demographic and economic development of Albania during and after the decline of Communist regime (1945-2010). Treballs de la Societat Catalana de Geografia, 101-118.
- Nicholson, B. (1999). The beginning of the end of a rebellion: southern Albania, May-June 1997. East European Politics and Societies, 13(3), 543-565.
- TOL, T. (2016). Around the Bloc: Albania Gets Set for Second-Ever Royal Wedding. Transitions Online, (10/11), 13-14.