Prince Leka of Albania

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This article is about the current pretender. For his father, see Leka, Crown Prince of Albania.
Leka
Prince of Albania
Predecessor Leka
Full name
Prince Leka Anwar Zog Reza Baudouin Msiziwe Zogu
House House of Zogu
Father Leka, Crown Prince of Albania
Mother Susan Cullen-Ward
Born (1982-03-26) 26 March 1982 (age 32)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Albanian Royal Family
Coat of arms of the Albanian Kingdom (1928–1939).svg
  • HRH Prince Leka

  • Skënder Zogu
    • Virginie Zogu
  • Mirgin Zogu
    Maryse Zogu
    • Alexandre Zogu
      • Erina Zogu
      • Anna Zogu
      • Flora Zogu
    • Michel Zogu

Prince Leka of the Albanians (Leka Anwar Zog Reza Baudouin Msiziwe Zogu, born 26 March 1982) is the only child of Leka, Crown Prince of Albania and Susan Cullen-Ward. Prince Leka is an official at the Albanian Ministry of Interior and in the past has served at the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The prince is referred by some Albanian monarchists as King Leka II since the death of his father, whom they referred to as Leka I. In May 2010, the Prince became engaged to Elia Zaharia,[1] an Albanian actress and singer. On 30 November 2011, he succeeded as head of the House of Zogu, titular King of the Albanians, and 3rd Sovereign Head of the Order of Besa and of the Order of Skanderbeg, upon the death of his father.

Early life[edit]

Leka is the son of the pretender to Albania's throne, Crown Prince Leka I, and his wife Susan Cullen-Ward.

At the time of his birth, the South African government declared his maternity ward temporarily Albanian territory to ensure that Leka was born on Albanian soil.[2] He was named in honor of Egyptian president Anwar El Sadat, his grandfather King Zog I, Shah Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi of Iran, and Baudouin I, King of the Belgians. Msiziwe is a Zulu honorific. Leka is a member of the Zogu dynasty founded by King Zog and also is a hereditary bey (Albanian tribal chieftain and traditional land owner) of the Gheg clan.

Education and activities[edit]

Leka's secondary school education took place at St Peter's College, Johannesburg. In December 2006, he graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy, United Kingdom, as the “Best foreign student of the Academy”.[3] He was subsequently congratulated by the Albanian Minister of Defense for this achievement. He also has completed studies at the Università per Stranieri in Perugia, Italy, for the Italian Language. He subsequently has also completed training at the Albanian Military Academy Skanderbej. He is studying international relations.[4]

Prince Leka, who was featured in the cover story, "Young and Royal", of Vanity Fair in September 2003, resides in Tirana, is fluent in Albanian, and English, and also speaks some Zulu and Italian. He owns boxer dogs and his personal interests include martial arts, volleyball and swimming. He is also fond of wildlife and leads a very active life, taking part in and supporting mountain climbing and other outdoor sports, such as abseiling and target shooting.

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

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

Prince Leka is also 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 under his guidance.

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

On 24 June 2010 Prince Leka unveiled a blue plaque at Parmoor House in Buckinghamshire, England, which was the home of King Zog during their wartime exile.

Career in Albanian leadership[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.[6] After two 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.[7]

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Styles of
Leka II
Coat of arms of the Albanian Kingdom (1928–1939).svg
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty

Titles[edit]

  • His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of the Albanians, (1982–2011)
  • His Majesty The King of the Albanians (pretender, 2011–present)

Honours and awards[edit]

Dynastic National honours in Albania

Dynastic honours

Ancestors[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Geraldine of the Albanians; Robyns, Gwen – ISBN 0-584-11133-9
  • Histoire de l'Albanie et de sa maison royale (5 volumes); Najbor, Patrice - JePublie - Paris - 2008

External links[edit]

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