Prince Leka of Albania
Prince Leka of Albania (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 was an official at the Albanian Ministry of Interior and in the past has served at the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Presidency. 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, 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.
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. He was named in honour 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
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”. He was subsequently congratulated by the Albanian Minister of Defence for this achievement. He also has completed studies at the Università per Stranieri in Perugia, Italy, in the Italian language. He subsequently has also completed training at the Albanian Military Academy Skanderbej. He is studying international relations.
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 takes part in mountain climbing, abseiling and target shooting.
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 his wartime exile.
Career in Albanian leadership
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. After two years he transferred to the office of the Minister of Interior.
Honours and awards
Dynastic National honours in Albania
- Order of Besa
- Order of Skanderbeg
- Order of Bravery
- Albania – Honored Citizen of the City of Burrel (2012)
- Albania – Honored Citizen of the City of Bërdicë (2012)
- Savoy – Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, (19 May 2012 by Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples)
|Ancestors of Prince Leka of Albania|
- House of Zogu
- Skënder Zogu
- Line of succession to the former Albanian throne
- 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)
- Revue de presse royale novembre 2010
- Prince Leka, Albanian Royal Family — Ofﬁcial Website
- Albanian Ministry of Defence
- Albanian Ministry for Foreign Affairs
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Princ Leka II Zogu – Këshilltar Politik, President of Albania (in Albanian)
- Princi Leka II dekorohet me Urdhrin Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro, Bota Sot, 2012-05-21 (in Albanian)
- 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
- Official website of the Albanian Royal Court
- Site Officiel de la Maison Royale d'Albanie
- Histoire de l'Albanie et de sa Maison Royale 1443-2007
- L'Albanie et le sauvetage des Juifs
Prince Leka of AlbaniaBorn: 26 March 1982
Crown Prince Leka
|— TITULAR —
King of the Albanians
30 November 2011 – present
Reason for succession failure:
House of Zogu deposed 1939