Crown Prince Leka  Zogu of Albania, the self-proclaimed heir to the Albanian throne, died on November 30, 2011 at the age of 72 in Tirana, the capital of Albania.  He had been admitted to the Mother Teresa Hospital in Tirana with heart and lung problems.  The crown prince was the only child of King Zog (1895-1961)who had proclaimed himself king in 1928, ruling Albania for eleven years.  In 1938, King Zog married the Hungarian-born, half American Countess Géraldine Apponyi de Nagyappony (1915-1922).   Two days after Prince Leka’s birth, King Zog and Queen Geraldine fled with their infant son into exile after Benito Mussolini’s forces occupied Albania.  For most of his life, Prince Leka lived in exile abroad.  Albania fell under Communist rule in 1946 and largely banned contact with the outside world.   In 1990, Albania’s Communist regime fell.  Crown Prince Leka, who stood at six feet, five inches, attempted to return to his native land in 1993 and 1997.   The prince was married to an Australian, Susan Cullen-Ward, who predeceased him.  They had a son, Prince Leka, born in 1982.


The Albanian royal family in exile: King Zog (1895-1961), Queen Geraldine (1915-2002) and Crown Prince Leka (1939-2011) (photo: Getty Images)

King Zog, Queen Geraldine and their only child, Crown Prince Leka (photo: Getty Images)

Crown Prince Leka and Queen Geraldine of Albania in exile (photo: Getty Images)

Crown Prince Leka with his half-American, half-Hungarian mother, Queen Geraldine (photo: Getty Images)

Crown Prince Leka Zogu of Albania in 2004 (photo: Getty Images)


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