Welcome to the world, Princess Geraldine! Crown Prince Leka II and Crown Princess Elia announce the birth of their first child – 4 years after becoming the first Albanian royals to marry since the end of communism
- Albania’s Crown Prince Leka II and Princess Elia announced birth of first child
- Couple were married in 2016 in the European nation’s second ever royal wedding
- Welcomed their daughter on Thursday at Queen Geraldine Hospital in Tirana
Albania’s Crown Prince Leka II and Crown Princess Elia have announced the birth of their first child, a baby girl named Geraldine.
The couple, who were married in 2016 in the European nation’s second ever royal wedding and the first since the end of communism, welcomed their daughter on Thursday at the Queen Geraldine Maternity Hospital in Tirana.
They named their daughter Geraldine – a meaningful tribute to the little one’s paternal great-grandmother, Queen Geraldine, who died on October 22, 2002, 18 years to the day before her namesake’s birth.
‘Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well,’ the royal court said in a statement announcing the birth, adding that they were ‘delighted’ with the news.
Albania’s Crown Prince Leka II and Crown Princess Elia (pictured in Madrid in 2016) have announced the birth of their first child, a baby girl named Geraldine
‘Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well,’ the royal court said in a statement announcing the birth (above), adding that they were ‘delighted’ with the news
Queen Geraldine was married to King Zog I, who was the first monarch of Albania after it gained independence from the Ottoman Empire but fled his homeland in 1939 when Italy’s fascists occupied the Balkan state.
Despite the monarchy having been dissolved, Zog’s son King Leka remained head of the House of Zogu and claimant to the throne until his death in 2011 and was succeeded by his only son, Leka II.
WHO IS IN ALBANIA’S ROYAL FAMILY?
Zog I was proclaimed King of the Albanians in 1928 and forced into exile in 1939.
Zog and his wife Geraldine had one son, Leka, who was declared king upon his father’s death in 1961.
Leka and his wife Susan Cullen-Ward had one son, Leka, who assumed the throne in Albanian monarchists’ eyes after Leka I’s death in 2011.
Leka II is married to singer and actress Elia Zaharia.
The Crown Prince, who attended Royal Military College Sandhurst and has worked as an adviser to Albania’s president, succeeded his father as head of the House of Zogu, and titular King of the Albanians.
As Leka II currently does not have any sons, his current heir presumptive is Skënder Zogu, his first cousin once removed.
Leka II married Elia Zaharia in a lavish ceremony in 2016, with around 20 royal families from across the world in attendance including Prince Michael of Kent -the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.
Princess Léa of Belgium and Queen Sofía of Spain were also present at the opulent ceremony in Albanian capital Tirana, where the couple now live.
Leka II and Elia, who were engaged in Paris in 2010, now preside over the Queen Geraldine Foundation.
The prince has also worked as an adviser within the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior and the Albanian Presidents Office, while the princess works at the Albanian National Theater.
Albania’s royal family was expelled from the country in 1939 after it was invaded by Italian fascists.
The couple were married in 2016 (pictured) in the European nation’s second ever royal wedding and the first since the end of communism
After World War II, when the Communists took over the country, King Zog and his family were considered traitors and stripped from power completely and removed from history books.
Following their exile, the Albanian royal family spent time in Greece and Turkey before settling in England, where they briefly resided at The Ritz in London.
King Zog and his family then moved to Egypt before the monarch spent the remainder of his life in France.