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Leka I
King of the Albanians

Titles and Honours

King of the Albanians (titular), 1961–2011†
Crown Prince of Albania, 1957–61
Grand Collar of Albania, 1957 (Albania)
Sovereign and Grand Master of the Order of Scanderbeg (Albania)
Sovereign and Grand Master of the Order of Fidelity (Albania)
Sovereign and Grand Master of the Order of Fidelity and Military Merit (Albania)

Positions Held

Second Lieutenant British Army, 1959


Shortly after his birth, Leka was taken to Greece with his family after they had fled the Italian invasion, and he spent his early years in Egypt and France, and then England. He completed his studies in Switzerland, and then joined the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst in England from 1956 to 1958. Following his father's death, he was he was proclaimed king at Paris by the Albanian National Assembly in exile. He moved to Spain to join his mother there and began an arms trading business, but was forced to leave in 1979 after illegal arms were found in his house. He left with his wife to Rhodesia, and in 1980, they moved on to South Africa and settled there. He returned to Albania in 1993 but was not allowed to stay. He made a second visit in 1997, but left after getting involved in political affairs and participating in a demonstration bearing arms. He was sentenced to three years in prison in absentia for sedition. A 1997 referendum to restore the monarchy was defeated. He was pardoned in 2002 and allowed to return to Albania permanently, taking up residence with his family in Tirana. He established the Movement for National Development Party in 2004 which had little success. By 2006, he withdrew form public life.

Place of birth: Tirana
Place of marriage: Madrid

Place of death: Tirana


1. Societe des Amis de l'Almanach de Saxe Gotha. Kingdom of Albania, Almanach de Gotha, 2011.
2. R. Elsie. A Biographical Dictionary of Albanian History. London; New York: I.B. Tauris & Co.Ltd, 2013.
3. H. Montgomery-Massingberd, ed. Burke's Royal Families of the World. Volume I: Europe & Latin America. London: Burke’s Peerage Ltd., 1977.


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