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A Royal Wedding in Albania

Prince Leka of Albania, or King Leka II of Albania as he is known by Albanian royalists, is getting married to his longtime fiancee Elia Zaharia today.

Prince Leka is the grandson of King Zog I, who ruled the country from 1928 until 1939. His parents are Leka, Crown Prince of Albania (of King Leka I of Albania) and Australian born Susan Cullen-Ward. His father was just a few days old when the family was exiled from Albania due to the Italian invasion. Prince Leka was born on 26 March 1982 on South Africa, although the maternity ward was temporarily declared to be Albanian territory.  He went to school at St Peter’s College in Johannesburg and also graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy in 2006, where he was declared the “best foreign student of the Academy”. He studied Italian at the Università per Stranieri and also completed training at the Albanian Military Academy Skanderbej. He is fluent in Albanian, English, Italian and speaks some Zulu.

He currently lives in the capital of Albania, Tirana. Prince Leka is pursuing a career in diplomacy and he is now serving as a political advisor to the President.

His fiancee, Elia Zaharia, is an Albanian actress born on 8 February 1983 to George Zaharia and Yllka Mujo. She graduated from the National Art School in Tirana in 2002 and moved to Paris in 2002 to continue her studies. She met Prince Leka around that time. She graduated from the National Conservatory of Bordeaux in 2005. The couple became in engaged in May 2010 and she has accompanied Prince Leka on his visits since then. She is the head of the Queen Geraldine Foundation, which was created by the Royal Court and helps Albanian families who need help.

Their wedding date was finally announced on 27 March 2016 and the couple is set to marry today in Tirana. The civil marriage will be officiated by the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj. A blessing will be given by the religious leaders of Albania.

The guest list for the wedding includes Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Full guest list


Their Imperial and Royal Highnesses Archduke Georg and Archduchess Eilika


Her Royal Highness Princess Léa

Bourbon-Two Sicilies

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Castro


His Royal Highness Prince Ali


His Royal Highness Prince Davit Bagrationi


His Royal and Imperial Highness Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia


Her Royal Highness Princess Irene
His Royal Highness Prince Michael and Princess Marina


Her Imperial Majesty Empress Farah Pahlavi


Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Pia of Savoy
Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy


Their Serene Highnesses Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle


Their Royal Highnesses Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla


His Royal Highness Prince Nikola II Petrović-Njegoš


Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem


Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Braganza


Their Royal Highnesses Crown Princess Margareta and Prince Radu


Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria
His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George


Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine


Her Majesty Queen Sofia

Thurn und Taxis

Her Serene Highness Princess Gloria
Her Serene Highness Princess Elisabeth

The United Kingdom

Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Michael of Kent


His Serene Highness Prince Gundakar and Her Royal Highness Princess Marie of Liechtenstein
Her Serene Highness Princess Imaculata of Liechtenstein
Her Serene Highness Princess Charlotte of Liechtenstein, Mrs PK Van der Byl
His Royal Highness Prince Michel of Yugoslavia
Her Royal Highness Princess Maria Theresa of Bourbon-Parma
Their Imperial & Royal Highnesses Archduke Joseph Karl Habsburg and Her her Imperial & Royal Highness Archduchess Margarete of Austria.
Her Imperial & Royal Highness Archduchess Johanna Sophie of Austria
His Highness Prince Joachim Murat
Prince Maurizio Ferrante Gonzaga del Vodice
Prince Alvaro de Orleans-Borbon and Princess Antonella de Orleans-Borbon
HSH The Prince d`Arenberg
Princess Sonia Poniatowsky
Prince Maurizio Ferrante Gonzaga del Vodice

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