Topic: Russian Imperial House
H.I.H. Grand Duke Georgii pays his respects at the coffin of King Zog I of Albania at Tirana on November 17th, 2012
H.I.H. the Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke Georgii of Russia, at the behest of his most august mother, the Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, who was at that time on an official visit to Russia, attended the reburial of the remains of King Zog I of Albania in the capital city of Tirana. The King had been previously been buried in Paris. His Imperial Highness was accompanied by Cyrille Boulay, an advisor on international relations to the Head of Russian Imperial House.
The coffin bearing King Zog I’s body was placed in the Presidential Palace, where official, ambassadors, foreign guests, and ordinary citizens of Albania were afforded the opportunity to pay their last respects. Around noon, a procession on foot accompanying the King’s coffin set out from the Presidential Palace to the Royal Mausoleum, led by the grandson of the late King—the present Head of the Royal House of Albania, Prince Leka II, his fiancée Elia Zaharia, and several other members of the Albanian Royal Family. Among those in the procession were the Head of the Montenegrin Royal House, H.R.H. Prince Nicholas; H.I.H., the Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke Georgii of Russia; the son-in-law of the King Michael of Romania, H.R.H. Prince Radu; and numerous foreign diplomats. The President of Albania, Bujar Nishani, and the President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, both spoke at the royal burial site. Afterward there was a memorial meal; and that evening, there was a formal reception in the Presidential Palace in memory of King Zog I.
King Zog I (1895-1961) ruled Albania from 1928. He had numerous accomplishments in the domestic and foreign policy of the young nation, but in 1939 was forced to flee his country because of the invasion of the Italian fascists. After the Second World War, a totalitarian, atheistic communist regime was established in Albania under Enver Hoxha, and in 1967 Albania was declared the “first fully atheistic country” in the world.
King Zog I died in Paris and was buried there. He was succeeded as King (in exile) by Leka I (1939-2011), his son from his marriage with Queen Geraldine (born the Hungarian Countess Géraldine Apponyi de Nagyappony). In 1976, King Leka I attended the marriage in Madrid of the parents of H.I.H. the Heir, Tsesarevich, and Grand Duke Georgii of Russia—H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia and H.I.H. Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich (Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia). The present Head of the Royal House of Albania is the son of King Leka I and his wife, Queen Susan, H.R.H. Prince Leka II (born in 1982).
© Russian Imperial House. 23 December, 2012