Albanian prince marries in country's second ever 'royal' wedding

Prince Leka and actress Elia Zaharia smile for a picture after their wedding ceremony.
Prince Leka and actress Elia Zaharia smile for a picture after their wedding ceremony.PHOTO: EPA
Prince Leka and wife Elia Zaharia kiss after wedding ceremony in Tirana on Oct 8, 2016.
Prince Leka and wife Elia Zaharia kiss after wedding ceremony in Tirana on Oct 8, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

TIRANA (AFP) - Prince Leka, the sole descendant of Albania's last king, married popular actress Elia Zaharia on Saturday (Oct 8) in a ceremony attended by the Spanish Queen and several former royals.

It was the first wedding in Tirana of a member of the deposed royal family since 1938. Leka's grandfather Zog I, fled when Italian Fascist troops invaded Albania in 1939, a year after his wedding with Hungary's princess Geraldine Apponyi.

The royal family was forbidden to return until the fall of communism in 1990.

Albania was isolated during the communist era and closed to the outside world and the descendants of Zog were considered traitors.

The 33-year old bride, who studied theatre in Paris, is a famous actress in Albania.

More than 20 current and erstwhile royals attended, including Spain's Queen Sofia, Iran's former empress Farah Diba, Prince Mihailo Karadjordjevic of Yugoslavia and Princess Margarita of Romania.

Prince Leka, 34, is a graduate from Britain's Sandhurst military academy, and is an adviser to Albania's foreign minister.