The king of Albania, Ahmet Zogu never returned to Albania. Two days after the birth of his son and heir, on 7 April 1939, Mussolini's Italy invaded the Kingdom of Albania, facing no significant resistance. The Albanian army was ill-equipped to resist, as it was almost entirely dominated by Italian advisors and officers and was no match for the Italian Army. The Royal Family, realising correctly that their lives were in danger, fled into exile, embezzling (talking for personal use without the permission or knowledge of the population) the kingdom treasure (the gold bars). The treasure however would have passed on the possession of the Italians if left in the country. Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister, arrived the following day; on searching the Palace in Tirana, he found the labour room in the Queen's suite; seeing a pile of linen on the floor, stained by the afterbirth, he kicked it across the room. "The cub has escaped!" he said. Mussolini declared Albania a protectorate under Italy's King Victor Emmanuel III.
The royal family settled in England, first at The Ritz in London, followed by a brief stay in the Sunninghill/south Ascot area in Berkshire in 1941 (near where Zog's nieces had been at school in Ascot). In 1941 they moved to Parmoor House, Parmoor, near Frieth in Buckinghamshire with some staff of the court living in locations around Lane End.
In 1946, King Zog and most of his family left England and went to live in Egypt at the behest of King Farouk, who was overthrown in 1952. The family left for France in 1955. In 1951, Zog bought the Knollwood estate in Muttontown, New York. The sixty-room estate was never occupied and Zog sold the estate in 1955.
He made his final home in France, where he died at the Hôpital Foch, Suresnes, Hauts-de-Seine on 9 April 1961, aged 65, after being seriously ill for some time.
Albania's communist rulers, who came in power after the defeat of the Italians, abolished the monarchy in 1946. King Zog was declared a traitor for abandoning the country and was not allowed to enter Albania. Zog attempted to reclaim his throne after the war, but did not achieve his aim. Ahmet Zog died in 1961, while the communist rule was overthrown in 1990. He never return to Albania. His wife and son, however returned to democratic Albania. They died in Albania, where they are also buried.
In October 2012, the government of Albania decided to bring back the remains of the king from France, where he died in 1961. The King's body was exhumed from the Thiais Cemetery, Paris on 15 November 2012. A guard of honour was provided by the French President, in the form of French Legionnaires in ceremonial dress.
King Zog's remains were returned in a state ceremony on 17 November 2012, coinciding with celebrations for Albania's 100th independence anniversary. His body now lies in a newly-constructed royal mausoleum. The interment was attended by the government of Albania, including the President and Prime Minister, and senior figures from European royal families, including France, Spain, Romania, Monetengro, Russia and Albania.
His grandson HRH Crown Prince Leka II, lives in Albania. He is the pretender of the Albanian thrown. His grandfather's lands were returned to him after the communists took them in their possession.
PS: I have no information on his brother.
· 7 years ago