Not every crown princess dreams of ending up on the throne. The Albanian crown princess Elia (36), for example, chose an entirely different profession. She wrote a fairytale book about Queen Geraldine, the grandmother of her husband Crown Prince Leka II. In doing so, she drew full halls, both in Albania and in the neighboring country of Kosovo.
Elia Zaharia is, among other things, an actress by profession. When she married Crown Prince Leka II in 2016, she decided not to give up her passion completely. She does meet her new royal obligations – the royal family still plays a symbolic role in Albania and Kosovo – but in the meantime, Elia continues to perform.
Recently there was another activity: she wrote a lot about the children’s book ‘Trëndafili I bardhë’. The book, full of fairy tales, is about the ‘White Rose’, as Leka’s grandmother is called.
Queen Geraldine was born in Hungary in 1915. In April 1938, she married Albania’s first and only king, Zog I. On 5th April 1939, and their only child was born: Crown Prince Leka, the father of Elia’s husband, but soon fate struck. Barely two days after Leka’s birth, the royal family had to flee Albania because of an invasion by fascist Italy. The Italian prince Vittoria Emanuele III was promptly bombed as king of occupied Albania.
After the Second World War, there was no place left for the royal family in communist Albania. Only in 2002, after the fall of the communist regime and a few months before her death, could Queen Geraldine return to Tirana.
Crown Princess Elia was in Albania’s third city, Elbasan, on Friday evening to present and read her book. The day before, she and her husband Leka had just crossed the border in the Kosovo city of Prizren, where she also drew a full room and received attention from national television. “I am very proud of her,” crown prince Leka II told the ANP on Friday night.