Albanian crown prince reports ex-wife to police after fight video goes viral

Albanian crown prince reports ex-wife to police after fight video goes viral
Crown Prince Leka II has sought police intervention for domestic violence. / Albanian Royal Court
By bne IntelliNews March 8, 2024

Crown Prince Leka II of Albania has sought police intervention following an alleged incident of domestic violence involving his ex-wife and ex-father-in-law, according to a statement released by the royal court. 

Albania's monarchy was dissolved in 1943, but the prince and his then-wife captivated the public's attention with their lavish wedding in 2016. However, two months ago Princess Elia and Crown Prince Leka II, who have a three-year-old daughter, Princess Geraldine, announced the end of their marriage. 

This week a video was widely circulated online apparently showing Prince Leka engaged in a physical altercation with Princess Elia and her 73-year-old father Gjergj Polikron Zaharia. 

In a statement issued by the Albanian Royal Court after the video circulated online, it was asserted that Leka was "physically attacked with strong objects by his ex-wife and ex-father-in-law”. The statement said that the footage had been submitted to the police as evidence.

“[A]s you have been informed, Prince Leka on the afternoon of March 5 was physically attacked with strong objects by his ex-wife and ex-father-in-law and the videos of this moment have been made public on social networks,” says the statement posted on the Albanian Royal Court’s Facebook page. 

“The videos have been submitted only to the police station by Prince Leka ll Zogu, as material evidence for violence inflicted on him, but despite being considered a secret, these materials, together with the statement, circulated widely on social networks and in the media transmitting unpleasant images and with violent content,” it added.

The Albanian royal court also accused law enforcers of leaking the footage and violating privacy rights, and called on the police to remove the content from social networks and media platforms.

Princess Elia told journalists she only became involved in the conflict between her father and her former husband in an attempt to stop it. 

She told Albanian Daily News: "It is a very difficult situation for me and my family … The conflict has nothing to do with me, except that I tried to stop it."

King Zog I, the crown prince's great-grandfather, was the country's first monarch post-independence. He ruled from 1928 to 1939, when Albania was invaded by Mussolini’s Italy and the royal family went into exile. 

Albania became communist after the Second World War, and the monarchy was never reinstated. However, Zog I’s son, Leka I, was proclaimed king by the National Assembly in exile in 1961. On his death, his only son Leka II succeeded him.