12 January 2023

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 4, 2022

The fourth and last issue of the Royalty Digest Quarterly in 2022 arrived just before Christmas. What a cover! The Albanian royal family. The red color is darker than the red color of the Albanian flag, but other than that it is perfect. I can't find any mentioning of who is who in the photo, but of course King Zog is in the middle together with four of his sisters, his mother Sadijé, née Toptani, and a nephew.

The article ALBANIA – the House of Zogu. Family Album is written by the Albanian Royal House expert Neil Rees and Ted Rosvall. The readers get the familiar introduction with a short history of Albania, including the short reign of Prince Wilhelm of Wied (I had forgotten that he is actually buried in the protestant church of Bucharest – I have been to Bucharest twice without knowing, so I would have to go another time!) and then the history of the short-lived Albanian kingdom and of the Royal House of Zogu. The photo album includes 40 images and in addition there is a family table as well. Some of the photos have been provided by the current head of the Royal House of Albania, Crown Prince Leka (b. 1982).

The Balkan monarchies have always interested me the most, and that certainly includes Albania. I have always wanted to see more of the country – so far I have only been on a day visit to the Northern city of Shkodër and the Rozafa castle ruins. I really wanted to go to Tirana when Crown Prince Leka married Elia Zaharia in 2016, but I was in Spain with my family at the time.

In 2009 I visited Cimetière de Thiais in Paris, France, where King Zog and some family membes were buried at the time. In 2012 the king's coffin was brought home to Tirana to be reburied in the Royal Mausoleum there. I would like to go to Tirana one day to visit the mausoleum and of course the city itself. And what about a few days at the beach of Sarandë, or maybe Vlorë?

The former grave of King Zog of the Albanians at the Cimetière de Thiais in Paris, France. Photo: © 2009 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

Over the years I have collected a few items connected to the  Royal House of Albania, one of them is the two-volume Oxhaku Famëmadh ZOGU. Album historik i përzgjedhur by Ramiz Lushaj (Shtëpia Botuese "Dardania", Tiranë, 1995). The two volumes are full of articles, documents and photos about King Zog and the Albanian Royal Family.  I am not bothered that most of the texts are in Albanian ... It is great to have the two volumes in my book collection.

But I am getting off track here. From the contents of the fourth issue:
  • Marlene A. Eilers Koenig: A Delphinium Wedding. The Marriage of Lord Louis Mountbatten and Edwina Ashley, pp. 1–8.
  • David Horbury: The Final Year. Queen Helen of Romania in 1947, pp. 9–20.
  • Stefan Haderer: Loyal to the bitter end. Archduke Albrecht of Austria, Duke of Teschen, pp. 21–28.
  • Neil Rees and Ted Rosvall: ALBANIA - the House of Zogu. Family Album, pp. 29–42.
  • Richard Jay Hutto: "Aunt Muriel – a Queen's Mentor, pp. 43–48.
  • Datiu F. Salvia Ocaña: Ladies' Royal Orders in Europe, pp. 49–56.
  • Ove Mogensen: Tombs, Graves and Monuments in Baden, pp. 57–59.
  • Coryne Hall: Little-Known ROYALS. Prince Francisco José of Braganza, pp. 60–61.
  • Ted Rosvall: Debate. The Perils of Change, pp. 62–63.
  • The World Wide Web of Royalty, p. 64.
The photo album was not the only article related to Albania. Queen Geraldine's "Aunt Muriel" was Muriel White (1880–1943) and married to Geraldine's father's first cousin Count Hermann von Seherr-Thoss (1879–1959) (and not Count Hans Christoph von Seherr-Thoss, as the article says, although he had those given names as well). Muriel followed Geraldine to Tirana when she got engaged and married to King Zog and was present for the birth of Zog's son Leka in 1939. Muriel has a really interesting story of her own, and the author of the article, Rick Hutto, is currently writing a book about her. 

In his Editor's Corner Ted Rosvall has this time compiled a list of the oldest European royals to succeed to the throne. Charles III of the United Kingdom was 73 when he succeeded, for instance, but he was not on top of the list ...  Missing in the list was Grand Duke Adolph of Luxembourg (1817–1905), who was also 73 when he succeeded to the throne in 1890, although a few months younger than Charles was at the time of succession. Rosvall focuses on kings in his list, but includes Grand Duke Ludwig I of Baden, so why not Adolph as well? Because he didn't inherit the throne of Luxembourg from his father, but due to the different succession laws that dissolved the personal union between Luxembourg and the Netherlands in 1890?

There are many good and well-researched articles in this issue, including Marlene Koenig's wedding article and David Horbury's detailed account of Queen Helen of Romania's experiences in 1947. I didn't know much about Archduke Albrecht of Austria (1817–1895), so I enjoyed that article as well. Ladies' Royal Orders in Europe was also an interesting read, although I miss a list of sources at the end of the article.

The column The World Wide Web of Royalty this time included genealogical news about the royal, princely or ducal houses of Bulgaria, Hohenzollern, Norway, d'Otrante, Russia/Prussia and Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems.

And finally the readers got a reminder that it is on time to renew their subscription. Yes, I will get it done soon!

All in all several articles worth reading this time as well. If you are not subscriber yet, information about Royalty Digest Quarterly can be found at its editor's website Royalbooks.se. See earlier presentations of RDQ here. See also its Facebook page.

Updated on Sunday 15 January 2023 at 14.00 (typo corrected).

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