Albania mourns the passing of Leka I, the only son of its last King, Zog I. He died Wednesday morning in Tirana’s Mother Teresa Hospital, an announcement from the Royal Court said. Leka I Zogu was 72 years old.
According to the Associated Press Albanian health minister Petrit Vasili said that "his Highness passed away after repeated cardiac arrests which the medical staff made the utmost to cope with, but couldn't."
The government has proclaimed a national day of mourning for Saturday, the day of the funeral. The self proclaimed King of the Albanians is survived by his son Leka II.
Leka I was born two days before the Italian invasion of Albania at the beginning of the Second World War in 1939. He spent most of his life in exile, only returning to his homeland after the fall of communism. But Leka – like the exiled King Mihai in Romania – was not welcome and only allowed to remain for a couple of hours.
Attempts at restoration of the monarchy failed, and Leka was even prosecuted and sentenced to three years in prison for attempting to overthrow the governement. Only in 2002 was he finally allowed back in Albania after 63 years of exile.
Leka, who last his wife Susan in 2004, was admitted into hospital on November 15 with serious heart- and lung problems. After a several day of improvement, the health of King Leka I recently deteriorated. On Friday, November 25, he suffered a cardiac arrest, the statement from the Royal Court said. Lung function was insufficient to maintain vital functions. © RB; http://www.albanianroyalcourt.al/news/