Anthony Bailey attends Royal Wedding in Albania

Tirana, October 2016. Anthony Bailey, OBE, visited Tirana from 7 to 9 October 2016 on the occasion of the Royal Wedding of HRH Crown Prince Leka II to Miss Elia Zaharia.

lunch-with-hrh-crown-prince-leka-iiThe wedding festivities opened with a welcome reception hosted by the Royal Family on Friday 7 October 2016 for the overseas guests at ABA21. The civil wedding ceremony and subsequent reception were held at the Royal Palace during the following morning of 8 October 2016 and was conducted by the Mayor of Tirana, Mr Erion Veliaj. Special prayers and blessings were given to the royal couple by the faith leaders of the Albanian Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Bektashi communities representing the multi religious heritage of the royal couple and the Albanian nation. The ceremony was followed by a lunch at the Royal Residence in central Tirana showcasing a moving and colourful display of Albanian culture, music and traditional dress. The wedding banquet was held in the evening at the Royal Palace in Tirana.

receptionThe historic Royal Wedding was attended by several hundreds guests from across Albania and the world. Over 20 royal families were present including HM Queen Sofia of Spain, HIM Empress Farah of Iran, HRH Crown Prince Muhammad of Egypt, HRH Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco, HRH Princess Irene of Greece, TIH The Grand Duke George and The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, HRH Crown Prince Nikola II Petrović-Njegoš of Montenegro, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Castro, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Braganza, HRH Prince Daviti of Georgia, TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, TRH Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg and TSH Prince Philip and Princess Isabelle of Lichtenstein among many others.wedding-royals

HRH Crown Prince Leka II was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on 26 March 1982 to the exiled King Leka I and Queen Susan. Prince Leka is the grandson of HM King Zog I who ruled Albania from 1928 to 1939. The Crown Prince was proclaimed successor of the royal crown by HM King Leka I in 2000.

The President of the Republic of Albania, HE Mr Bujar Nishani hosted a luncheon in honour of Anthony Bailey, attended by senior Presidential Palace officials and other guests, in the presence of HRH Crown Prince II on Friday 7 October 2016. The Albanian Head of State delivered a powerful speech of welcome which reflected on the symbolic importance of the Royal Wedding, the historic and contemporary role which the Royal Family played in the past and continues to do so today and on the on-going economic, political and cultural developments of Albania.

president-of-albaniaDuring the lunch Anthony paid tribute to President Nishani for the role that he and other state officials have played in its far reaching transformation from totalitarianism to democracy as well as promoting the importance of Albanian history, tradition and culture abroad. In his vote of thanks, he also remarked how the direct involvement of the state in the royal wedding programme showed a great maturity of its institutions and illustrated how they can compliment each other in their mutual interest to serve the nation, the Albanian people at home and abroad and its many friends across the world.

On Sunday 9 October 2016, Anthony Bailey attended a Farewell Brunch hosted for the wedding guests by the Prime Minister of Albania, HE Mr Edi Rama, at the Prime Minister’s Office, Tirana in the presence of TRH Crown Prince Leka II and Crown Princess Elia of the Albanians.

During his visit to Tirana, he also paid a courtesy call to the Leader of the Opposition and former Mayor of Tirana, Mr Lulzim Basha. Meetings were also held with the former Ambassador of Albania to the Court of St James, HE Mr Mal Berisha.

For more information on the Royal Family of Albania please click here.

For more information on the Royal Wedding please click here.

For more information on the President of the Republic of Albania please click here.

For more information on the Prime Minister of Albania please click here.