On Thursday 24th June, about 130 people came to Parmoor House, Frieth near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire to mark the 70th anniversary of King Zog of Albania’s exile in Britain in June 1940.
King Zog had married the beautiful Hungarian Countess Geraldine in 1938 and they had a son Prince Leka in April 1939. Two days later Mussolini’s Italy invaded and occupied Albania, and the royal family fled into exile. They trekked through Europe and came to England in June 1940. At first they lived at The Ritz in London, and then in summer 1941 at Ascot and then in September 1941 they moved to Parmoor House, Frieth, Bucks.
Many Albanians lived in Chiltern villages of Frieth and Lane End during the war. King Zog left England in January 1946 to live in Egypt, but many Albanians remained in England.
On Thursday 24th June local people from Frieth and Lane End with Albanian connections, and prominent members of the Albanian community came to Parmoor House for an Albanian Heritage Day. King Zog’s grandson HRH Prince Leka II came over from Albania to unveil a blue plaque on the house. He had recently got engaged to Miss Elia Zaharia, and this was their first official appointment as an engaged couple. About 130 people attended the day from the local area and from the Albanian community.
Speeches were given by HRH Prince Leka II, the Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, Lady Parmoor, the Chairman of the Anglo-Albanian Association and others.
A buffet lunch was served and then there was a book launch for a new local history book called “A Royal Exile – King Zog and Queen Geraldine of Albania” which tells the story of the Albanian royal family and their wartime exile in the Thames Valley and Chilterns.
see the website: www.albanians-in-exile.org