History Files


European Kingdoms

Eastern Europe





The Albanians are a sub-grouping of Indo-Europeans who peopled much of the Illyrian coast at one point. The southern part of the country was formed in ancient times by the northernmost section of the Greek kingdom of Epirus, while various Illyrian tribes populated the country beyond that. Some of these migrated into Italy in the eleventh and tenth centuries BC as the Iapyges tribe. During the Roman period, much of Albania (apart from the northernmost and southernmost sections) formed the province of Epirus Nova (Illyria Graeca). It was subsequently transferred to the Eastern Roman empire. During the Ottoman period, Albanians served in the empire. They were part of Muhammad Ali's grab for power in Egypt in 1805.

Modern Albania, one of Europe's poorest states, became unexpectedly independent after the First Balkan War (1912-1913), when it was decided that the newly formed kingdom of Yugoslavia would not take control of the coastal territory.


Wilhelm of Wied

1914 - 1918

With its neighbours such as Greece, Serbia, and Austria-Hungary, going to war around it, Albania remains neutral throughout the conflict.


With the collapse of the Ottoman empire, Albania becomes a fully independent state.

Kingdom of Albania
AD 1928 - 1939

1928 - 1939

(Ahmed Zogu) Zog I

Tribal leader. Became an exiled king.

1939 - 1943

Italy invades and occupies Albania on 7 April 1939. The king flees to London.

1940 - 1941

Italy demands to be allowed to station troops in Greece, but the Greek king refuses. The resultant Greco-Italian War is a victory for Greece, with southern Albania also being occupied. Nazi Germany is forced to intervene, invading Greece in 1941 and capturing it.

1943 - 1945

Nazi Germany assumes control of Albania in September 1943 when Italy surrenders to the allies.

1945 - 1995

With the weakening of Italian and Nazi power in southern Europe, communists seize control of the state.

1945 - 1985

Enver Hoxha



A democratically elected government rules in Albania, which is still the poorest state in Europe. It is affected by occasional widespread discontent from within (1997), but offers support to NATO in 1999 during the conflict with Serbia, in which hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians are forcibly expelled from the Kosovo region of Yugoslavia.

Modern Albania
AD 1939 - Present Day

1939 - 1961

(Ahmed Zogu) Zog I

Died 9 April 1961.

1961 - Present

Crown Prince Leka / Zog II / Leka

Crowned king-in-exile in Paris.


Crown Prince Leka, considered to be King Leka by Albanian monarchists, tries to rally support for reinstating the monarchy in post-communist Albania.

Prince Leka / Leka II

Son. Born 1982.