07.03.

1914: New Ruler from the German Wied Dynasty Arrives in Albania

1914: New Ruler from the German Wied Dynasty Arrives in Albania
Photo Credit To https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/21/WilhelmPrinceAlbania.jpg

William of Wied became the Albanian ruler according to a decision made by the European powers. This was not unusual, since most of the Balkan states (Greece, Bulgaria, Romania) were ruled precisely by rulers from the German dynasties in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

The first Prince of Albania in its contemporary history arrived in Albania on this day in 1914. He was a German prince from the Wied dynasty, and was born in the town of Neuwied on the Rhine. That town is located only around 10 kilometers downstream from Koblenz, and it is interesting to note that it was also the home town of the ancestors of famous billionaire John Davison Rockefeller, before they emigrated to America.

 

The Wied dynasty previously owned a tiny sovereign princedom near the Rhine. In any case, Prince William (Wilhelm) of Wied stemmed from a distinguished family. According to one line he was a descendant of British king George II, while one of William’s aunts was the Romanian queen.

 

William of Wied became the Albanian ruler according to a decision made by the European powers. This was not unusual, since most of the Balkan states (Greece, Bulgaria, Romania) were ruled precisely by rulers from the German dynasties in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. William arrived in his new country on this day in 1914, sailing into the Durrës port. Turhan Përmeti became his Prime Minister, while Esad Toptani was also a member of his government.

 

William’s reign in Albania proved to be short-lived. Namely, he had to leave the country already on 3 September the same year (World War I had already begun by then). All in all, William of Wied spent less than six months in Albania, but continued to pretend to the Albanian throne until his death in 1945.

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