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Royals announce shock divorce after eight years of marriage - statements

The Albanian royals share a three-year-old daughter

The Crown Prince Leka and Crown Princess Elia of Albania attend the wedding ceremony of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini in 2021
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
16 January 2024
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Crown Prince Leka II and Crown Princess Elia are divorcing after eight years of marriage. 

Taking to social media on Monday, Prince Leka, who is the head of the Albanian royal family, announced the couple's mutual decision to end their marriage, saying their three-year-old daughter Geraldine remains their priority. 

Prince Leka and Princess Elia announced their divorce earlier this week© Getty
Prince Leka and Princess Elia announced their divorce earlier this week

The statement, translated from Albanian, read: "Hello friends and well-wishers,

"Through this post, I officially inform you that LTM Princ Leka and Elia Zaharia have agreed to end their marriage. Since the marriage has lost its function, they have seen the way to resolve it by mutual consent by starting the necessary legal procedures."

It continued: "Despite the trust in the institution of the family, LTM Prince Leka II believes that the values ​​of mutual respect and understanding will form the basis of the relationship in its continuity, which will have as its motive the growth and education of LSM Princess Geraldine!!!

"The spiritual and physical well-being of the girl, LSM Princess Geraldine, will remain at the center of their attention, dedicated to ensuring a happy and safe life for Geraldine.

"LTM Princ Leka Il will not make further statements or comments and requests that the right to privacy be respected regarding this matter."

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Princess Elia, a former actress and singer, also shared a statement on social media in which she thanked her followers for their "kindness" during "these difficult months". The post, which has since been deleted, read: "Friends and well wishers, I need to inform you that today we started the legal procedures for the settlement of marriage, as we jointly decided to seek a divorce. 


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"This is not at all a reality that makes me happy, as I believe in family values as the most precious thing! I would never have chosen for my daughter to grow up with separate parents, but sometimes separation is the only option. 

"What matters most, is that my baby girl experiences this moment as easily as possible. Thank you very much to all of you who wrote to me and gave me courage! 

prince leka princess elia© Photo: Getty Images
The former couple tied the knot in 2016

"Despite these difficult months I've gone through, your kindness has given me strength. I wish you health and happiness in your families."

READ: The shortest royal marriages: from Princess Caroline of Monaco to Peter and Autumn Phillips

Prince Leka, 41, and Princess Elia, 40, tied the knot back in 2016 in Albania's second-ever royal wedding. Four years later, they welcomed their first and only child, a baby girl named Geraldine.

The little girl was named in honour of the prince's grandmother, Queen Geraldine, who coincidentally passed away 18 years to the day before the young princess' birth.

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