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Countess
Countess
Géraldine Margit Virginia
Virginia
Olga Mária Apponyi
Apponyi
de Nagy-Appony (6 August 1915 – 22 October 2002) was the Queen consort
Queen consort
of King Zog I of Albania
Albania
and the mother of Leka I, Crown Prince of Albania.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Royal life 3 Later life 4 Honours 5 Ancestors 6 References

6.1 Further reading

7 External links

Early life[edit] Geraldine was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary, a daughter of Count Gyula Apponyi
Apponyi
de Nagy-Appony (1873–1924). Her mother was Gladys Virginia
Virginia
Stewart (1891–1947), an American, daughter of John Henry Stewart from Virginia, a diplomat who served as American Consul
Consul
in Antwerp, Belgium, and his wife Mary Virginia
Virginia
Ramsay Harding. When Geraldine was three, the Empire of Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
collapsed, and the Apponyi
Apponyi
family went to live in Switzerland. In 1921 they returned to the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
which was stable under Regent
Regent
Miklós Horthy. However, when Geraldine's father died in 1924, her mother and their three children (Geraldine, now nine, Virginia, and Gyula) went to live in the resort of Menton, in the south of France. When the Countess
Countess
married a French officer, her Hungarian in-laws insisted that the children be returned to Hungary for their schooling. The girls were sent to the Sacred Heart boarding school in Pressbaum, near Vienna. Geraldine's happy chilhood then passed on the chateau Appony (present day Oponice, Slovakia), Apponyi
Apponyi
ancestral family possessions in Upper Hungary, which territory then belonged to Czechoslovakia (whose citizenship Geraldine gained and also learnt Slovakian language). She lived there until 1938. Her family's fortune spent, Geraldine earned a living as a shorthand typist. She also worked in the gift shop of the Budapest
Budapest
National Museum, where her uncle was the director. Royal life[edit] Geraldine was introduced to King Zog I in December 1937, who had seen a photograph of her. She visited Albania
Albania
and within days the couple were engaged to be married. Known as the "White Rose of Hungary", Geraldine was raised to royal status as Princess Geraldine of Albania prior to her wedding.

Queen Geraldine pictured with King Zog and his sisters in exile in Sweden

On 27 April 1938, in Tirana, Albania, Geraldine married the King in a ceremony witnessed by Galeazzo Ciano, envoy and son-in-law of Il Duce and Prime Minister of Italy, Benito Mussolini. She was Roman Catholic and King Zog was Muslim. Geraldine wore a new diamond tiara, specially commissioned from Austrian jewellers, featuring the motifs of the white rose for the bride, and the heraldic goat for the groom.[1] They drove to their honeymoon in an open-top scarlet Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
540K, a present from Adolf Hitler. The couple had one son, H.R.H. The Crown Prince Leka Zogu (1939–2011). Zog's rule was cut short by the Italian invasion of Albania
Albania
in April 1939, and the family fled the country into exile. From April 1939, Geraldine and Zog fled Albania
Albania
via Greece and Turkey
Turkey
and settled in France, and then in England. They lived in the Ritz Hotel, London, at Ascot and, for most of the war, at Parmoor House, Frieth, Buckinghamshire, England. In 1946 they went to Egypt, and then in 1952 to France. King Zog I died in Hauts-de-Seine, France, in 1961 and their son, Crown Prince Leka, was proclaimed King Leka I by the royalist government in exile. Following this, the Royal Family moved to Spain, Rhodesia
Rhodesia
and then South Africa. Later life[edit] After her husband's death, Geraldine preferred to be known as the "Queen Mother of Albania".[2] In June 2002, Geraldine returned from South Africa
South Africa
to live in Albania, after the law was changed to allow her to do so. She continued to assert that her son Leka was the legitimate king of Albania. Queen Geraldine died five months later at the age of 87 in a military hospital in Tirana. After being admitted for treatment for lung disease, she suffered at least three heart attacks, the last of which was fatal, on 22 October 2002.[3] She was buried by the Central House of the Army with full honours, including a funeral oration at the cathedral of Saint Paul, on 26 October 2002, and interred in the public cemetery of Sharra, Albania, in the "VIP plot". She was later reburied in the Royal Mausoleum in Tirana. On 5 April 2004 her grandson, Leka, Crown Prince of Albania, accepted the Mother Teresa Medal awarded to her posthumously by the Albanian government in recognition of her charitable efforts for the people of Albania. Honours[edit]

Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Fidelity
Order of Fidelity
(26 April 1938).[4] Mother Teresa Medal [posthumous] (5 April 2004).[5]

Ancestors[edit]

Ancestors of Geraldine of Albania

16. Count Antál Apponyi
Apponyi
de Nagy-Appony

8. Count Gyula Apponyi
Apponyi
de Nagy-Appony

17. Countess
Countess
Therese Nogarola

4. Count Lajos Apponyi
Apponyi
de Nagy-Appony (1849-1909)

18. Count Albert Sztáray de Sztára et Nagy-Mihály

9. Countess
Countess
Zsófia Sztáray de Nagy-Mihály et Sztára

19. Countess
Countess
Franciska Károlyi de Nagy-Károly

2. Count Gyula Apponyi
Apponyi
de Nagy-Appony (1873-1924)

20. Count Ernst von Seherr-Thoß

10. Count Hermann of Scherr-Thoß

21. Baroness Agnes von Loën

5. Countess
Countess
Marguerite von Scherr-Thoß (1848-1931)

22. Count Ernst Karl Strachwitz of Gross-Zauche and Camminetz

11. Countess
Countess
Olga Strachwitz of Gross-Zauche-Camminetz

23. Baroness Mathilde von Erstenberg zum Freyenthurm

1. Queen Géraldine (1915-2002)

24. David Stewart

12. David Stewart, Jr.

25. Mary Hall

6. John Henry Stewart (1838-1891)

26. James Mackall Heighe

13. Margaret Heighe

27. Jane Turner

3. Gladys Virginia
Virginia
Stewart (1891-1947)

28. Seth Harding

14. Edward Learned Harding (1822-1895)

29. Mary Learned

7. Mary Virginia
Virginia
Ramsay Harding (1870-1950)

30. Walter J Ramsay (1802-1856)

15. Lucy Booker Ramsay (1839-1906)

31. Martha Ann Pulliam (1810- )

References[edit]

^ "Queen Geraldine's Diamond Tiara". Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor blog.  ^ "Queen Mother of Albania" (PDF). law.nyu.edu. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2016.  ^ BBC News Online – Former Albanian queen dies ^ Royal Ark ^ Getty Images

Further reading[edit]

Dedet, Joséphine "Géraldine, reine des Albanais". Paris: Belfond, 2016, published at the occasion of Prince Leka's wedding in Tirana, on October 8, 2016 (Leka being Geraldine's grandson) ; former editions: Criterion, 1997 ISBN 2-7413-0148-4 and Belfond, 2012, ISBN 978-2-7144-5090-6. Biography enriched by the Queen's testimony, by her personal archives and by a huge correspondence with the author, who has benefited of many unpublished sources. Dedet, Joséphine, Géraldine, Egy Magyar No Albania
Albania
Tronjan, Budapest : Europa, 2015, ISBN 978-963-405-202-9, reprinted in 2016 and December 2017, best-seller in Hungary, translation of Géraldine, reine des Albanais". Pearson, O. S. Albania
Albania
and King Zog,[permanent dead link] I.B. Tauris. 2005 (ISBN 1-84511-013-7). Tomes, Jason King Zog, Self-Made Monarch of Albania, Stroud: Sutton, 2003 ISBN 0-7509-3077-2 Rees, Neil. A Royal Exile: King Zog & Queen Geraldine of Albania including their wartime exile in the Thames Valley and Chilterns, 2010 ISBN 978-0-9550883-1-5 The Economist, 7 November 2002 – Queen Geraldine of Albania. The Independent, 24 October 2004, Obituary. Patrice Najbor, Histoire de l'Albanie et de sa maison royale (5 volumes), JePublie, Paris, 2008, (ISBN 978-2-9532382-0-4). Patrice Najbor, La dynastie des Zogu, Textes & Prétextes, Paris, 2002

External links[edit]

BBC news report of her death The Economist – obituary muzem.sk Maison royale d'Albanie, site officiel en langue française Famille royale d'Albanie, site officiel en langue anglaise

Geraldine of Albania House of Apponyi Born: 6 August 1915 Died: 22 October 2002

Albanian royalty

Vacant Title last held by Princess Sophie of Schönburg-Waldenburg as Princess of Albania Queen consort
Queen consort
of the Albanians 27 April 1938 – 7 April 1939 Succeeded by Princess Elena of Montenegro as Queen of Italy

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 29376187 LCCN: nr88001715 ISNI: 0000 0000 7988 4742 GND: 118900544 SUDOC: 034918051 BNF:

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