One of European royalty’s couples is headed for divorce, confirming the split in a shock statement released on Monday.
Crown Prince Leka II and Crown Princess Elia of Albania tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in 2016.
But seven years on, it’s all over for the couple.
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“Hello friends and loved ones,” Crown Prince Leka said on social media when translated into English, as per the New York Post.
“Through this post, I officially inform you that Prince Leka and Elia Zharaia have agreed to end their marriage.
“Since marriage has lost its function, they have decided to resolve it with mutual consent by starting the necessary legal procedures.”
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The statement went on to say their the couple’s three-year-old daughter, Princess Geraldine, remained “at the centre of their dedicated attention to ensure a happy and safe life”.
“Regardless of the commitment to the institution of the family, Leka 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 Princess Geraldine.”
Crown Prince Leka II and Crown Princess Elia of Albania on their wedding day. Credit: AFP via Getty
Leka, the head of the Albanian royal family, married Elia Zharaia, an actress and singer, in 2016.
Followers of the family on Instagram expressed their sadness at the split and wished the pair well in the future.
“Sad to hear,” one wrote.
“Despite the painful decision, I wish you all the best and strength in the future.”
Part of Crown Prince Leka’s statement on Instagram. Credit: Instagram/@princleka
“Sorry to hear Prince! That is tough. Sending lots of love and healing your way,” wrote another.
“So sad to hear that a great love has come to the end,” added a third.
“This is life, all the best to both of you for the future.”
Crown Prince Leka (R) and Crown Princess Elia of Albania in 2021. Credit: Getty
According to Leka’s royal biography, the couple met in 2008, became engaged in Paris in 2010, and married at the Royal Palace of Tirana on October 8, 2016.
Their daughter, Princess Geraldine, was born on October 22, 2020.
HELLO! magazine reported that Crown Princess Elia posted her own statement about the divorce, but it had since been deleted.
“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,” Elia reportedly said.
“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.”
Crown Prince Leka, Crown Princess Elia and their daughter Geraldine. Credit: Instagram/@dnaroyals
The message reportedly concluded: “Despite these difficult months I’ve gone through, your kindness has given me strength.”
It is unclear if Elia will retain a royal title after the divorce is finalised.
Doubts about the state of the couple’s marriage emerged in October last year, when Elia attended a royal wedding in Portugal without her husband by her side.
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