Queen Susan, the wife of Leka, the pretender to the Albanian throne, died of lung cancer on Saturday, July 17, 2004, in Tirana, Albania. She was 63. Born Susan Barbara Cullen Ward in Australia, she married King Leka in Biarritz in 1975 after meeting him at a Sydney dinner party. Barry Everingham, a commentator on royal families, called the marriage a "love match." But in many ways, he said, she had led a sad life, moving from one country to another while her husband tried in vain to capture the crown once worn by his father. King Zog had fled his homeland with his wife and son -- and some of the Albanian treasury -- when Benito Mussolini, the Italian fascist dictator, occupied Albania in World War II. After Zog died in 1961, monarchist emigres declared Leka their king at a meeting in Paris. Here, Queen Susan poses at the couples home in Tirana in May 2003.
AP/Hektor Pustina, file
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