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William of Wied

William of Wied (1876-1945) reigned briefly as prince of Albania from February 21, 1914 to September 3, 1914. A coalition of Western powers (including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy)selected William, a member of the Prussian royal family, to rule over newly-independent Albania. A delegation of Albanian notables made a formal request in February 1914, which he accepted, and one month later, in March, he arrived in his provisional capital of Durrės and started to organise his government.

His brief reign proved a turbulent one, marred by opposition to his foreign origins. This quickly erupted into civil war, led from exile by his former Minister of Internal Affairs and War, Essad Pasha, who had been dismissed for a charge of treason. William finally left the country in September, 1914, and spent World War I in Germany. After the war, he attempted to regain his throne, but the participants at the Paris Peace Conference were hesitant to restore it to a German who had just fought against them. William of Wied died in 1945.