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Medal for the Accession of Prince William of Wied, 1914
[AL105]
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Medal for the Accession of Prince William of Wied, 1914
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Gilt bronze oval medal with beaded edge with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with the head of Prince William of Wied facing left; the reverse with the princely crown above the monogram ‘W’ and dated ‘VII.III.1914’ (7 March 1914); on original ribbon. Nearly a century on, the story behind this rare medal, the first Royal Albanian decoration, is almost literally unbelievable. As Ottoman Turkish power declined, an independent Albania was created after the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. William, Prince of Wied (1876-1945), a well-connected German army officer, was selected by the great powers of Europe, with consent of the Albanians, to be mpret [ruler] of Albania and ascended the throne on 21 February 1914. Civil war soon made his position untenable and the coming of World War I broke down all foreign aid. A rebellion under Essad Pasha was successful, and, lacking support among the large powers, William was forced to retire on 3 September 1914, although he refused to abdicate. William was born on 26 March 1876, the third son of William, Prince of Wied and his wife Marie of the Netherlands. He was nephew of Queen Elizabeth of Romania and died on 18 April 1945 at Predeal near Sinaia in Romania. The medal was designed by Gustave Gurschner (1873-1971), an active sculptor and designer based in Vienna who designed many medals for Balkan and other countries. The medal is rare.

 
Medal for the Accession of Prince William of Wied, 1914
Click to enlarge
Medal for the Accession of Prince William of Wied, 1914
Click to enlarge
Medal for the Accession of Prince William of Wied, 1914
Click to enlarge
     
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