In January 1914 the eccentric adventurer Captain Duncan Heaton-Armstrong, "on the look out for a more stable career", applied for the post of Private Secretary to the newly appointed King of Albania - the German Prince William of Wied. Heaton-Armstrong describes, with vibrancy, directness and humour, a miniature royal court in a desperately poor and remote corner of Europe. As the First World War engulfed the Balkans in August 1914, two royal infants were escorted back to Germany by Heaton-Armstrong, who was promptly made the first prisoner of war. His remarkable account has been edited for this, the first general edition.
Heaton-Armstrong was an adventurer who in 1914, "on the look out for a more stable career", applied for the post of Private Secretary to the newly appointed King of Albania -the German Prince William of Wied. Gervase Belfield was born in 1953, and educated at Ampleforth and Southampton University. He qualified as a barrister, but for the past 25 he has worked as a genealogist with Debrett Ancestry Research Ltd. Bejtullah Destani is a British-Alabanian scholar and the author of Albania & Kosovo, Political and Ethnic Boundaries, 1867-1946: Documents and Maps and thesix-volume Ethnic Minorities in the Balkan States, 1860-1971. In 1997, Bejtullah Destani founded the Centre for Albanian Studies in London.