In January 1914 the eccentric adventurer Captain Duncan Heaton-Armstrong, "e;on the look out for a more stable career"e;, applied for the post of Private Secretary to the newly appointed King of Albania - the German Prince William of Wied. Under great pressure from his wife, his aunt and the Great Powers of Europe, King William reluctantly travelled to Albania and took up his throne, becoming King William I of Albania. Heaton-Armstrong describes, with vibrancy, directness and humour, a miniature royal court in a desperately poor and remote corner of Europe, and a terrifying adventure for a young family. As a Protestant Irishman of independent means, his neutrality in the cauldron of the Balkans was much appreciated. However the reign was racked throughout by internaional intrigue, military action, duplicity and betrayal. Lasting just six months, the Wied dynasty was the shortest lived in European history. 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.
Six Month Kingdom, The