She preferred to use the title, and was sometimes referred to as, Queen Susan of the Albanians (in Albanian, Suzana Zog, Mbretëreshë e Shqiptarëvet). Her husband, known as King Leka, had been proclaimed King of the Albanians by the anti-communist Albanian government in exile in 1961, upon the death of his father King Zog. Meanwhile Albania itself was a communist republic.
A daughter of Alan Robert Cullen-Ward, Esq. of Drummoyne, New South Wales (NSW), and his wife, the former Phyllis Dorothea Murray-Prior, daughter of Robert Sterling Murray-Prior, of Hunters Hill, NSW, she was born in Waverley, Sydney, Australia. Her father, a prosperous grazier, owned a sheep station near Cumnock, New South Wales.
She was a great-great-granddaughter of Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior, an Australian politician who served as postmaster-general in the ministries of Robert Herbert, Robert Ramsay Mackenzie, and Arthur Hunter Palmer and claimed to be descended from Edward I of England and Charlemagne. Among her relatives were the novelist Rosa Campbell Praed and the poet Egerton Murray-Prior.
Susan Cullen-Ward married Crown Prince Leka, known as King Leka, the only child of King Zog of Albania, in 1975 in Biarritz, France at a civil ceremony. The couple, who had met at a dinner party in Sydney, later were married in a religious ceremony in Madrid.
The crown princess lived a turbulent life after marrying Leka, as they moved from one country to another, having no permanent residence or fixed point of reference. In the first few years of their marriage, the couple lived in Spain before Leka was expelled from the country for illicit arms dealing. They later settled in Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe). After a falling out with the Mugabe government, the couple moved again, this time to South Africa where their son, Leka, was born in 1982. She also had a stillborn daughter while resident in Rhodesia.
The Crown Princess of Albania died of lung cancer on July 17, 2004 in Tirana, Albania. After her death she lay in state in a chapel outside Tirana. She is buried next to her mother-in-law, Queen Geraldine.
Miss Susan Cullen-Ward (1941—circa 1965)
Mrs. Rick Williams (circa 1965—circa 1970)
Miss Susan Cullen-Ward (circa 1970—1975)
HRH The Crown Princess of Albania (1975—2004, though she called herself Queen Susan of the Albanians)