Published On: Sat, Feb 3rd, 2024

Son of Italy’s last King dies ‘surrounded by family’ in Geneva | World | News


Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, the son of Italy’s last King, has died in Geneva, his family house has announced.

In a statement posted this evening, the House of Savoy announced the royal died in the early hours of Saturday, aged 86.

Vittorio Emanuele, who was stylised as a prince, was the only son of Umberto II, the last King of Italy.

Umberto II was known as the “May King” for his famously short 34-day rule before Italians voted for a Republic in 1946.

Prince Vittorio died nine days before his 87th birthday in Geneva, where the Savoy family has stayed since the end of the monarchist movement.

In a short statement, the Savoy family said the Prince passed away “surrounded by his family”.

The statement read: “At 7.05 am this morning, 3 February 2024, His Royal Highness Vittorio Emanuele, Duke of Savoy and Prince of Naples, passed away peacefully in Geneva surrounded by his family.

“The place and date of the funeral will be announced as soon as possible.”

The Prince and the Savoy family left Italy following the 1946 vote in exile, when Vittorio Emanuele was nine years old, meaning he has spent most of his life outside Italy.

He leaves behind one son, Emanuele Filiberto, with his wife Marina Ricolfi-Doria who was born in Switzerland in 1972, but didn’t set foot in his family’s homeland until he was 30.

He was first able to enter Italy in 2002 when an amendment was made to the Italian constitution.

Lawmakers greenlit an amendment to the country’s constitution that lifted a ban preventing male descendants of the Savoys from entering Italy.

The amendment was only passed following decades of lobbying from Vittorio Emanuele, and following a promise to shed any claim to the now defunct Italian throne.

He renounced the claim to the throne and Italy’s crown jewels in a public statement in 2001, saying the crown properties “are no longer ours”.

He added: “For that matter we have no claim on the Crown jewels. We have nothing in Italy and we are not asking for anything”.

The Savoys, while no longer serving official roles in Italy, have maintained a level of public interest, with a Netflix documentary made about the family – The King Who Never Was – having been released in 2023.



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