Sunday, February 12, 2012

Birthday of the Prince of Naples

It was on this day in 1937 that HRH Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Naples was born to the future King Umberto II and Queen Marie Jose of Italy. It was also on this day in 1935 that his future bride, Marina Ricolfi-Doria, was born in Switzerland. When Prince Vittorio Emanuele was born it was an occasion of great celebration in the Kingdom of Italy. Of course it brought added stability to the monarchy by ensuring the future succession for another generation but, being 1937, it was also a time when the fortunes of Italy seemed to be riding high and PNF-media sources proudly proclaimed him the first Savoy prince to be born in the era of the "empire". He was the second child of the (then) Prince and Princess of Piedmont and the only masculine child of their four children. When the vicious factions that rose to dominance at the end of World War II began to threaten the continued life of the Kingdom of Italy, some suggested that King Umberto II abdicate, making his son "King Vittorio Emanuele IV" and appointing an acceptable regent to rule in his minority.

However, that was as close as the little prince would ever come to the throne. The monarchy was abolished, the King, Queen and their children were forced to go into exile and nearly a thousand years of Savoy rule came to an end in Europe. For Prince Vittorio Emanuele, trouble would follow him like a loyal dog for the rest of his life. In 1971 he carried out his unequal marriage to Marina Ricolfi-Doria in Iran (during festivities celebrating the anniversary of the Persian monarchy) which, many would later claim, invalidated him for the position of Head of the House of Savoy and heir to the former throne of the Kingdom of Italy. He has also been involved in numerous troubles that have caused many to regard him as having an unsavory reputation. In 1969 he even attempted to "usurp" the position of his father by declaring himself King of Italy in exile. The fact that he later renounced his claim to the throne and swore allegiance to the Italian republic in order to be able to return to Italy after the ban against the family was lifted in 2002 also caused many to regard him as having surrendered any claim to the leadership of the House of Savoy.

Those who believe that his unequal marriage (and other reasons mentioned) invalidates him as the rightful successor to his father have looked to HRH Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta for leadership. Each have their adherents and both can present evidence for their claim and point to flaws in that put forward by the other side. However, regardless of which side one may take, there is no denying the fact that Prince Vittorio Emanuele is the only son of the last King of Italy and therefore holds a special significance in the very long history of the Savoia dynasty. Whether the future of the Italian royal legacy resides with his son, Prince Emanuele Filiberto, or the son of the Duke of Aosta, Prince Aimone, is something every individual must decide for themselves at this point. For now, I only point out that the last son of a King of Italy was born 75 years ago today.


  1. Hey, I've been reading the Mad Monarchist for some time now, and I want to say I really like this blog. The articles are so well researched, how do you write them every day? :P I just wanted to suggest that if you ever ran out of ideas for writing, maybe you could write about Asian monarchs too? Just a suggestion. Anyway, thanks for writing so many good articles!

    1. I'm a little confused. If you've been reading for some time it should be obvious I've written a great deal about Asian monarchs. You can easily find a number on topics from Japan, Mongolia, China, Tibet, Vietnam, Thailand, Bhutan, India, the Middle East. I've probably covered more Asian topics than any other continent besides Europe. There's alot already and there will be more in the future.


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