elsewhere, it was used by Napoleon when he conquered northern Italy and later used by the Hapsburg Emperors of Austria as the crown of their Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. When the Austrians were forced out of northern Italy they took the Iron Crown with them to Vienna but, in a subsequent peace treaty after another war, it was turned over to the House of Savoy and placed back in its traditional resting place in Milan. It is noteworthy that all official documents from the Italian royal court refer to there being two crowns, the Crown of Savoy and the Iron Crown which was always referred to as the “crown of Italy”. No King of Italy ever had a coronation though there was some discussion about it. If it had been done, the Iron Crown of Lombardy would have been used. Unfortunately, because of the “Roman Question” the Pope had excommunicated King Victor Emmanuel II (along with everyone else who had anything to do with unification) and neither King Victor Emmanuel II nor King Umberto I wished to make use of the Iron Crown, which is a holy relic, while their status with the Church was in question.
|Reproduction of the Iron Crown on the tomb of Umberto I|