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Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia
Principe di Napoli
(1937–)


Other names: Vittorio Emanuele Alberto Carlo Teodoro Umberto Bonifacio Amedeo Damiano Bernardino Gennaro Maria

Biographical

'Vittorio Emanuele IV, King of Italy' (self-proclaimed) 1983–
Principe di Napoli 1937–
Head of the House of Savoy 1983–
Titular King of Cyprus 1983–
Titular King of Jerusalem 1983–
Titular King of Armenia 1983–
Titular 26th Duca di Savoia 1983–
12th Principe di Carignano 1983–
Principe di Piemonte 1983–84
Principe di Oneglia 1983–
Principe di Poirino 1983–
Principe di Trino 1983–
Principe di Carmagnola 1983–
Principe di Montmélian 1983–
Principe di Chieri 1983–
Principe di Busca 1983–
Principe di Bene 1983–
Principe di Crescentino 1983–
Principe di Dronero 1983–
Principe di Bra 1983–
Principe di Riva 1983–
Principe di Banna 1983–
Duc de Genevois 1983–
Duca del Monferrato 1983–
Duca di Piacenza 1983–
Duc de Carignan Ivoy 1983–
Duc de Chablais 1983–
Marchese in Italia 1983–
Marchese di Susa 1983–
Marchese d'Ivrea 1983–
Marchese di Saluzzo 1983–
Marchese di Oristano 1983–
Marchese di Cesena 1983–
Marquis de Tarentaise 1983–
Marchese di Borgomanero 1983–
Marchese di Cureggio 1983–
Marchese di Caselle 1983–
Marchese di Govone 1983–
Marchese di Salussola 1983–
Marchese di Racconigi 1983–
Marchese di Savona 1983–
Marchese di Marene 1983–
Marchese di Rivoli 1983–
Marchese di Pianezza 1983–
Marquis de Lanslebourg 1983–
Marchese di Cavallermaggiore 1983–
Marchese di Modane 1983–
Marchese di Centallo 1983–
Marchese di Demonte 1983–
Marchese di Desana 1983–
Marchese di Livorno Ferraris 1983–
Marchese di Santhià 1983–
Marchese di Agliè 1983–
Marchese di Ceva 1983–
Marchese di Maro 1983–
Marchese di Ghemme 1983–
Marchese di Vigone 1983–
Marchese di Villafranca 1983–
Comte de Nice 1983–
Comte de Romont 1983–
Comte de Maurienne 1983–
Conte di Asti 1983–
Comte de Tende 1983–
Conte del Goceano 1983–
Conte di Alessandria 1983–
Conte di Novara 1983–
Conte di Tortona 1983–
Conte di Bobbio 1983–
Comte de Soissons 1983–
Conte di Sant'Antioco 1983–
Conte di Pollenzo 1983–
Conte di Bairo 1983–
Conte di Roccabruna 1983–
Conte di Tricerro 1983–
Conte di Ozegna 1983–
Conte di Sarre 1983–
Conte dell'Apertole 1983–
Baron de Vaud 1983–
Baron de Faucigny 1983–

Grand Seigneur de Monaco 1983–
Signore di Barge 1983–
Seigneur di Francin 1983–
S
ignore di Vercelli 1983–
Signore di Pinerolo 1983–

Seigneur di Arbin 1983–
Conseigneur de Menton 1983–
Signore della Lomellina 1983–
Signore della Valsesia 1983–
Signore di Migliabruna 1983–
Signore di Motturone 1983–
Signore di Tegerone 1983–

28th Sovereign and Grand Master of the Holy Order of the Annunciation 1983– [Italy]
Grand Master of the Military Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus 1983– [Italy]
Grand Master of the Royal Order of Savoy 1983– [Italy]
Grand Cross of the Order of the Saviour [Greece]
Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Karageorgevic [Serbia]
Grand Cross of the Order of Our Lady of Conception of Vila Vicosa [Portugal]
Knight of the Order of St Stanislaus [Russia]
Knight of the Order of St Andrew [Russia]
Knight of the Order of St Alexander Nevski [Russia]
Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta [Vatican]
Bailiff Knight Grand Cross of Justice of the Constantinian Order of St George [Two Sicilies]

Vittorio Emanuele resided in Switzerland after his family's exile from Italy, but returned in 2002 after the abolition of the law which banned male members of the former royal family from entering the country. A controversial figure, he refused to apologise for the racial laws enacted in Italy by his father, but changed his position in 2002 after the law concerning the family's exile was lifted, and he swore allegiance to the Republic in writing. In 1978, whilst at Corsica, he fired some gunshots, with one striking a German student in a nearby boat who died months later. In 1991, he was acquitted of manslaughter, but sentenced to probation for carrying an illegal firearm. In 1981, his name appeared amongst the presumed members of Licio Gelli's P2 Masonic lodge. He was arrested in 2006 and held in jail for seven days at Potenza under the charge of corruption and exploitation of prostitution. He was acquitted in 2015 and was paid compensation.

Vittorio Emanuele's claim as heir to his father, King Umberto II, has been the subject of a long dispute. His opponents believe that he had lost his future rights as head of the Royal House of Savoy, as heir to the throne of Italy, and to all other dynastic and noble titles after his marriage to the commoner, Marina Ricolfi Doria, in 1970. They point out that dynastic laws of 1780 stipulate that princes of the blood require prior consent from the sovereign to marry, and this was never received from King Umberto II. Furthermore, the laws make it clear that a morganatic union entered into without such consent will result in both the contracting parties and their descendants being deemed to have forfeited all honours, rank, possessions, and rights to the royal succession.

Before Vittorio Emanuele's intended marriage, his opponents supported the claims of his cousin, Amedeo di Savoia, Duke of Aosta, as the next heir of King Umberto II, in the event of Vittorio Emanuele forfeiting his hereditary rights if the marriage proceeded. To counteract this, Vittorio Emanuele declared by 'royal decree', issued in December 1969, that he had succeeded to the throne of Italy as 'Vittorio Emanuele IV', as Head of the House of Savoy, with all other honours and titles, thus deposing his father. He claimed that he had succeeded his father due to his abdication in 1946. The dynastic laws governing marriages applied only to princes and not kings, and as 'king', these laws would not affect him. This was followed by another decree issued the next day creating Marina, duchessa di Sant'Anna di Valdieri. The couple married in the following month.

Umberto II never created Vittorio Emanuele 'prince of Piedmont', the usual title given to the heir of the royal house. He did grant his wife, Marina, the title of 'marchesa'. Vittorio Emanuele elevated her to the title of 'Duchess of Savoy' in 1984.

Following the more recent scandals surrounding Vittorio Emanuele, supporters of Amedeo declared the Duke to be the rightful heir of the House of Savoy in 2006, and Amedeo assumed the title of 'Duke of Savoy'. A court ruling in 2010 declared that only Vittorio Emanuele could use the title, but Amedeo never accepted this decision. The dispute was further intensified when Vittorio Emanuele revealed that he abolished male primogeniture, given that his son had no male heir, thus depriving Amedeo's family who would have been next in line to succeed. This was announced officially via a 'royal decree' issued in 2019, which declared the revocation of Salic Law which had limited the inheritance of the throne of Italy to males only, allowing his granddaughters to succeed to the Savoyan claim. Also, it granted various dynastic titles to his granddaughters. His opponents declared the decree as having no validity nor legal basis, and also pointed out that Salic Law concerned the succession of the throne, and not the dynastic laws of the royal house itself. Aimone di Savoia-Aosta, who succeeded his father, Amedeo, after his death in 2021, dismissed Victor Emmanuel's intention to abolish male primogeniture.

Place of birth: Naples
Place of marriage: Las Vegas (civil); Teheran (religious)

Son of King Umberto II of Italy and Princess Marie José of Belgium (Saxe-Coburg). He married Marina Ricolfi Doria (*1935) in 1970, and had issue.


Portraits of Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples
 




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