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Vittorio Emanuele III
King of Italy

Other names: Vittorio Emanuele Ferdinando Maria Gennaro


King of Italy 1900–46 abd.
Emperor of Ethiopia 1937–42 dep
King of Albania 1939–43 dep
Titular King of Cyprus 1900–46 abd.
Titular King of Jerusalem 1900–46 abd.
Titular King of Armenia 1900–46 abd.
Prince of Naples 1869–78
24th Duc de Savoie 1900–46 abd.
10th Principe di Carignano 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Piemonte, substantive 1878–1900; 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Oneglia 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Poirino 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Trino 1900–46 abd.
Prince de Montmélian 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Chieri 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Busca 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Bene 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Carmagnola 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Brà 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Crescentino 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Dronero 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Riva 1900–46 abd.
Principe di Banna 1900–46 abd.
Duca del Monferrato 1900–46 abd.
Duc de Genevois 1900–46 abd.
Duca di Piacenza 1900–46 abd.
Duca di Carignano Ivoy 1900–46 abd.
Duc de Chablais 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Saluzzo 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Ivrea 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Susa 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Oristano 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Cesena 1900–46 abd.
Marchese in Italia 1900–46 abd.
Marquis de Tarentaise 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Borgomanero 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Cureggio 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Caselle 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Govone 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Salussola 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Racconigi 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Savona 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Modane 1900–46 abd.
Marquis de Lanslebourg 1900–46 abd.
Marquis of Pianezza 1900–46 abd.
Marquis of Rivoli 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Cavallermaggiore 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Marene 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Centallo 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Demonte 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Desana 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Livorno Ferraris 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Santhià 1900–46 abd.
Marchese d'Aglié 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Ceva 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Maro 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Ghemme 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Villafranca 1900–46 abd.
Marchese di Vigone 1900–46 abd.
Comte de Nice 1900–46 abd.
Comte de Romont 1900–46 abd.
Comte de Maurienne 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Asti 1900–46 abd.
Comte de Tende 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Goceano 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Alessandria 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Novara 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Tortona 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Bobbio 1900–46 abd.
Comte de Soissons 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Sant'Antioco 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Pollenzo 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Roccabruna 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Tricerro 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Bairo 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Ozegna 1900–46 abd.
Conte di Sarre 1900-46 abd.
Conte delle Apertole 1900–46 abd.
Conte de Barge 1900–46 abd.
Baron de Vaud 1900–46 abd.
Baron de Faucigny 1900–46 abd.
Grand Seigneur de Monaco 1900–46 abd.
Signore di Pinerolo 1900–46 abd.
Seigneur de Arbin 1900–46 abd.
Seigneur de Francin 1900–46 abd.
Seigneur de Roquebrune 1900–46 abd.
Conseigneur de Menton 1900–46 abd.
Signore di Vercelli 1900–46 abd.
Signore di Lomellina 1900–46 abd.
Signore di Valsesia 1900–46 abd.
Signore di Tegerone 1900–46 abd.
Signore di Migliabruna 1900–46 abd.
Signore di Motturone 1900–46 abd.
Knight of the Order of the Garter 1891–40 rev. [England]
Knight of the Order of the Annunziata 1887 [Italy]
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus [Italy]
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy [Italy]
Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece 1878 [Spain]
Knight of the Order of the Elephant [Denmark]
Knight of the Order of St Hubert [Bavaria]
Knight of the Order of Leopold [Belgium]
Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Carol I 1906 [Romania]
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Danilo I [Montenegro]

Field marshal 1938
Lieutenant general 1894
Major general 1892
Colonel 1890
Major 1889
Second lieutenant 1886

Vittorio Emanuele undertook a predominantly military, political, and legal education, and also joined the army. He became a second lieutenant in the infantry in 1886, and progressed through all the grades rapidly. In 1889, he was a major and took command of a battalion at Rome; in 1890 colonel of the first infantry regiment stationed in Naples; in 1892 major general of the Como brigade; in 1894 lieutenant general of the Division of Florence; in 1897 lieutenant general of the 10th Army Corps stationed in Naples. His military duties occupied most of his time, but Vittorio Emanuele also followed political and social events extensively. He studied the public mood and opinion closely, so when his father was assassinated, and he inherited the throne of Italy, he was very prepared for his duties. His marriage to Princess Elena of Montenegro had been arranged, and it turned out to be a very happy union for the couple, who were well suited to each other. During his early years as king, he was surprisingly liberal, and oversaw numerous social and industrial reforms. At the outbreak of World War I, Italy declared itself neutral, but the King went against parliament, joining the Triple Entente in 1915, and thus the War. The war benefited the king's image, and he often visited the troops at the front, earning him the nickname 'soldier king'. The situation after the war proved to be difficult, with fears of a communist revolution, and the economic depression gave rise to extremism amongst the working classes. Although he did not favour fascism, unlike his mother and the Duke of Aosta, he had hoped that Mussolini would provide a service to the country and the monarchy. By 1925 the king was approving fascist laws, and as Mussolini's power increased, the monarchy's decreased. Although the king publicly showed support of the regime, he criticised the government in private, particularly when the prerogatives of the Crown were affected. Fascist propaganda celebrate the cohesion between the monarchy and the regime, but in reality, considered abolishing the monarchy during the height of his power. The success of the partnership, and the international prestige it enjoyed, prevented this. In 1929 the Lateran Treaty was signed by Mussolini and the papacy, which recognised the state of Italy, which was a great success for the regime. Also, with the marriage of the King's son, Prince Umberto, and the popularity of the princes, ensured the survival of the dynasty, much to the chagrin of Mussolini. The king was reassured, and he was able to devote more time to his private life. Another triumph for Vittorio Emanuele and the fascist regime was his proclamation as Emperor of Ethiopia in 1936, despite his initial opposition to the war in that country. Mussolini was drawing closer to Hitler and although the King did not sympathise with Germany. By now the King was reduced to a figurehead and was powerless as racial laws were introduced, with the Pact of Steel signed in 1939, and Mussolini submitting fully to Hitler. The King allegedly wanted to replace Mussolini with a more anti-German leader, however, nothing came of this and an unprepared Italy entered the war in 1940. By 1942 the Axis was on the defensive and anti-fascism was high. In 1943 the Grand Council of Fascism asked the King to take over the military situation, but by then it was too late. The King signed an unconditional surrender on the 3rd of September, and an armistice with the allies on the 8th. Italian troops were given no instructions and were left at the mercy of the Nazis. The King fled Rome in the middle of the night for the south, a move that was much criticised, and he installed the government at Brindisi in October, and declared war on Germany. Initially refusing to abdicate, the king ceded his powers to his son, Umberto, and spent the next two years at Naples, retaining the title of king. By now politically isolated, he abdicated in an attempt to save the monarchy, and went into exile to Alexandria, Egypt, as Conte di Pollenzo, living his final days there in leisure.

Place of birth: Naples
Place of marriage: Rome
Place of death: Alexandria, Egypt
Place of burial: Church of Santa Caterina, Alessandria

Son of King Umberto I of Italy and Principessa Margherita di Savoia-Genova. He married Princess Elena of Montenegro (Petrovic-Njegos), in 1896, and had issue.

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