Victor Emmanuel Prince of Naples 1845
- Born: 12 Feb 1937, Naples, Campania, Italy 1845
- Marriage: Marina Doria on 7 Oct 1971 in Teheran, Tehrån, Irân 1845
Another name for Victor is Vittorio Emanuele.1845
Victor Emmanuel, Prince of Naples, or Vittorio Emanuele Alberto Carlo Teodoro Umberto Bonifacio Amedeo Damiano Bernardino Gennaro Maria de Savoie, born February 12, 1937, is the head of the House of Savoy. He is known to Italian monarchists as Vittorio Emanuele IV. He lived for most of his life in exile, following the referendum that made Italy a republic. He is not very highly regarded in Italy or abroad, because of a series of blunders, anti-semitic remarks, and even a murder charge.
Early life and family
Victor Emmanuel was born February 12, 1937 in Naples to Umberto II, the last King of Italy and Princess Marie-José of Belgium. When Umberto II left Italy after a referendum ending the monarchy in 1946, the royal family of Savoy lived in exile, mostly in Switzerland and Portugal. The exiled royal family had an estate in Merlinge, Switzerland, in which they frequently lived. Victor Emmanuel and his family currently reside in Geneva, where the office of the Head of the House of Savoy is situated.
After an 11-year engagement, Victor Emmanuel, then a banker and helicopter salesman, married Swiss biscuit heiress Marina Doria (born Geneva, February 12, 1935) in Teheran on October 7, 1971. A gold-medal-winning trick-ski champion, Doria-daughter of René Ricolfi Doria and Iris Benvenuti-had also been a star attraction at the Florida amusement park Cypress Gardens in the 1950s, highlights that did not endear the groom's father to the marriage; the former king refused to attend.
The Prince and Princess of Naples have one son, Emanuele Filiberto Umberto Reza Rene Maria de Savoie, Prince of Venice and Piedmont, born in Geneva, June 22, 1972. Prince Emanuele Filiberto is the heir-apparent of the House of Savoy. He was married to French actress, Clotilde Courau, on September 25, 2003.
The Prince of Naples is the hereditary head of the royal house of Savoy. As such he is involved directly in the activities of its affairs. With his father's abdication and exile in 1946, however, Victor Emmanuel holds no official Italian royal duties, as Italy is now a republic.
King Umberto II, the last king of Italy, however, did not abdicate his position as fons honorum (or fount of honours). Indeed, when he left Italy, he took the hereditary Grand Masterships of the dynastic orders of his royal house with him. These orders were Ordine Supremo della SS. Annunziata (The Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation) and Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro (The Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus). Umberto II held these unto his death in 1983.
As Umberto II's heir, Victor Emmanuel succeeded his father as the Grand Master of these dynastic orders when the former king passed away in 1983. Because of this, he is involved in the ceremonies and activities these orders are involved in.
Return to Italy
As with other former monarchies, Italian laws restricted a living monarch, as well as their descendants, from entering their homeland. The royal family of Italy had been banned by a special constitutional "temporary disposition" prohibiting any male member of the House of Savoy from entering Italy after 1948. This was because of the family's collaboration with Fascists, particularly Mussolini. However, recently these laws have been revoked in Italy.
Victor Emmanuel had been lobbying the Parliament of Italy for years to be allowed to return to his homeland after 56 years in exile. He even filed a case at the European Court of Human Rights, in which the prince charged that his lengthy exile violated his rights.
In order to achieve a return to his homeland, he renounced any claim to the throne and to Italy's crown jewels. He publicly assured the Italian government that the nation and the crown properties, confiscated by the State in 1946, "are no longer ours" referring to the House of Savoy. "For that matter we have no claim on the Crown jewels", he said. "We have nothing in Italy and we are not asking for anything." Victor Emmanuel also dropped his case at the European Court of Human Rights.
On October 23, 2002, the provision in the Constitution of Italy that barred the male descendants of the House of Savoy from setting foot in the Italian Republic was abolished, permitting Victor Emmanuel to re-enter the country after November 10 of that year. On his first trip home in over half a century, he and the Princess of Naples, and their son the Prince of Venice, had a 20-minute audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. Victor Emmanuel told the press that the audience with the supreme pontiff was "very important" to their family and that "it [was] almost a page in history."
The visit lasted just three days. Victor Emmanuel spoke of experiencing "indescribable emotion" upon visiting his homeland for the first time since he was nine years old. The reception of the Savoys was mixed; most people were indifferent to them, some hostile, few supportive. The media reported that many in Naples were not happy to see the return of the family. In Naples, where Victor Emmanuel was born, and from where his family sailed into exile in 1946, noisy demonstrations were staged by two traditionally opposing factions: anti-monarchists on one hand, and supporters of the Bourbon Kings of the Two Sicilies, whose family was deposed when Italy was united in 1861 under the House of Savoy.
In addition to being the Sovereign and Grand Master of the Supreme Order of the Annunciation, and of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Victor Emmanuel holds a number of other honours. He holds, particularly the Civil Order of Savoy, and the Order of Merit of Savoy.
As the head of a royal house in exile, he also holds many other dynastic orders. He is Bailiff Grand Cross of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and Bailiff Grand Cross of Justice of the Constantinian Order of St George.
He also holds several Russian dynastic orders, including the Order of Saint Andrew, Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky, the Order of the White Eagle, and the Order of Saint Anne. He is also a Knight of the Order of the Redeemer of Greece, and the Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa. He also claims the title of "King of Jerusalem"; this title is also claimed by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
Victor Emmanuel's impulsive personality has resulted in a number of controversies, which have reportedly done little to increase the popularity of the family.
On the night of August 17 or the subsequent morning of August 18, 1978, on the island of Cavallo, which lies off the south coast of Corsica, Victor Emmanuel discovered his yacht's rubber dinghy had been taken and attached to another nearby yacht. Arming himself with a rifle, he attempted to board the yacht. He shot at and missed a passenger he had awakened, but hit Dirk Hamer, a passenger sleeping on the deck of another adjacent yacht. The prince admitted civil liability for the death in a letter dated August 28, 1978. Mr. Hamer died of his wounds on December 7, 1978, and Victor Emmanuel was arrested. On October 11, 1989, he was indicted on charges of fatal wounding and offensive weapons possession, but on November 18, 1991 the Paris Assize Court acquitted him of the fatal wounding and unintentional homicide charges, finding him guilty only of unauthorized possession of a US30MI rifle.
On May 21, 2004, following a dinner held by King Juan Carlos I of Spain on the eve of the wedding of his son Felipe, Prince of Asturias, Victor Emmanuel punched his cousin and arch-rival Amedeo of Savoy, duke of Aosta, twice in his face. The reason of this behaviour is the support duke Amedeo has received from monarchists as legitimate heir to the Italian throne, since Victor Emmanuel had to renounce officially to it in order to return to Italy.
Victor Emmanuel also said in recent years that the anti-Semitic laws passed under the Mussolini's regime were "not that terrible". This comes in line with previous statements of the senior member of the Savoys, who had down-played the significance of the anti-Jewish laws signed by his father. He eventually issued an apology to Italy's Jewish leadership for his remarks. However, since these remarks came just before the parliament had to vote about the possibility of letting the Savoys come back to Italy, he immediately built himself the reputation of not being a very intelligent person.
His name, moreover, has been found on the list of Licio Gelli's "Propaganda Due" Freemasonic lodge. His membership in this outlawed right-wing Masonic lodge has also tarnished his reputation, as has his involvement in arms dealing on behalf of the Shah of Iran (Victor Emmanuel held his marriage in Tehran, and his son Emanuele Filiberto bears also the name Reza, supposedly a reference to Reza Pahlavi).
Prince Victor Emmanuel's reputation has never recovered from these controversies, particularly the murder charge and his anti-Semitic remarks. He is often seen as an embittered, spoilt man dogged by his tendencies toward social gaffes. It is believed that his ill reception in his native land was in part due to his reputation abroad. 1845
1. Occupation: Banker. 1845
2. Occupation: Helicopter Salesman. 1845
3. Acceded: Titular King of Italy, 1983-prese n t. 1845
Victor married Marina Doria on 7 Oct 1971 in Teheran, Tehrån, Irân.1845 (Marina Doria was born on 12 Feb 1935 1845.)