House of Savoy

Last updated
House of Savoy
Great coat of arms of the king of italy (1890-1946).svg
Founder Umberto I of Savoy
Current headDisputed:
Final ruler Umberto II of Italy
Deposition12 June 1946: Umberto II left Italy as a result of the constitutional referendum
Cadet branches
Italian Royalty
House of Savoy
Lesser coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy (1890).svg
Victor Emmanuel II
Marie Clothilde, Princess Napoléon
Umberto I
Amadeo I of Spain
Prince Oddone, Duke of Montferrat
Maria Pia, Queen of Portugal and the Algarves
Prince Carlo Alberto, Duke of Chablais
Prince Vittorio Emanuele
Prince Vittorio Emanuele, Count of Geneva
Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta
Prince Vittorio Emanuele, Count of Turin
Prince Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi
Prince Umberto, Count of Salemi
Great Grandchildren
Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta
Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta
Great Great Grandchildren
Princess Margherita, Dowager Archduchess of Austria-Este
Princess Maria Cristina
Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta
Great Great Great Grandchildren
Princess Bianca
Prince Aimone, Duke of Apulia
Princess Mafalda
Great Great Great Grandchildren
Prince Umberto
Prince Amedeo
Princess Isabella
Umberto I
Victor Emmanuel III
Victor Emmanuel III
Princess Yolanda, Countess of Bergolo
Princess Mafalda, Landgravine of Hesse
Umberto II
Giovanna, Tsaritsa of Bulgaria
Maria Francesca, Princess Luigi of Bourbon-Parma
Umberto II
Maria Pia, Princess Michel of Bourbon-Parma
Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples
Princess Maria Gabriella
Princess Maria Beatrice
Emanuele Filiberto, Prince of Venice
Great Grandchildren
Princess Vittoria
Princess Luisa

The House of Savoy (Italian : Casa Savoia) is a royal family that was established in 1003 in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, the family grew in power from ruling a small county in the Alps north-west of Italy to absolute rule of the kingdom of Sicily in 1713 to 1720 (exchanged for Sardinia). Through its junior branch, the House of Savoy-Carignano, it led the unification of Italy in 1861 and ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until 1946 and, briefly, the Kingdom of Spain in the 19th century. The Savoyard kings of Italy were Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I, Victor Emmanuel III, and Umberto II. The last monarch ruled for a few weeks before being deposed following the Constitutional Referendum of 1946, after which the Italian Republic was proclaimed. [1]

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, and together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to it of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it still plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Italian is included under the languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania, although Italian is neither a co-official nor a regional or a traditional language in these countries, where Italians do not represent a historical minority. In the case of Romania, Italian is listed by the Government along 10 other languages which supposedly receive a "general protection", but not between those which should be granted an "advanced or enhanced" one. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.

Savoy Cultural-historical region between Western and Central Europe

Savoy is a cultural-historical region between Western and Central Europe. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps between Lake Geneva in the north and Dauphiné in the south.

County of Savoy countship

The County of Savoy was a State of the Holy Roman Empire which emerged, along with the free communes of Switzerland, from the collapse of the Burgundian Kingdom in the 11th century. It was the cradle of the future Savoyard state.



The name derives from the historical region of Savoy in the Alpine region between what is now France and Italy. Over time, the House of Savoy expanded its territory and influence through judicious marriages and international diplomacy. [2] From rule of a small region on the French/Italian border, the dynasty's realm grew to include nearly all of the Italian Peninsula by the time of its deposition.

Early history

The house descended from Humbert I, Count of Sabaudia (Umberto I "Biancamano"), (1003–1047 or 1048). Humbert's family is thought to have originated near Magdeburg in Saxony, with the earliest recording of the family being two 10th century brothers, Amadeus and Humbert. [3] Though Sabaudia was originally a poor county, later counts were diplomatically skilled, and gained control over strategic mountain passes in the Alps. Two of Humbert's sons were commendatory abbots at the Abbey of St. Maurice, Agaunum, on the River Rhone east of Lake Geneva, and Saint Maurice is still the patron of the House of Savoy.

Magdeburg Large city in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Magdeburg is the capital city and the second largest city of the state of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the Elbe River.

Saxony State in Germany

Saxony, officially the Free State of Saxony, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, bordering the federal states of Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, and Bavaria, as well as the countries of Poland and the Czech Republic. Its capital is Dresden, and its largest city is Leipzig.

Alps Major mountain range system in Central Europe

The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, separating Southern from Central and Western Europe and stretching approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) across eight Alpine countries : France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m (15,781 ft) is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).

Humbert's son, Otto of Savoy succeeded to the title in 1051 after the death of his elder brother Amadeus I of Savoy and married the Marchioness Adelaide of Turin, passing the Marquessate of Susa, with the towns of Turin and Pinerolo, into the House of Savoy's possession. [4] This diplomatic skill caused the great powers such as France, England, and Spain to take the counts' opinions into account.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

They once had claims on the modern canton of Vaud, where they occupied the Château of Chillon in Switzerland, but their access to it was cut by Geneva during the Protestant Reformation, after which it was conquered by Bern. Piedmont was later joined with Sabaudia, and the name evolved into "Savoy" (Italian : Savoia). The people of Savoy were descended from the Celts and Romans.

Switzerland federal republic in Central Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a sovereign state situated in the confluence of western, central, and southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities seated in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are located, among them the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.

Geneva Large city in Switzerland

Geneva is the second-most populous city in Switzerland and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

Piedmont Region of Italy

Piedmont is a region in northwest Italy, one of the 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to the northwest; it also borders Switzerland to the northeast and France to the west. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres (9,808 sq mi) and a population of 4,377,941 as of 30 November 2017. The capital of Piedmont is Turin.

Hautecombe Abbey, where many of the dukes are buried. Abbaye royale de Hautecombe II - 200501.JPG
Hautecombe Abbey, where many of the dukes are buried.

Expansion, retreat and prosperity

By the time Amadeus VIII came to power in the late 14th century, the House of Savoy had gone through a series of gradual territorial expansions and he was elevated by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund to the Duke of Savoy in 1416. [5]

Holy Roman Emperor emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.

Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor Monarch from the House Luxemburg, 1387 to 1437 King of Hungary, 1410 to 1437 King of Germany,  1419 to 1437 King of Bohemia and 1433 to 1437 Holy Roman Emperor

Sigismund of Luxembourg was Prince-elector of Brandenburg from 1378 until 1388 and from 1411 until 1415, King of Hungary and Croatia from 1387, King of Germany from 1411, King of Bohemia from 1419, King of Italy from 1431, and Holy Roman Emperor from 1433 until 1437, and the last male member of the House of Luxembourg. In 1396 he led the Crusade of Nicopolis, which attempted to liberate Bulgaria and save the Byzantine Empire and Constantinople from Ottoman rule. Afterwards, he founded the Order of the Dragon to fight the Turks. He was regarded as highly educated, spoke several languages and was an outgoing person who also took pleasure in the tournament. Sigismund was one of the driving forces behind the Council of Constance that ended the Papal Schism, but which also led to the Hussite Wars that dominated the later period of Sigismund's life.

Map of Italy in 1494. Italy 1494.svg
Map of Italy in 1494.

In 1494, Charles VIII of France passed through Savoy on his way to Italy and Naples, which initiated the Italian War of 1494–98. [6] During the outbreak of the Italian war of 1521-1526, Emperor Charles V stationed imperial troops in Savoy. [7] In 1536, Francis I of France invaded Savoy and Piedmont taking Turin by April of that year. [8] Charles III, Duke of Savoy, fled to Vercelli. [8]

When Emmanuel Philibert came to power in 1553 most of his family's territories were in French hands, so he offered to serve France's leading enemy the House of Habsburg, in the hope of recovering his lands. He served Philip II as Governor of the Netherlands from 1555 to 1559. [9] In this capacity he led the Spanish invasion of northern France and won a victory at St. Quentin in 1557. [10] He took advantage of various squabbles in Europe to slowly regain territory from both the French and the Spanish, including the city of Turin. He moved the capital of the duchy from Chambéry to Turin.

The 17th century brought about economic development to the Turin area and the House of Savoy took part in and benefitted from that. Charles Emmanuel II developed the port of Nice and built a road through the Alps towards France. And through skillful political manoeuvres territorial expansion continued. In early 18th century in the War of the Spanish Succession Victor Amadeus switched sides to assist the Habsburgs and via the Treaty of Utrecht they rewarded him with large pieces of land in northeastern Italy, and a Crown in Sicily. Savoy rule over Sicily lasted only seven years (1713–20).

The Kingdom of Italy

Map of Italy in 1796. Italy 1796.svg
Map of Italy in 1796.

The crown of Sicily, the prestige of being kings at last, and the wealth of Palermo helped strengthen the House of Savoy further. In 1720 they were forced to exchange Sicily for Sardinia as a result of the War of the Quadruple Alliance. On the mainland, the dynasty continued its expansionist policies as well. Through advantageous alliances during the War of the Polish Succession and War of the Austrian Succession, Charles Emmanuel III gained new lands at the expense of the Austrian-controlled Duchy of Milan. In 1792 Piedmont-Sardinia joined the First Coalition against the French First Republic, but was beaten in 1796 by Napoleon and forced to conclude the disadvantageous Treaty of Paris (1796), giving the French army free passage through Piedmont. In 1798, Joubert occupied Turin and forced Charles Emmanuel IV to abdicate and leave for the island of Sardinia. Eventually, in 1814 the kingdom was restored and enlarged with the addition of the former Republic of Genoa by the Congress of Vienna.

In the meantime, nationalist figures such as Giuseppe Mazzini were influencing popular opinion. Mazzini believed that Italian unification could only be achieved through a popular uprising, but after the failure of the 1848 revolutions, the Italian nationalists began to look to the Kingdom of Sardinia and its prime minister Count Cavour as leaders of the unification movement. In 1848, Charles Albert conceded a constitution known as the Statuto Albertino to Piedmont-Sardinia, which remained the basis of the Kingdom's legal system even after Italian unification was achieved and the Kingdom of Sardinia became the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

The Kingdom of Italy was the first Italian state to include the Italian Peninsula since the fall of the Roman Empire. But when Victor Emmanuel was crowned King of Italy in 1861, his realm did not include the Venetia region (subject to Habsburg governance), Lazio (with Rome), Umbria, Marche and Romagna (with the Papal town of Bologna). Yet the House of Savoy continued to rule Italy for several decades, through the Italian Independence wars as Italian unification proceeded and even as the First World War raged on in the early 20th century.


Map of Italy in 1843. Italia 1843-en.svg
Map of Italy in 1843.

In April 1655, based on (perhaps false) reports of resistance by the Waldensians, a Protestant religious minority, to a plan to resettle them in remote mountain valleys, Charles Emmanuel II ordered their general massacre. The massacre was so brutal it aroused indignation throughout Europe. Oliver Cromwell, then ruler in England, began petitioning on behalf of the Waldensians, writing letters, raising contributions, calling a general fast in England and threatening to send military forces to the rescue. The massacre prompted John Milton's famous sonnet, "On the Late Massacre in Piedmont".

In 1898 the Bava-Beccaris massacre in Milan involved the use of cannons against unarmed protesters (including women and old people) during riots over the rising price of bread. King Umberto I of the House of Savoy congratulated General Fiorenzo Bava-Beccaris for the massacre and decorated him with the medal of Great Official of Savoy Military Order, greatly outraging a large part of the public opinion. As a result, Umberto I was assassinated in July 1900 in Monza by Gaetano Bresci, the brother of one of the women massacred in the crowd, who traveled back to Italy from the United States for the assassination. The king had previously been the target of failed assassination attempts by anarchists Giovanni Passannante and Pietro Acciarito.

Fascism and end of monarchy

When the First World War ended, the Treaty of Versailles fell short of what had been promised in the London Pact to Italy. As the economic conditions in Italy worsened after the war, popular resentment and along with it the seeds of Italian fascism began to grow and resulted in the March on Rome by Benito Mussolini.

General Pietro Badoglio advised King Victor Emmanuel III that he could easily sweep Mussolini and his rag-tag Blackshirt army to one side, but Victor Emmanuel decided to tolerate Mussolini and appointed him as prime minister on 28 October 1922. The king remained silent as Mussolini engaged in one abuse of power after another from 1924 onward, and did not intervene in 1925-26 when Mussolini dropped all pretense of democracy. By the end of 1928, the king's right to remove Mussolini from office was, at least theoretically, the only check on his power. Later, the King's failure, in the face of mounting evidence, to move against the Mussolini regime's abuses of power led to much criticism and had dire future consequences for Italy and for the monarchy itself.

Italy conquered Ethiopia in 1936, and Victor Emmanuel was crowned as Emperor of Ethiopia. He added the Albanian crown as well in 1939. However, as Mussolini and the Axis powers failed in the Second World War in 1943, several members of the Italian court began putting out feelers to the Allies, who in turn let it be known that Mussolini had to go. After Mussolini received a vote of no confidence from the Fascist Grand Council on 24 July, Victor Emmanuel dismissed him from office, relinquished the Ethiopian and Albanian crowns, and appointed Pietro Badoglio as prime minister. On 8 September the new government announced it had signed an armistice with the Allies five days earlier. However, Victor Emmanuel made another blunder when he and his government fled south to Brindisi, leaving his army without orders.

As the Allies and the Resistance gradually chased the Nazis and Fascists off the peninsula, it became apparent that Victor Emmanuel was too tainted by his earlier support of Mussolini to have any postwar role. Accordingly, Victor Emmanuel transferred most of his powers to his son, Crown Prince Umberto, in April 1944. Rome was liberated two months later, and Victor Emmanuel transferred his remaining powers to Umberto and named him Lieutenant General of the Realm. Within a year, public opinion pushed for a referendum to decide between retaining the monarchy or becoming a republic. On 9 May 1946, in a last-ditch attempt to save the monarchy, Victor Emmanuel formally abdicated in favour of his son, who became Umberto II. It did not work; the Italian constitutional referendum, 1946 was won by republicans with 54% of the vote. Victor Emmanuel went into exile in Egypt, dying there a year later.

On 12 June 1946, the Kingdom of Italy formally came to an end as Umberto transferred his powers to Prime Minister Alcide de Gasperi and called for the Italian people to support the new republic. He then went into exile in Portugal, never to return; he died in 1983.

Under the Constitution of the Italian Republic, the republican form of government cannot be changed by constitutional amendment, thus forbidding any attempt to restore the monarchy short of adoption of an entirely new constitution. The constitution also forbade male descendants of the House of Savoy from entering Italy. [11] This provision was removed in 2002 [12] but as part of the deal to be allowed back into Italy, Vittorio Emanuele, the last claimant to the House of Savoy, renounced all claims to the throne. [13]

House of Savoy today

The Residences of the Royal House of Savoy in Turin and the neighbourhood are protected as a World Heritage Site. Although the titles and distinctions of the Italian royal family are not legally recognised by the Italian Republic, the remaining members of the House of Savoy, like dynasties of other abolished monarchies, still use some of the various titles they acquired over the millennium of their reign prior to the republic's establishment, including Duke of Savoy, "Prince of Naples" previously conferred by Joseph Bonaparte to be hereditary on his children and grandchildren, Prince of Piedmont and Duke of Aosta.

Currently the leadership of the House of Savoy is contested by two cousins: Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, who used to claim the title of King of Italy, and Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, who still claims the title of Duke of Savoy. Their rivalry has not always been peaceful — on 21 May 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, Vittorio Emanuele punched Amedeo twice in the face. [14]

Some of the activities of members of the House of Savoy have evoked media coverage disappointing to Italian royalists. [15] In November 1991, after thirteen years of legal proceedings, the Paris Assize Court acquitted Vittorio Emanuele of the fatal wounding and unintentional homicide in August 1978 of Dirk Hamer, finding him guilty only of unauthorised possession of a firearm during the incident. [16] On 16 June 2006 Vittorio Emanuele was arrested in Varenna and imprisoned in Potenza on charges of corruption and recruitment of prostitutes for clients of the Casinò di Campione of Campione d'Italia. [17] [18] [19] After several days, Vittorio Emanuele was released and placed under house arrest instead. [20] He was released from house arrest on 20 July but was required to remain within the territory of the Republic.

When incarcerated in June 2006, Vittorio Emanuele was recorded admitting with regard to the killing of Dirk Hamer that "I was in the wrong, [...] but I must say I fooled them [the French judges]", [21] leading to a call from Hamer's sister Birgit for Vittorio Emanuele to be retried in Italy for the killing. [22] After a long legal fight, Birgit Hamer obtained the full video. [23] [24] The story was broken in the press by aristocratic journalist Beatrice Borromeo, [25] who also wrote the preface for a book on the murder Delitto senza castigo by Birgit Hamer. Vittorio Emanuele sued the newspaper for defamation, claiming the video had been manipulated. In 2015, a court judgement ruled in favor of the newspaper. [26]

In 2007, lawyers representing Vittorio Emanuele and his son Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy wrote to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano seeking damages for their years in exile. [27] During a television interview, Emanuele Filiberto also requested that Roman landmarks such as the Quirinale palace and Villa Ada should be returned to the Savoy family.[ citation needed ] The Italian prime minister’s office has released a statement stating that the Savoys are not owed any damages and suggesting that Italy may demand damages from the Savoys for their collusion with Benito Mussolini.[ citation needed ] The Italian constitution contains a clause stripping the Savoys of their wealth on exile. Emanuele Filiberto acknowledged that his fiancée, whose pregnancy was revealed at the time of the couple's engagement, belonged to a more leftist milieu than his own, a fact which initially displeased his father. [28]

Judicially separated since 1976, civilly divorced in 1982 and their marriage religiously annulled in 1987, Amedeo of Aosta's first wife, Princess Claude d'Orléans, revealed that she was aware that her husband fathered a child by another woman during their marriage. [29] Aosta acknowledged paternity of another child, born out-of-wedlock in 2006 during his second marriage, but agreed to contribute financially to the child's care only after being directed to do so by court order. [30]

The patrilineal lineage of the House of Savoy was reduced to four males between 1996 and 2009. In 2008 Aimone of Savoy-Aosta married Princess Olga of Greece, his second cousin, and they became the parents of sons Umberto and Amedeo born, respectively, in 2009 and 2011.

Orders of knighthood

The House of Savoy has held two dynastic orders since 1362 [31] which were brought into the Kingdom of Italy as national orders. Although the Kingdom ceased to exist in 1946, King Umberto II did not abdicate his role as fons honorum over the two dynastic orders over which the family has long held sovereignty and grand mastership. Today, Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples is hereditary Sovereign and Grand Master of the following orders of the House of Savoy:

In addition to these, Vittorio Emanuele claims sovereignty over two more orders:

Recently, all three of Vittorio Emanuele's sisters (Princess Maria Pia, Princess Maria Gabriella, and Princess Maria Beatrice) resigned from the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation and the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, alleging that memberships in the orders had been sold to unworthy candidates, a newfound practice they could not abide. [35]

List of rulers

Counts of Savoy

  • Humbert I "Biancamano" ("White hand"), Count 1003–1047/1048 (c. 972/975–1047/48)

Dukes of Savoy [36]

Kings of Sicily

Kings of Sardinia [37] [38]

  • Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy 1580–1630 (1562–1630)

Kings of Italy [39]

Emperors of Ethiopia

Kings of Albania

Kings of Spain

World War II Croatia

In 1941, in the fascist puppet state Independent State of Croatia, Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta, grandson of Amadeo I of Spain, was formally named as the king under the name "Tomislav II", but was never crowned, never ruled, and formally abdicated in 1943.

Cyprus, Jerusalem and Armenia

In 1396, the title and privileges of the final king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Levon V, were transferred to James I, his cousin and king of Cyprus. The title of King of Armenia was thus united with the titles of King of Cyprus and King of Jerusalem. [40] The title was held to the modern day by the House of Savoy.[ citation needed ]

Titles of the Crown of Sardinia

Map of Kingdom of Sardinia. SardiniePiemont.jpg
Map of Kingdom of Sardinia.

VITTORIO AMEDEO III, per la grazia di Dio Re di Sardegna, Cipro, Gerusalemme e Armenia; Duca di Savoia, Monferrato, Chablais, Aosta e Genevese; Principe di Piemonte ed Oneglia; Marchese in Italia, di Saluzzo, Susa, Ivrea, Ceva, Maro, Oristano, Sezana; Conte di Moriana, Nizza, Tenda, Asti, Alessandria, Goceano; Barone di Vaud e di Faucigny; Signore di Vercelli, Pinerolo, Tarantasia, Lumellino, Val di Sesia; Principe e Vicario perpetuo del Sacro Romano Impero in Italia.

The English translation is: Victor Amadeus III, by the Grace of God, King of Sardinia, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Armenia, Duke of Savoy, Montferrat, Chablais, Aosta and Genevois, Prince of Piedmont and Oneglia, Marquis (of the Holy Roman Empire) in Italy, of Saluzzo, Susa, Ivrea, Ceva, Maro, Oristano, Sezana, Count of Maurienne, Nice, Tende, Asti, Alessandria, Goceano, Baron of Vaud and Faucigny, Lord of Vercelli, Pinerolo, Tarentaise, Lumellino, Val di Sesia, Prince and perpetual Vicar of the Holy Roman Empire in Italy.

Titles of the Crown of Italy

Victor Emmanuel II, by the Grace of God and the Will of the Nation, King of Italy, King of Sardinia, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Armenia, Duke of Savoy, Count of Maurienne, Marquis (of the Holy Roman Empire) in Italy; Prince of Piedmont, Carignano, Oneglia, Poirino, Trino; Prince and Perpetual vicar of the Holy Roman Empire; Prince of Carmagnola, Montmellian with Arbin and Francin, Prince bailiff of the Duchy of Aosta, Prince of Chieri, Dronero, Crescentino, Riva di Chieri e Banna, Busca, Bene, Brà, Duke of Genoa, Monferrat, Aosta, Duke of Chablais, Genevois, Duke of Piacenza, Marquis of Saluzzo (Saluces), Ivrea, Susa, del Maro, Oristano, Cesana, Savona, Tarantasia, Borgomanero e Cureggio, Caselle, Rivoli, Pianezza, Govone, Salussola, Racconigi con Tegerone, Migliabruna e Motturone, Cavallermaggiore, Marene, Modane e Lanslebourg, Livorno Ferraris, Santhià Agliè, Centallo e Demonte, Desana, Ghemme, Vigone, Count of Barge, Villafranca, Ginevra, Nizza, Tenda, Romont, Asti, Alessandria, del Goceano, Novara, Tortona, Bobbio, Soissons, Sant'Antioco, Pollenzo, Roccabruna, Tricerro, Bairo, Ozegna, delle Apertole, Baron of Vaud e del Faucigni, Lord of Vercelli, Pinerolo, della Lomellina, della Valle Sesia, del marchesato di Ceva, Overlord of Monaco, Roccabruna and 11/12th of Menton, Noble patrician of Venice, patrician of Ferrara.

These titles were used during the unified Kingdom of Italy which lasted from 1860–1946. [41]

See also

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Duchy of Savoy State in Western Europe that existed from 1416 to 1860

From 1416 to 1860, the Duchy of Savoy was a state in Western Europe. It was created when Sigismund, King of the Romans, raised the County of Savoy into a duchy for Amadeus VIII. The duchy was an Imperial fief, subject of the Holy Roman Empire with a vote in the Imperial Diet. From the 16th century, Savoy belonged to the Upper Rhenish Circle. Throughout its history, it was ruled by the House of Savoy and formed a part of the larger Savoyard state.

The Italian word luogotenente is an etymological parallel to lieutenant, deriving from the Latin locum tenens "holding a place", i.e. someone who fills a position instead of another, as a substitute, deputy, et cetera.

Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta (b. 1943) Claimant to the headship of the Italian House of Savoy

Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta is a claimant to the headship of the House of Savoy, the family which ruled Italy from 1861 to 1946. Until 7 July 2006, Amedeo was styled Duke of Aosta; on that date he declared himself Duke of Savoy, a title that is disputed between him and his third cousin, Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples. In the event that Vittorio Emanuele and his son will fail to produce any legitimate male heirs, their claim to the Italian throne will pass on to Amedeo and his male-line descendants.

Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, Prince of Venice Italian prince

Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, Prince of Venice, usually called Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, is a member of the House of Savoy. He is the son and heir of Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia and only male-line grandson of Umberto II, the last King of Italy. In his latter days, Umberto II created and gave the title of "Prince of Venice" to his grandson Emanuele Filiberto, but as heir-apparent to the disputed headship of the House of Savoy, Emanuele Filiberto also styles himself as "Prince of Piedmont".

Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus knightly order of the Royal House of Savoy founded in Lierna, Lake Como

The Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus is a Roman Catholic dynastic order of knighthood bestowed by the House of Savoy, founded in 1572 by Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, through amalgamation approved by Pope Gregory XIII of the Order of Saint Maurice, founded in 1434, with the medieval Order of Saint Lazarus, founded circa 1119, considered its sole legitimate successor. The Grand Master is Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples, since 1983.

Adelaide of Austria Archduchesse of Austria, queen consort of Sardinia

Adelaide of Austria was the Queen of Sardinia by marriage to Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia, future King of Italy, from 1849 until 1855 when she died as a result of childbirth. She was the mother of Umberto I of Italy.

The Italian monarchy was abolished in June 1946 following a referendum which established a republic. The present pretender is in dispute between Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples and Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta.

Moncalieri Castle palace in Moncalieri, Italy

The Castle of Moncalieri is a palace in Moncalieri, Piedmont, in northern Italy. It is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 1997.

Basilica of Superga Church in Italy

The Basilica of Superga is a church in the vicinity of Turin.

Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Carignano Italian noble

Charles Emmanuel of Savoy was a Prince of Savoy and later the Prince of Carignano between 1780 and 1800, and the paternal grandfather of Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of a united Italy.

Polyxena of Hesse-Rotenburg Sardinian queen

Princess Polyxena of Hesse-Rheinfels-Rotenburg was the second wife of Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Piedmont whom she married in 1724. The mother of the future Victor Amadeus III, she was queen consort of Sardinia from 1730 until her death in 1735.

Princess Christine of Hesse-Rotenburg German noble

Christine of Hesse-Rheinfels-Rotenburg was a princess of the German dynasty of Hesse-Rheinfels-Rotenburg. She was the Princess of Carignan by marriage and mother of the princesse de Lamballe and of Victor Amadeus II, Prince of Carignan.

Louis Victor, Prince of Carignano Italian prince

Louis Victor of Savoy headed a cadet branch of the Italian dynasty which reigned over the Kingdom of Sardinia, being known as the Prince of Carignano from 1741 till his death. Upon extinction of the senior line of the family, his great-grandson succeeded to the royal throne as King Charles Albert of Sardinia, while his great-great-grandson, Victor Emmanuel II, became King of Italy.

Anne Christine of Sulzbach, Princess of Piedmont Countess palatine by birth and by marriage Princess of Piedmont

Anne Christine of Sulzbach, Princess of Piedmont, also called Christine of the Palatinate, was a princess of the Bavarian Circle of the Holy Roman Empire and first wife of Charles Emmanuel of Savoy, Prince of Piedmont, heir to the throne of the kingdom of Sardinia. She died during childbirth at the age of 19.

Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy (1731–1735) Prince of Savoy and Duke of Aosta

Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy was a prince of Savoy and Duke of Aosta. He was born in the reign of his father Charles Emmanuel III, King of Sardinia.


  1. Ginsborg, Paul. A History of Contemporary Italy: Society and Politics, 1943–1988 , pg 98
  2. The kingdom of Burgundy, the land of the house of Savoy and adjacent territories, Eugene Cox, The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 5, C.1198-c.1300, ed. Rosamond McKitterick, David Abulafia, (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 365-366.
  3. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Savoy"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  4. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Piedmont"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  5. Introduction:The Sabaudian Lands and Sabaudian Studies, Matthew Vester, Sabaudian Studies: Political Culture, Dynasty, and Territory (1400–1700), ed. Matthew Vester, (Truman State University Press, 2013), 1.
  6. Sabaudian Studies, Matthew Vester, Sabaudian Studies: Political Culture, Dynasty, and Territory (1400–1700), (Truman State University Press, 2013), 6.
  7. Michael Mallett and Christine Shaw, The Italian Wars, 1494-1559, (Pearson Educational Limited, 2012), 154.
  8. 1 2 Michael Mallett and Christine Shaw, The Italian Wars, 1494-1559, 230-231.
  9. Henry Kamen, Philip of Spain, (Yale University Press, 1997), 64.
  10. Henry Kamen, Philip of Spain, 67.
  11. “In order to prevail the thirteenth final provision of the Italian Constitution ( ... ) international law provides for the special instrument of " reserves " duly stamped by the Italian State at the time of its instrument of ratification deposit of the fourth Protocol” ECHR: Buonomo, Giampiero (2000). "Né l'Unione europea, né i diritti dell'uomo possono aprire le frontiere a Casa Savoia". Diritto&Giustizia edizione online.  via  Questia (subscription required)
  12. By Constitutional Amendment, after some attempts to do so in another way: see ‹See Tfd› (in Italian) Né l'Unione europea, né i diritti dell'uomo possono aprire le frontiere a Casa Savoia, in Diritto&Giustizia edizione online, 2001, anno II, n. 36.
  13. Guardian Newspaper,2763,1227375,00.html
  14. Hooper, John (28 May 2004). "Right royal punch-up at Spanish prince's wedding" via The Guardian.
  15. McIntosh, David (December 2005). "The Sad Demise of the House of Savoy". European Royal History Journal. Eurohistory. 8.6 (XLVIII): 3–6.
  16. Summary of trial proceedings concerned the killing of Dirk Hamer.
  17. "Arrestato Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia - Corriere della Sera".
  18. "Arrested Italy prince goes from palace to jail". 17 June 2006.
  19. "THE PRINCE AND THE PROSTITUTES Independent, The (London) - Find Articles". 24 January 2007. Archived from the original on 24 January 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  20. "century 21 new york nyc at". 28 May 2009. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  21. ‹See Tfd› (in Italian) Vittorio Emanuele, cimici in cella "Ho fregato i giudici francesi"
  22. Prince's braggadocio spurs call for justice. 12 September 2006
  23. Prince Victor Emmanuel of Savoy "admits killing of German teenager on secret video recording five years ago", Daily Mail, 28 February 2011;
  24. Follain, John Prince admits killing on video, The Sunday Times, 27 February 2011;
  25. Borromeo, Beatrice Il video che incastra Savoia, Il Fatto Quotidiano, 24 February 2011;
  26. Beatrice Borromeo, el azote de los Saboya, Hola, 10 March 2015;
  27. Savoy claim
  28. "BBC NEWS - Europe - Italian 'prince' weds actress".
  29. Anales De La Real Academia Matritense De Heráldica y Genealogía VI (2000–2001), Vol. VI, p. 230, footnote 116.
  30. Amedeo padre di Ginevra. Lo dice il Dna. (18 February 2015). Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  31. 1 2 "Ordine Supremo della Santissima Annunciata". Ordini Dinastici della Real Casa Savoia.
  32. "Ordine Militare e Religioso dei SS. Maurizio e Lazzaro". Ordini Dinastici della Real Casa Savoia. Archived from the original on 2015-03-09.
  33. "Ordine Civile di Savoia". Ordini Dinastici della Real Casa Savoia. Archived from the original on 2015-10-29. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  34. "Ordine della Corona d'Italia". Ordini Dinastici della Real Casa Savoia. Archived from the original on 2015-10-29. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  35. Hooper, John (23 June 2006). "The fall of the house of Savoy" via The Guardian.
  36. "Savoy 3".
  37. "Savoy 4".
  38. "Savoy 5".
  39. "Savoy 6".
  40. Hadjilyra, Alexander-Michael (2009). The Armenians of Cyprus. New York: Kalaydjian Foundation. p. 12.
  41. Velde, Francois R. "Royal Styles".

Further reading