Sunday, September 22, 2013

We Once Had a King


Not everyone knows that Italy once had a king, as did all European countries in recent past. The last king of Italy, Umberto II (di Savoia), reigned for slightly over a month, from 9 May 1946 to 12 June 1946. However, he was de facto head of state from 1944 to 1946. He left Italy with his family at the close of WW II when a national referendum calling to preserve the monarchy failed. He lived out his life in exile in Portugal where he died in 1983, never having been allowed to return to Italy.

Here he is as a lad, the only son of King Vittorio Emanuele III. He was married in Rome on January 8th 1930 to Maria José of Belgium, daughter of King Albert I, and they had four children, Maria Pia, Vittorio Emanuele, Maria Gabriella and Maria Beatrice.

This is me on Saturday morning with Christine Camerana, Gil, Princess Maria Pia di Savoia, her husband Prince Michel de Bourbon Parme, and Maria Pia's son, Prince Michel de Yougoslavie, in the garden here at Villa Massei.

Many years ago Gil and I found this painting of Vittorio Emanuele II, the first King of freshly united Italy. It's a very good portrait of Maria Pia's great great grandfather, and our royal guests were very amused to see it here.


columnist said...

So is this "royalty meets royalty"? I'm unsure about the varying "ofs" - they are all prince/ss of somewhere different, so I'm better go and consult Almanach de Gotha.


Hello !
Very interesting blog !
Have a nice day,
Céline, french watercolorist.

Laurent said...

great drape of the jacket, Paul, and timeless easy shirt.