Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, Descendant of Italian Dynasty Tainted by Fascism, Passes Away at 86

ROME, Italy – Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, the son of Italy’s last king and a descendant of a dynasty tarnished by its collaboration with fascism, passed away in Switzerland at the age of 86. His lawyer, Sergio Orlandi, confirmed the royal’s death.

Born on February 12, 1937, in Naples, Vittorio Emanuele assumed leadership of the Italian royal family, which had ruled over a unified Italy from 1861 to 1945. His father, Umberto II, briefly held the throne in 1946. However, at the young age of nine, Vittorio Emanuele was forced to leave Italy along with all male descendants of the royal family due to the 1946 constitution. This measure was implemented as his grandfather, King Vittorio Emanuele III, had collaborated with Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime and its discriminatory laws.

For many years, Vittorio Emanuele refused to display loyalty to the republic, but in December 2002, after the Italian parliament lifted the exile measures, he returned to Italy. Despite his controversial family history, he swore allegiance to the republic.

The Savoy royal household, as quoted by local Italian media, announced that Vittorio Emanuele passed away peacefully in Geneva, surrounded by his family. The exact cause of his death has not been disclosed.

The death of Prince Vittorio Emanuele marks the end of an era for the Italian monarchy and raises questions about its complicated legacy. The collaboration with fascism during World War II has long stained the reputation of the Savoy family. Despite this, Vittorio Emanuele’s return to Italy in 2002 symbolized an attempt to reconcile the past and demonstrate a commitment to the republic.

Throughout his life, Vittorio Emanuele struggled to navigate the complexities of his family history. His passing serves as a reminder of the enduring influence of the monarchy in Italy, as well as the challenges of reconciling a controversial past.

The news of Vittorio Emanuele’s death reverberated across Italy, sparking conversations about the country’s historical baggage and the role of the monarchy. While his legacy remains highly debated, his death marks the end of a chapter in Italian history.

Funeral arrangements for Prince Vittorio Emanuele have yet to be announced. As Italy mourns the loss of this prominent figure, the debate about his family’s legacy and Italy’s monarchy is sure to continue.