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Old 09-07-2007, 08:16 PM
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Princess Marie-José, Queen of Italy (1906-2001)

Princess Marie-Jose (1906-2001)

This thread is about Queen Marie-Jose of Italy, Princess of Belgium (Ostend 04 Aug 1906- Geneva 27 Jan 2001)

Parents: King Albert I of The Belgians and Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria

Husband: King Umberto II of Italy

Children: Princess Maria-Pia of Italy, Prince Vittorio-Emanuele of Italy, Prince of Piedmont, Princess Maria-Gabriella and Princess Maria-Beatrice of Italy

Siblings: King Leopold III of The Belgians and Prince Charles of Belgium, Count of Flanders



Note that all pictures posted here by me are free of copyrights unless stated differently.
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:29 AM
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Princess Marie-José Charlotte Sophie Amélie Henriette Gabrielle of Belgium (August 4, 1906 - January 27, 2001), was the last Queen of Italy. Her thirty-five day reign as queen consort earned her the affectionate nickname the May Queen.
Princess Marie-José was born in Ostend, Belgium, the youngest child and only daughter of Albert I, King of the Belgians and his consort, Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria. At birth, she held the titles of Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duchess in Saxony, until their use was discontinued at the end of the First World War.

On January 8, 1930, she married Prince Umberto, at that time the Crown Prince of Italy from the House of Savoy, and so became The Princess of Piedmont (in Italian: Principessa di Piemonte). They had four children:
  1. Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Parma 1934-
  2. Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples 1937-
  3. Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy 1940-
  4. Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy 1943-
The marriage was not happy, as Marie-José would confess in an interview many years later: "On n'a jamais été heureux" (We never were happy), in large measure to Umberto's unfaithfulness and his bisexuality. At the time her parents had steered for the marriage with the crown prince of Italy, there was no other single descendant of a reigning Catholic dynasty, with a prospect to the throne available in Europe. The couple subsequently separated after the abolition of the Italian monarchy.

Read the entire wikipedia article here.

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Old 09-08-2007, 07:32 AM
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The long Mussolini dictatorship, as well as the German alliance during the Second World War, doomed the future of the Savoy monarchy. After the Allied invasion of Italy, old King Victor-Emmanuel III abdicated in his son's favor in a last effort to safe the Italian monarchy. On 9 May 1946, Umberto II and Marie-José became the new Italian monarchs. Their opposition to Mussolini had gained them vast popularity, yet the crown's cooperation with the fascist dictator had raised widespread opposition among many Italians. The house of Savoy had tainted itself by allowing, and contributing, to Mussolini's ascendancy to absolute power in Italy. Even though Umberto and Marie-José tried to restore the tarnished image of the Savoys, there efforts were too late. Barely one month after ascending the throne, Umberto II called for a referendum to decide the future of the Italian monarchy. The Savoys lost by a small margin.

The referendum of 1946 gave the republican sectors a marginal majority. Many politicians close to the Savoys tried to convince Umberto II to fight the results. Fraud seemed to have been widespread. The monarchy could have had a chance, yet taking this action would have plunged the country into civil war. Italy, already devastated by the Second World War, could hardly afford any more civil and political strife. Faced with these choices, Umberto II refused to plunge the country into any more political violence. He and Marie-José, accompanied by their family, left Italy without abdicating the crown. The exiled monarchs joined Umberto's parents in Egypt. Some time later, Umberto settled in Cascais, Portugal. Marie-José found it impossible to live with her husband any longer, eventually settling in Switzerland.

Read te entire article at EuroHistory.com

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Old 09-08-2007, 07:34 AM
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HER coronation, Marie-Jose said later, was rather a fussy affair. Her dresser had recalled that at Marie-Jose's wedding years earlier (pictured) her veil had come adrift three times while she was walking down the aisle. Madam would not want that to happen again, would she? Probably madam did not care.
She gave the impression of being indifferent to ceremony. But she submitted to the nagging of her attendant and everyone at the coronation said that no one in the history of Italy had looked more queenly. Marie-Jose and her husband Umberto were crowned on May 9th 1946. On June 2nd, ...

Read the rest of the obituaryn from the Economist here.

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Old 09-08-2007, 07:38 AM
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Umberto II, occasionally anglicized as Humbert II, (September 15, 1904, Racconigi, province of Cuneo - March 18, 1983, Geneva, Switzerland), the last King of Italy, nicknamed the King of May (Italian: Re di Maggio), was born the Prince of Piedmont. He was the third child of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Elena Petrovich of Montenegro. He served as the last King of Italy for slightly over a month, from May 9, 1946 to June 12, 1946. He renounced the title of King of Albania, which was held by his father after Italy's invasion of the country and personally asked King Zog I for forgiveness for taking his throne.
He was married in Rome on January 8, 1930 to Marie José of Belgium (August 4, 1906 - January 27, 2001).

The Prince of Piedmont was educated to a military career and in time became the commander in chief of the Northern Armies, and then of the Southern ones. However his role was merely formal, the concrete command belonging to Mussolini. By mutual agreement Umberto and Mussolini always kept at distance. It has been conjectured that Mussolini had collected a secret dossier on Umberto, but this folder (which is said to have been found after the dictator was shot), was never seen.
Following the Savoyards' tradition ("Only one Savoy reigns at a time"), he kept apart from active politics until he was finally named the Lieutenant. Only in one case, while he was in Germany for a royal wedding, did he make an exception, Hitler asked for a meeting. This action was not considered proper, given the international situation, and Umberto was later even more severely banned from political events.
In 1943, the Crown Princess Maria José, the daughter of King Albert I of Belgium, was involved in vain attempts to arrange a separate peace treaty between Italy and the United States, and her interlocutor from the Vatican was Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, a senior diplomat who later became Pope Paul VI. Her attempts were not sponsored by the king and Umberto was not (directly, at least) involved in them. After her failure (she never met the American agents), she was sent with her children to Sarre, in Aosta Valley, and isolated from the political life of the Royal House.
Following the overthrow of Benito Mussolini in 1943, King Victor Emmanuel handed over his constitutional functions to Umberto, who was made Lieutenant General of the Realm, and left Italy for Egypt.

Read the entire wikipedia article here.



More on Umberto II in this TRF thread.
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:46 AM
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Some pictures of Marie-Jose as a child:

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Old 09-08-2007, 08:52 AM
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With her mother Elisabeth (l) and two other pictures:

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Old 09-08-2007, 08:53 AM
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Pictures of her father, King Albert I, her mother Queen Elisabeth and a picture with her parents and brothers:

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Old 09-08-2007, 08:55 AM
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Her wedding:

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Old 09-08-2007, 08:58 AM
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With some of her children and husband:

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Old 09-08-2007, 08:59 AM
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Some more family pictures:

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Old 09-08-2007, 09:01 AM
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Some more of Marie-Jose and her husband Umberto:

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Old 09-08-2007, 09:08 AM
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Two pictures of an older Marie-Jose, not free of copyrights:

1962
1987

Here a website dedicated to the funeral of Marie-Jose in Hautcombe, France.

Apart from the immidiate family there were many royals, most notably HM King Albert II of The Belgians, HM King Juan-Carlos of Spain and HSH Prince Albert of Monaco.
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:28 AM
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Two more pictures. Left: Marie-Jose and Vittorio-Emanuele and on the rigt Marie-Jose, Umberto and their 4 children:

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Old 09-08-2007, 09:40 AM
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Marie-Jose had a magnificent collection of jewels, which can be discussed here.

Her daughter Maria-Gabriella recently sold some of her mothers jewels in an auction. Among them the Flanders pearl tiara and the Leuchtenberg tiara that Marie-Jose inherited from her brother Charles but that she has never worn.
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:04 AM
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I was wondering if it is true that Marie-Jose was caught the day before the referendum about the future of the monarchy in Italy, while she was removing posters that said to vote in favour of the monarchy? I read that in a book.
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:44 PM
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i consider her the most brillant queen italy ever had she try so hard to involve in politics and try to defend the monarchy against mussolini. but it was too late her father in law had allow musolini to get involve too much in the country affair and the king was upset when his daughter in law was involving in goverment affair since like his savoy predecessor he believe that a woman {princess or queen} where to make a good marriage produce and heir and accompany her husband whenever it was neccesary. but marie-jose would not back down she had contact with the u.s. and the allied forces she was to reign only for one month after 16 years of being crown princess what a tragic
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:11 AM
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Cool

What a beautiful woman even as a small child. She probably would have been a much beloved Queen if the Monarchy had remained in power. It seems that Marie-Jose was a modest woman who didn't like a lot of fuss.
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Old 09-08-2009, 03:55 AM
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Yes, She and King Umberto have been the best Sovereigns Italy has had; unfortunately, it had became too late for Them to raise again the Monarchy; They had against too many and too much powerful political forces.
It is a pity, even some republican admitted They have been and could have been the best King and Queen for Italy.
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grandlordbenji16 View Post
i consider her the most brillant queen italy ever had she try so hard to involve in politics and try to defend the monarchy against mussolini. but it was too late her father in law had allow musolini to get involve too much in the country affair and the king was upset when his daughter in law was involving in goverment affair since like his savoy predecessor he believe that a woman {princess or queen} where to make a good marriage produce and heir and accompany her husband whenever it was neccesary. but marie-jose would not back down she had contact with the u.s. and the allied forces she was to reign only for one month after 16 years of being crown princess what a tragic
I must say I don't agree; Maria Josč was actually the first Italian princess to become a member of the facist party. The others did it just when they were almost obliged. MJ then, should stay out of goverment affairs since "in Casa Savoia si comanda uno alla volta" ("there is just one place as ruler in the Savoy House"), a saying that, for example, Umberto followed strictly (he was not consulted about the treaty with the allies and he was not surprised about that). So the fact that she was a woman wasn't the main reason to stay out. Finally, being a Belgian, she could be in some way too modern for Italy, and I don't know if she was a correct interpreter of Italians' feelings.
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