King Umberto II (1904-1983) and Queen Marie-José (1906-2001)

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Some more info about the King and the Queen...
The enagement and the wedding of the two Prince's was plagued by mishaps. The enagement was held in Brussels, where Prince Umberto was shot at whlist laying a wreath in honour at the grave of the Belgian unknown soldier !. During the trial of the would be assassin, a Italian named Da Rosa, his lawyer made sure that the Facist affiliations of the Italian Royal Family was brought forth to the public attention!.

The wedding which was held in Rome on the 8th Jan 1930, was delayed by some 4 hours due to the trains of the bribe and her mother becomming unstitched and had to repaired (it is said that bride had lost her train three or four times before she reached the alter ).
There was a mixed up in the order of precedence amongst the Royal guests, the disgruntled Duke of York (the future King George VI of Great Britain) trailed behind the ex-King Amanullah of Afghanistan. This same latter Monarch when leaving the Quirinale, believing that the acclamations of the crowds was directed exclusively to himself became very excited and began waving his silk hat in a frantic manner to the dissgust of the other guests !

King Albert I of Belgium was Particularly fond of his only daughter Maria Jose and favored her adove that of her brothers: "she ought to have been the heir to the throne" he had once said. She being cultured and serious minded , was the worst possiable choice for the debonair Prince Umberto of Italy, it was well perhaps, that she was as much in love with Italy as she was in love with the pleasure loving Prince!

Life for Maria Jose, Princess of Piedmont, was not easy, her marriage was not happy and life in Fascist Italy was difficult, given her liberal and democratic sympathies!. The Italian Royal Family fully supported Mussolini and its members been identified with his regime : Her anti-Fascist sympathies had infuriated one section of the Italian people, whilst her support for her much maligned brother King Leopold III alienated another!

During the fall of Mussolini and the very undignified flight of the King from Rome to join the allies, the Princess had been in Switzerland, but she too suffered from the condemnation, neither right or left wanted anything to do with her. However the King had decided to retire from public life and hand his duties over to Prince Umberto in a attempt to bring about a new image for the discredited Royal Family.

Prince Umberto was now the Lieutenant-General of the Realm with his wife once more beside him, but it needed more than a show of their charm to save the dynasty, in the face of mounting dissatisfaction with the King and the Monarchy it was agreed that a Plebiscate should take place to decide if the people wanted a Monarchy or a republic !. The king to increase the chances of a continuance of the dynasty and at behest of the allied powers abdicated the throne and retired to Egypt and died there in 1947.

Prince Umberto at 41 and Princess Maria Jose at 39, now became King and Queen of Italy!. The new King and Queen of Italy, made an attractive couple, he although balding was still considered to be debonair and the Queen, well she was as soigee as ever.

Although the king had carried out his difficult task as Lieutenant-General of the realm with his customary good nature, it is said that it was the princess (now Queen) who had the more forceful Character of the two! One Dr Castellani had one commented "once more i noticed how our Queen's personallity effaces that of everyone else, even when she is silent she outshines them all, in her nature she combined a powerful, almost masculine intellect, a vivid mimd!".

True it was the King who had the most appeal, esp to the womenfolk.....on many occasions he was nearly suffocated by surging crowds of women, all eager to embrace their gallant Sovereign!. Wheras the King's warmth of heart was apparent to all, the Queen's composure gave her a withdrawn, almost forbidding Quality!. But the Queen was never severe, she had a deep kindliness of hearts!. As soon as the war was over she turned one of her villas into a hospital for maimed children.

Again her close friend Dr Castellani tells of a story of how one night the Queen, was dressed ready to attend a gala dinner and that she recieved a message from one of the childrens mother that her son was dying and she begged the Queen to visit her son and save his life by touching him (This was due to the legend to the effect that the Queen had the healing touch, when she had nursed the soldiers during the Abyssinian Campaign).Henceforth the Queen after a quick change of clothes made off to the hospital visit the boy, only to discover that he had died in the meantime ! The Queen then wanting to console the mother walked through the dark streets of the rough Trastevere district (a very Republican District), the local populace was most unwelcoming towards her and her escort, her friend the doctor. Having found the dingy home of the dead boy's mother, comforted her as best as she could!. By the time she left the Queen was greeted by a huge crowd of people which blocked the narrow street!

Given time and gestures such as this, the King and Queen would have earned the hearts and love of their subjects but it was not to be, fate had other ideas ! As i have mentioned the plebiscate voted for a Republic!. The King was urged to make some sort of stand, but he refused saying " I will not allow my hands to be stained with a single drop of Italian Blood !". later in a digified statement to the nation he declared "I believe it to be my duty to do everything in my power to spare Italy Further grief and tears after it has suffered so much"

The Queen and her four children left the Quirinale on the afternoon of June 5th 1946, two days after the plebiscate, they was bound for Portugal!. The King joined his family ten days later, only to say "Yesterday was the saddest day of my life, i wept when i left Rome." However their marriage, which was not happy, did not survive the shock of their ill fortune and the exiled couple had lived apart until the King's death in Geneva on the 18th of March 1983, having suffered from bone cancer !
After the couple separated, the Queen went to live in Switzerland, whilst the king remained in Portugal residing in the comfortable Villa Italia at the coastal resort of Cascais just north of Lisdon. There he was attended by the aged Count Olverieri, who had entered the Royal Household, as a page to his grandmother Queen Margherita (btw the renowned Margherita Pizza was named in her honour, the toppings of the pizza is said to represent the National colours of Italy ).

The Kings day was mapped out to a strict timetable and part of it was allocated to give audiences to his former subjects who would call to pay their respects, in fact it is said that young Italians who was on honeymoon would call upon the King to ask for his blessing, One could say it was comparable to a Court-in-exile!.

The king was closely involved with Italy's major Monarchist Organization, Unoine Monarchica Italiana, but he did not really approve of the small Italian Monarchist Political Parties, even though on many occasions they had as many as nine seats in the country's legislaure, as they wished to ally the Crown too closely with Politic's and the king believed that the Crown should be adove that !!

However, at times he was deeply concerned about the escapades of his children. All four of his children lived life to the full and ignored the inhibitions normally associated with Royalty......his eldest daughter has been divorced, the youngest, her name was never out of the headlines !!

But it was the behavior of his son and heir which caused the King the most distress!. Crown Prince Victor Emmanuel caused scandal amomgst Monarchist's by his long established liasion with a commoner, whom he married in las vegas ! Although this marriage was going against the family's Laws and Rules, the King did recognized his son's wife as HRH the Princess of Naples, many old fashioned Monarchists felt (even down to this day, still feel) that the Duke of Aosta (and his descendants) would make a more suitable candidate(s) for the succession over that of the Prince of Naples himself (and his descendants).

Towards the end of his life the King became very popular with the younger members of Europe's Royal Families, who often referred to him as "Uncle Beppo". However in 1982 the King became ill with Cancer of the bone and after spending sometime in a London clinic, at his request he was flown to Geneva, to be as close as possible to his native land. Indeed it was hoped that the Italian governmemt would allow him to return to Italy for him to die there, negotiations were opened, but the King died In March of the following year before they could be completed......

The Kings last word's are said to have been "Italiia"
I don't suppose Queen Maria-Jose really prepared her son to become a Crown Prince...
King Humberto titled his grandson Prince of Venice.
Venice never had Savoie Princes.
Why this tittle ?
Actually there are no evidences that the King ever gave his grandson that title; it appears that the King gave Emanuele Filiberto the title of Prince of Venice at Emanuele Filiberto's christening, but there are no written evidences that he actually did, and it is strange because there are written documents on all the titles given by King Umberto during his lifetime.
And you're right, Maria Olivia, about that title; the only other people titled Prince of Venice was Eugene de Beauharnais, and the title was given him by his stepfather Napoleon I.
Why this title instead of the traditional title of Prince of Piedmont? Nobody knows for sure, but one can guess: maybe because the King knew that Emanuele Filiberto could not be the Prince of Piedmont, since that title is the traditional title for the Heir to the Throne or for the dynastical heir of the Heir to the Throne?
A lot of thanks for all posters who give us precious informations.
A lot of thanks for all posters who give us precious informations.
Indeed! Even if I do not write often (I don't know much) I read all of your posts with interest! ;)
Poor Queen Marie José. So beautiful, a pity she didn´t marry someone else and be happy.
"In a letter written by King Albert Ier to his sister Josephine , he said that the wedding will take 6 days..To him it was to much as the economic situation of that time (1930) was so difficult
He wrote also that his wife Queen Elisabeth, was ill..."

(Poor Queen , 6 days smiling , 6 days waving, 6 days dress-changing , hours tiaras on her head )
Everbody knew that this Holywood's wedding was B. Mussolini 's will.
(NB this was not written in the King's letter)
The discussion is not only about the remains of King Umberto II and Queen Maria José, but also about the remains of King Vittorio Emanuele III and Queen Elena, Umberto's parents, buried respectively in Alexandria (Egypt) and Montpellier (France).
That's a discussion that surfaces every now and then, no matter which the government is in charge, and it has all come to nothing so far.
King and Fascism

Reminds me of some of the members of the British Royal Family and their very clear affinity with Nazi Germany...e.g. Edward VIII, kater Duke of Windsor. This was for real; i Savoia are a different story...not fascists at all..
It historically proven that King V.Emanuele III and Mussolini disliked each other, but this didn't prevent the King from signing the racial laws. So shameful of him.
When will be King Umberto Ii finalyy be buried at the Pantheon in Rome?
Nothing has been decided yet, and since last October (when minister La Russa proposed to rebury Vittorio Emanuele III, Elena, Umberto II and Maria José in Italy) the discussion seems to be stopped.
Hardly to believe such a story.Queen Maria-Josè was a clear antifascist and met Mussolini very few times in private.

I agree, Marie Jose was clearly antifascist and the article cites a letter from Duce's son puts it suspect.
:previous: Rubbish! Queen Maria José always hated Mussolini and his accolites. She appeared to be secretly involved with the Resistance, and she was also said to have taken part in a plot to kill Mussolini. I highly doubt Romano Mussolini could have ever written such a letter. He was a painter ( he exhibited his paintings in a nearby town here, and I had the chance to see him many a time, though I never talked to him. He seemed to be a gentle person), and a valued jazz pianist. Ironically his father prohibited the Italians from playing jazz or listening to it, because it was the music of the Black.
As far as I know he never showed any interest in politics.
King Umberto 11 was maried in 1926 to his first love Erminia from a very noble house.
This marriage has been kept a secret for 86 years they had daughter princess Lina.
she is King Umberto only legitimate child. She had a son who is now Raymondo Count of Savoia. The crown jewels where left to Princess Lina and that is why they are where they are today All will be revealed soon. Princess Lina's DNA can be traced back as far as Marie' Antoinette.Prince Victor is in for a rude shock.
If the marriage was indeed valid there would be a record of it somewhere which would surely have been made public by now, if it existed. With two wives and two families, Umberto must have been a master at the art of deception and the double life as no-one appears to have suspected a thing. It follows that the promise of "all will be revealed soon" carries little weight as it confirms that even after 86 years, no credible evidence has been put forward to support the claim.

If the Savoy Crown Jewels were left to Ermionia and she had legal proof of ownership, she or her heirs could have presented such documents to the Italian Central Bank in Rome at any tme since 1983 and claimed the inheritance. Instead, the jewels remain in the bank's vaults, where they have been since 1946.

The statement that "Princess Lina's DNA can be traced back as far as Marie Antoinette" requires some scrutiny. A span of 130-odd years is not that far back in terms of royal genealogy, but more importantly, are you stating that the DNA has been traced back or that it could be traced back? In the absence of verifiable laboratory evidence and documentation, neither claim has any validity.
To add another layer which makes the story even more implausable, three of Marie Antoinette's four children died young and the sole survivor died without issue:

• Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte (Madame Royale) (1778–1851), married the duc d'Angoulême and was childless
• Louis-Joseph, the Dauphin (1781–1789)
• Louis-Charles (later titular King Louis XVII) (1785–1795)
• Sophie-Hélène-Béatrix (1786-1787)

To sum up: No verifiable evidence has been produced to support any of the claims made in this thread. The lack of proof adds to the likelihood of the claims being bogus, meaning there is little value in adding to or repeating what has already been posted.
Leslie ,
At Queen Marie-José glittering clothes exhibition in Brussels ,I saw a letter in which she announced to her Parents her Engagement.
30 years ago, on 18 March 1983, HM King Umberto II of Italy passed away in Geneva after a long illness.

A conference, followed by a Mass, in remembrance of King Umberto on the anniversary of his death took place on saturday 16 March 2013 at the wonderful Sanctuary of Vicoforte. The meeting was organized by the Consulta dei Senatori del Regno (Council of the Senators of the Kingdom, a monarchist organization supporting the restoration of the monarchy and the claims of Prince Amedeo as Head of the Royal House of Savoy) and sponsored by the Province of Cuneo and by the Municipality of Vicoforte.
The meeting was attended, among the many guests, by TRH Prince Amedeo and Princess Silvia of Savoy; HRH Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy was expected to attend, but she couldn't go and instead a message by her was read. A message from HRH Prince Aimone of Savoy was also read.

Santuario di Vicoforte - .
And here photos from commemoration mass attended by Savoia family ( photos from Olycom). Olycom - News
Prince VE seeems to be ill or very tired.
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