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European Royals

Remains of exiled Italian King Victor Emmanuel III returned to Italy

The remains of His Majesty Victor Emmanuel III King of Italy, King of the Albanians and Emperor of Ethiopia, and his wife, Queen Elena, was on Friday of last week returned to Italy from Egypt where the King had rested since his death in 1947. Elena died in 1959, and her remains had lain in Montpelier in France. Both His Majesty and Her Majesty were transported with an Italian Air Force military plane.

The King and Queen were reburied at the Sanctuary of Vicoforte, near the Piedmont town of Cuneo. The grandson of His Majesty King Umberto II, Emanuele Filiberto, told the Italian press recently that he believed the right place for the remains of former Italian kings was the Pantheon in Rome. Viktor Emmanuel was until 17 December buried behind the altar of the Catholic Church of Mansheya, devoted to Catherine of Alexandria.

His Majesty King Victor Emmanuel III reigned as King of Italy from 1900 to 1946. He died in exile in Egypt in 1947. Italy’s post-war constitution banned male descendants of the royal House of Savoy from visiting Italy because of the family’s support for Mussolini. The ban was lifted in 2002.

Victor Emmanuel III was the King of Italy from 29 July 1900 until his abdication on 9 May 1946. In addition, he claimed the thrones of Ethiopia and Albania as Emperor of Ethiopia (1936–41) and King of the Albanians (1939–43). He was called by the Italians Il Re soldato (The Soldier King) for having led his country during both the world wars.

Tomb of Victor Emmanuel III at the sanctuary of Vicoforte. Photo: Fabio Daziano via Wikimedia Commons.

The House of Savoy is a royal family that was established in 1003 in the historical Savoy region. The family ruled the Kingdom of Sicily from 1713 to 1720. 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.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.

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