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Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, son of last King of Italy, dies at 86

Vittorio Emanuele was only son of King Umberto II.

Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, son of Italy's last king, Umberto II, died in Geneva on Saturday aged 86.

"At 7.05 this morning, 3 February 2024, His Royal Highness Vittorio Emanuele, Duke of Savoy and Prince of Naples, surrounded by his family, passed away peacefully in Geneva" - reads a statement from the Real Casa di Savoia - "The place and date of the funeral will be communicated as soon as possible."

The prince was the son of King Umberto II who ruled for only 34 days after his father, King Vittorio Emmanuele III, abdicated due to being discredited by his support for Mussolini during world war two.

Vittorio Emanuele, who would have turned 87 on 12 February, left Italy in exile at the age of nine after Italians voted to abolish the monarchy in 1946.

Last year the heir to Italy's defunct throne was the subject of a Netflix docuseries titled The King Who Never Was, which traces his involvement in the 1978 murder of 19-year-old Dirk Hamer who died after being shot in a boat at Cavallo, a small French island off Corsica.

Vittorio Emanuele was tried in France for Hamer’s killing, but a Paris court acquitted him in 1991 of unintentional homicide and convicted him only of unauthorised possession of a rifle.

Vittorio Emanuele and his wife Marina Ricolfi-Doria had one son, Emanuele Filiberto, who was born in Switzerland in 1972.

Emanuele Filiberto first set foot in Italy in 2002 when an amendment was made to the Italian constitution lifting the ban that had prohibited male descendents of the House of Savoy from entering the country.

Italy's Festa della Repubblica, held each year on 2 June, commemorates the day in 1946 when Italians voted in favour of a republic and against the monarchy.

Photo ANSA

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