Freizeit Revue (German magazine)
How the Dead King Took Revenge on His Son
LEFT: Shocked and disappointed: Prince Vittorio Emanuele (here with his son Emanuele Filiberto) was left empty-handed at the reading of the will. He received only the compulsory share. Instead, Umberto's daughters inherited millions. Below from left: Maria Beatrice "Titti", Maria Pia, ex-Queen Marie José and Maria Gabriella at the funeral service.
Ex-king Umberto (top) never forgave his son for firing the fatal shots at Dirk Hamer (right).
ABOVE: Hard-won family happiness: his son's marriage to bourgeois Swiss millionaire Marina Doria was a scandal in Umberto's eyes.
The shock happened at the reading of the will. Vittorio Emanuele, the only son of Italy's ex-king Umberto, was left empty-handed. Only the compulsory portion – the family's castles in Italy – are left to him. A worthless gift, because the Italian state has confiscated them. Happy heirs are the daughters of the ex-king who died in Geneva on March 18. Maria Gabriella (43), Maria Pia (50) and Maria Beatrice (40) "Titti" received Umberto's entire foreign property. Worth millions.
A family dispute is boiling up, because 46-year-old Vittorio Emanuele, who still feels to be the heir to the throne, wants to contest the will. And then all those events will again get to the surface, which caused profound conflicts between father and son years ago. After all, the old ex-king has never forgiven his son for firing the fatal shots at the German, Dirk Hamer, in 1978. In an argument over a rubber dinghy on the island of Cavallo, the mad gunman Vittorio Emanuele had fired in a blind rage. Two bullets passed through the hull of a small boat in which the 19-year-old man from Marburg was sleeping. One bullet smashed his right leg, he lost four liters of blood. The young man suffered unspeakable pain and was wasting away. After twenty operations he died.
Although the crown prince was arrested, he was released on bail after five days. The investigation was delayed for years. Important evidence mysteriously disappeared. The prince was never called to account.
The ex-king, who died of cancer, never managed to cope with the "Scandal of Cavallo". His son and heir was involved in a mysterious criminal case. But his second eldest has never really given him much pleasure. Even his marriage to Marina Doria, the "bourgeois" daughter of a cookie manufacturer with millions in assets, was a shock to Umberto's sense of status. The old man could never come to terms with his son's useless playboy life. He took bitter revenge.