Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy has died

Son of Italy's last king, Umberto II, passed away in Geneva

ROME, 03 February 2024, 15:36

Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, the son of Italy's last king Umberto II, died on Saturday morning aged 86.

"At 7.05 a.m. this morning, 3 February 2024, His Royal Highness Vittorio Emanuele, Duke of Savoy and Prince of Naples, passed away peacefully in Geneva surrounded by his family," the House of Savoy said in a statement.

"The place and date of the funeral will be announced as soon as possible," the statement added.

Vittorio Emanuele would have turned 87 on February 12.

The House of Savoy ruled Italy from unification in 1861 to 1946, when Italians voted in an institutional referendum on June 2 to abolish the monarchy and create the Italian republic.

Many reviled the former royal family for supporting Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini before and during World War II and for fleeing Rome to avoid the invading German army following the announcement of the armistice on September 8, 1943, and Italy's post-war constitution initially forbade its male descendants from entering the territory of the Republic.

However this provision was lifted in 2002, when Vittorio Emanuele and his only son Emanuele Filiberto were able to return.

He was placed under investigation and later acquitted for the death of Dirk Hamer, a 19-year-old German killed in a shooting on the island of Cavallo, Corsica, in 1978.

The case was at the centre of a long and bitter legal battle in France between the Savoys and the Hamer family, in particular his sister Birgi, and in 2017 Italy's Supreme Court of Cassation ruled that Vittorio Emanuele's acquittal from the charge of murder "does not mean that he is exempt from responsibility" since he took part in the shooting "beyond any assumption of self-defence".

Last year the case was also the focus of a Netflix series, 'The Prince', developed and directed by Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi.

Emanuele Filiberto intervened describing the documentary as "an excuse to spread fake news".

On Saturday Defence Minister Guido Crosetto said he remembered Vittorio Emanuele "with affection", recalling the "many times" he was "able to share his company in Piemonte".

However, Green Party leader Angelo Bonelli said it had taken the former royal "more than 60 years to distance himself" from Italy's 1938 racial laws.

"During a television interview in 1997 he refused to apologise for the involvement of a member of the Savoy family in the signing of the racial laws," said Bonelli in a statement.

"It was not until 2002, in a statement issued from Geneva, that he officially took a stand against the racial laws, marking the first time in the history of the House of Savoy," he continued, also recalling how in 1981 he was named "as one of the alleged members of Licio Gelli's P2 Masonic lodge, with membership number 1621".


We also publish public media reports because we want to document how ruthlessly they lied about Dr. Hamer and the murder of his son Dirk. We recommend reading the documents in our online archive and the book "Einer gegen alle" (One Against All).