Author Topic: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose  (Read 159499 times)

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Offline amedeo

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2005, 04:58:53 AM »
He served as the last King of Italy for slightly over a month, from May 9, 1946 to June 12, 1946. He was married in Rome, Italy on January 8, 1930 to Marie JosŤ Belgium (August 4, 1906 - January 27, 2001).

Offline amedeo

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2005, 04:59:13 AM »
The Prince of Piedmont was educated to a military career and in time became the commander in chief of the Northern Armies, and then of the Southern ones. However his role was merely formal, the concrete command belonging to Mussolini. By mutual agreement Umberto and Mussolini always kept at distance. It has been conjectured that Mussolini had collected a secret dossier on Umberto, but this folder (which is said to have been found after the dictator was shot), was never seen.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2005, 04:59:32 AM »
Following the Sabaudian' tradition ("Only one Savoy reigns at a time"), he kept apart from active politics until he was finally named the Lieutenant. Only in one case, while he was in Germany for a royal wedding, did he make an exception, when he autonomously arranged to meet Hitler (it is likely that he himself proposed the meeting). This action was not considered proper, given the international situation, and Umberto was later even more severely banned from political events.

Offline amedeo

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2005, 04:59:56 AM »
In 1943, the Crown Princess Maria JosŤ the daughter of King Albert I of Belgium, was involved in vain attempts to arrange a separate peace treaty between Italy and the United States, and her interlocutor from Vatican was Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini, a senior diplomat who later became Pope Paul VI.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2005, 05:00:08 AM »
Her attempts were not sponsored by the king and Umberto was not (directly, at least) involved in them. After her failure (she never met the American agents), she was sent with her children to Sarre, in Aosta Valley, and isolated from the political life of the Royal House.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2005, 05:00:34 AM »
Following the overthrow of Benito Mussolini in 1943, King Victor Emmanuel handed over his constitutional functions to Umberto, who was made Lieutenant General of the Realm, and left Italy for Egypt.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2005, 05:00:48 AM »
Umberto earned for himself widespread praise for his role in the following three years. Had Victor Emmanuel III handed over the throne in 1943, it is likely that the monarchy would have won the 1946 referendum on its survival. Victor Emmanuel's failure proved to be one of his many major misjudgments.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2005, 05:01:01 AM »
The referendum itself was and remains shrouded by questions as to its authenticity. Millions of voters, many of them pro-monarchist, were unable to vote because they had not yet been able to return to their own local areas to register. Nor had the issue of Italy's borders, and so the voting rights of those in disputed areas, been satisfactorily clarified.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2005, 05:01:27 AM »
Other allegations too have been made about voter manipulation, while even the issue of how to interpret the votes became controversial, as it appeared that not just a majority of those validly voting but of those votes cast (including spoiled votes), was needed to reach an outcome in the event the monarchy lost by a tight margin. Umberto had by this stage become king, Victor Emmanuel having reluctantly and belatedly abdicated a few weeks before the referendum.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2005, 05:01:40 AM »
Umberto served as king for 33 days. The monarchy formally ended on June 12, 1946 and Umberto became a king in exile, leaving Italy forever. Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi assumed office as Italy's interim Head of State.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2005, 05:02:16 AM »
Umberto and Maria JosŤ separated in exile; it was indeed an arranged marriage, following a long tradition of royal families, even if some observers alleged that she was really fascinated by her husband, an elegant tombeur de femmes.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2005, 05:02:48 AM »
King Umberto lived for 35 years in exile, a popular old gentleman, nicknamed 'Europe's grandfather', at many of Europe's royal weddings. While during Umberto's lifetime the 1947 constitution of the Italian Republic barred all male heirs to the defunct Italian throne from setting foot on Italian soil again, female members of the Savoy family were not barred, but out of respect for Umberto and his son, Crown Prince Victor Emmanuel, Maria Jos頡nd her daughters declined to return to their native land, the exiled queen making her first return to her late husband's kingdom only in the 1980s.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2005, 05:03:00 AM »
When it was revealed that the exiled king was terminally ill, President Sandro Pertini, who as a young republican firebrand had played a leading role on the republican side in campaigning against the monarchy and Umberto, urged the Italian Parliament to amend the constitution to let the King return to die in his homeland. However, before this could happen, Umberto died.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2005, 05:03:14 AM »
The funeral for the last King of Italy was held in Savoy, but no member of the Italian Government attended. Looking back later, former Prime Minister Andreotti believed their absence a mistake and disrespectful to a decent and honourable man, who in different circumstances could have made a fine Italian king. But by the time he inherited the throne, the monarchy, through its association with Mussolini and fascism, had been fatally undermined. The 999-year reign of the Savoyards in various duchies and kingdoms, first in Northern Italy, then over the whole peninsula, had come to an end.

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Re: King Umberto II of Italy & Marie Jose (born Princess of Belgium) & family
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2005, 03:27:01 PM »
Pics of the most handsome prince ever and his sister Mafalda:




« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by veu »