Vittorio Emanuele, son of Italy's last king, dies

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Vittorio Emanuele, son of Italy's last king, dies
Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy gives a press conference in Milan in 2006. Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP.

Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, son of Italy's last king and member of a dynasty discredited for collaborating with fascism, died in Switzerland on Saturday at 86, his lawyer told AFP.


Italian media quoted a statement from the Savoy royal household saying he "passed away peacefully in Geneva surrounded by his family".

In a written message to AFP, his lawyer Sergio Orlandi confirmed the royal "died this morning".

Born in the southern city of Naples on February 12, 1937, Vittorio Emanuele became the head of a royal family that had reigned over a unified Italy from 1861 to 1945. He was the son of the country's last king, Umberto II, who briefly occupied the throne in 1946.

He left Italy aged nine, banned from the country along with all male descendants of the royal family under the 1946 constitution after his grandfather King Vittorio Emanuele III collaborated with Benito Mussolini's fascist regime and its racial laws.

After the Italian parliament voted to lift the exile measures, Vittorio Emanuele returned in December 2002, swearing loyalty to the republic -- which he long refused to do.


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