Jump to content
CoinPeople.com

Coin Portrait of the Week #8


Drusus
 Share

Recommended Posts

Vittorio Emanuele III

 

italy01.jpg

 

KM 60 1925 Italian 10 Centesimi Depicting the King Vittorio Emanuele III / Bee Reverse

 

Victor Emmanuel III ( Vittorio Emanuele III) Was born in 1869 and was King of Italy from 1900 to 1946 and was briefly Emperor of Ethiopia (1936 - 1943) and King of Albania (1939 - 1943).

 

He was the only child of King Umberto I and Princess Margrethe of Savoy, daughter of the duke of Genoa and he married princess Elena of Montenegro, daughter of Nicholas I, King of Montenegro. Together they had five children:

 

1. Yolanda Margherita Milena Elisabetta Romana Maria (1901-1986),

2. Mafalda Maria Elisabetta Anna Romana (1902-1944), (died in the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald)

3. Umberto, later Umberto II, Briefly King of Italy (1904-1983)

4. Giovanna Elisabetta Antonia Romana Maria (1907-2000), (mother of Simeon II, King and later Prime Minister of Bulgaria)

5. Maria Francesca Anna Romana (1914-2001)

 

Victor Emmanuel III of the house of Savoy reigned for 46 years and was the king of Italy through two world wars. Although early in his reign he was a an advocate for democracy and constitutional government. He soon discarded this view after his nations disastrous failures in World War I, the corrupt and disorganized war effort, the massive loss of life suffered by the Italian army, and the economic depression that followed the war.

 

The economic depression had given rise to extremism among the heavily burdened working classes which in turn gave rise to Benito Mussolini which led to the fascists March on Rome. Although the King claimed that his armed forces could not have defended the city against the Fascist march, testimony from military leaders and surviving military records challenge his claim and seem to support the conclusion that after minor resistance, the King ordered his commanders to allow the Black Shirts to pass, an act that provoked the resignation of the Facta government. The King's failure to move against the Mussolini regime led to much criticism.

 

Victor Emmanuel's decisions were possibly based his belief that Fascism offered political stability and opposition to left-wing radicalism which appealed to many people in Italy at the time. For many reasons the King felt Mussolini and his regime offered an acceptable alternative to years of political chaos and was more appealing than the alternative: socialism and anarchism.

 

Although he remained very popular all over the world for most of his reign, a succession of unpopular and poor decisions on his part caused him to lose favor rather quickly later in his reign. His assumption of the crown of Ethiopia was not universally seen as just. His public silence towards proposed racial purity laws endangered many of his Jewish subjects and those in the nation who actively sought to help Jewish refugees proved highly controversial. His alliance with Nazi Germany which dragged Italy into another prolonged war proved unpopular as well as the fact that he fled Rome in 1943 in the face of the advancing German army as others such as King George VI of England and Pope Pius XII refused to flee in the face danger. These acts among others caused him to fall from world favor as well as favor in his own nation and eventually proved fatal to the the future of the monarchy in Italy.

 

After the war, In the face of growing resentment by the people, anti-royalist sentiment, and in an attempt to appease the people on the eve of a referendum on the future of the Italian monarchy, Victor Emmanuel III yielded most of his powers to his son in 1944 and eventually abdicated in 1946 taking refuge in Egypt where he died in 1947. He is buried in Alexandria.

 

His abdication was bad timing and proved more harmful than good to the monarchists cause as it brought attention upon his own failings and diverted the peoples focus from the positive impression created by his son, Crown Prince Umberto, as the de facto monarch of Italy since 1943. At best, it was too little and too late. Upon his abdication his son became King Umberto II but in his brief month-long reign, he was unable to sufficiently alter negative public opinion of the monarchy.

 

The monarchy formally ended on June 12, 1946 and Umberto II became a king in exile, leaving Italy to live in Switzerland and Portugal until his death 35 years later. 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.

 

 

Victor_Emmanuel_III.jpg

 

victoremmanuel.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting, of course I had to read up more on the more recent claimants to the Italian throne. Vittorio Emanuel IV has quite a fascinating bio:

 

Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples (Vittorio Emanuele Alberto Carlo Teodoro Umberto Bonifacio Amadeo Damiano Bernardino Gennaro Maria di Savoia) (born February 12, 1937) was the last Crown Prince of Italy and is considered to be a pretender to the defunct Italian throne.

 

Although the titles and distinctions of the Italian royal family have not been legally recognised in Italy or elsewhere since 1946, he is often styled Prince of Naples out of courtesy, particularly by supporters of the former monarchy.

 

Vittorio Emanuele claims to be Duke of Savoy and head of the House of Savoy. These claims are disputed by supporters of his cousin, Amedeo, 5th Duke of Aosta. He is also a claimant to the title of King of Jerusalem. He is known to some Italian monarchists as Vittorio Emanuele IV. He has lived for most of his life in exile – following a referendum in 1946 in which a majority of the Italian people voted for Italy to become a republic.

 

On several occasions he has been the centre of controversy in Italy and abroad due to a series of incidents, including remarks that were seen by some as anti-semitic. In France he was tried on a murder charge, of which he was cleared of unlawful killing but convicted of a firearms offence. More recently, Vittorio Emanuele was arrested on June 16, 2006, following an investigation started by Henry John Woodcock of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Potenza, Italy [1], on charges of criminal association, corruption and exploitation of prostitution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2. Mafalda Maria Elisabetta Anna Romana (1902-1944), (died in the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald)

 

I wondered why she was arrested and killed, it turned out she was alleged to be anti-Nazi and was taken by the Nazi's in Bulgaria to Buchenwald where she died from wounds she received in an Allied air attack on the camp in August 1944.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

great info...I did read on a bit about his son Umberto II who seems to have been just a drifting royal, a playboy (and I quote) of 'peculiar tastes' (in the words of one royal website) or had an 'inability to distinguish between the sexes' :ninja: but otherwise seemed to be well liked although he was barred from living in italy. think I will add the bit about his daughter that you provided to my page as an interesting note...thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

according to My Catalog of Unusual World Coins:

 

Umberto II had coins minted in the 60's and 70's in 20 and 100 lire denominations.

 

l52197_3.jpg

 

l52197_4.jpg

 

they are dated 1946 when he started is month long rule :ninja: This is going for 600-800 dollars

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting how all these pretenders and former monarchs handled their time after ruling. Only one of them, Simeon II of Bulgaria came to rule his country again, this time democratically elected as the Prime Minister from 2001-2005.

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm...oburg-Gotha.jpg

 

Curiously and where he ties into this is he is the son of Tsaritsa Ioanna of Bulgaria, (13 November 1907 - 26 February 2000) was born Princess Giovanna of Savoy and was the last Tsaritsa of Bulgaria, who was also the daughter of you guessed it, Vittorio Emanuel!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

kinda reminds me of an episode of Black Adder where the french royalty were fleeing France during the revolution. Black adder needed a French royal to win a bet and he found many hanging out at missus miggins shop not knowing what to do with their lives, he met one by the name of Comte de Frou-Frou:

 

Blackadder: How would you like to earn some money?

Comte de Frou-Frou: I would not like to earn it. I would like other people to earn it and give it to me.

 

pretty much says it all...:ninja:

 

Blackadder_III_-_Nob_and_Nobility.jpg

The Comte de Frou-Frou

Link to comment
Share on other sites

according to My Catalog of Unusual World Coins:

 

Umberto II had coins minted in the 60's and 70's in 20 and 100 lire denominations.

 

...

 

they are dated 1946 when he started is month long rule :ninja: This is going for 600-800 dollars

 

 

Very nice write-up.

 

I have had this Umberto token for a while...posted it last year but haven't found out much about it.

905878.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting token...that has Umberto I king of italy on one side and Guglielmo II on the other.

 

Guglielmo II, I think, is the last German Emperor and King of Prussia otherwise known as Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...