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Vittoria di Savoia

Italy’s farcical game of thrones

LRS - Italian Royals
Princess Vittoria is an aspiring influencer. @vittoria.disavoia

Italy’s monarchy was abolished in 1946 and the country has “zero interest” in bringing it back. But that hasn’t stopped a dynastic fight breaking out, says Jason Horowitz in The New York Times. The son of the country’s last king, Umberto II, is Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia. Exiled from Italy until 2002, he has been accused and acquitted of accidentally killing a German tourist with a rifle shot from his yacht, and of involvement in illegal gambling and prostitution. His son, Emanuele Filiberto, is a reality TV star, a restaurateur and the face of pickled olive and e-cigarette brands.

Emanuele Filiberto’s daughter – Umberto’s great-granddaughter – is 17-year-old Vittoria Cristina Chiara Adelaide Maria. An aspiring Parisian influencer, more comfortable speaking French than Italian, she spends her days studying, modelling midriff shirts and gossiping about Prince Harry and Meghan. “I don’t want to seem different,” she says. “I’m Vittoria.”

Because she has no brother, Vittorio Emanuele amended a medieval law two years ago to make her “the first woman in 1,000 years to be invested with the authority to eventually lead the family”. That hasn’t pleased his third cousin, Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, whose branch of the family also claims Italy’s “imaginary crown”. The feud is long-running: in 2004 Vittorio reportedly punched Prince Amedeo twice in the face at a Spanish royal wedding. But with his daughter safely in the royal running, Emanuele Filiberto is happy to dismiss the claims of his upstart cousins. “They got screwed,” he says. “And they got pissed.”