Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, son of King Umberto II, the last monarch of Italy, and his son Emanuele Filiberto have filed a claim against the Italian government asking for €260 million in damages for the family’s 57-year exile. After Umberto II was exiled in 1946 by the popular referendum banning the monarchy, an article in the 1947 constitution founding the Italian republic extended the banishment to all of Umberto II’s male descendants. The act was then repealed in 2002 on the condition that the Savoys swear loyalty to the constitution and relinquish all claims to all assets confiscated from the family with the founding of the republic.
Last month, however, lawyers representing the family presented a letter to President Giorgio Napolitano requesting compensation for the years passed in exile. Appearing on an evening talk show on 20 November, Emanuele Filiberto confirmed the claim, adding to the demands an estimated €25 million in jewels currently held by the Bank of Italy as well as an unspecified reimbursement for the family’s properties, including such Rome landmarks as the Quirinale and Villa Ada.
Vittorio Emauele’s sister Maria Gabriella of Savoy and cousin Amadeus of Aosta have disassociated themselves from the claim.
Following Emanuele Filiberto’s appearance on television, the prime minister’s office released a statement both refuting that the Savoys were owed damages and suggesting that the state may demand damages from the Savoys for their collusion with the fascist government under Mussolini.