(House of Savoy)

This ancient ruling house was founded by Humbert I "White Hands" (Biancamano), who became Count of Sabaudia (Savoy) 1032. Piedmont was inherited through the marriage of Count Otto (d 1060) to Adelaide, Marchioness of Segusium (Suse, Prov of Turin Italy) 1091. Thomas, Count of Savoy (d 1233) had with other issue (1) Amadeus IV, Count of Savoy (d 1253), acquired the Duchy of Caputlacensis (Chablais, Savoy, France) and Augusta Praetoria (Aosta, Prov of Turin) 1238; (2) Thomas II, Count of Piedmont (d 1259); (3) Piers (Piero) (d 1268), given the honour (styled Earl) of Richmond by his nephew Henry III of England 1240, succeeded his brother Amadeus IV as Count of Savoy 1253; the senior line of Piedmont became extinct in the male line 1418, when male primogeniture representation passed to the line of Counts of Savoy, descended from Amadeus V (d 1323), yr son of Thomas II, Count of Piedmont, who was cr Prince of the Holy Empire 11 Jun 1313.

Amadeus VI (d 1383), Count of Savoy, founded the Order of the Collar, known as the Order of the Annunziata, 1362, and was grandfather of Amadeus VIII (d 1451), who received title of Duke of Savoy from the Emperor 19 Feb 1417, incorporated Piedmont with Savoy 1418, abdicated as Duke 1434 and was elected Pope as Felix VI, 1439 (his election having been disputed, he abdicated as Pope 1449 and was made a Cardinal); his son (born before his election to the Papacy), Louis, Duke of Savoy (d 1465), claimed the throne of Cyprus, Armenia and Jerusalem by right of his wife Anne of Lusignan, and was father of (1) Amadeus IX, Duke of Savoy (male descendants extinct 1496), (2) Louis (d 1482), who became titular King of Cyprus, Armenia and Jerusalem; (3) Philip II, Duke of Savoy (d 1497) who succeeded his brother as titular King of Cyprus, Armenia and Jerusalem and was ancestor of the present line; the latter’s son Charles III (d 1553), became Count of Asti 1538.

The Duchy of Savoy was governed by France 1535-1559, when Emmanuel Philibert (d 1580), a brilliant military commander, recovered his Duchy and in 1572 refounded the Order of St Maurice, which was combined with the Italian Priories of the ancient crusader Order of St Lazarus and invested in the Dukes of Savoy by the Papal Bull Christiani populi corpus 16 September 1572. His son Charles Emmanuel I (d 1630), was father of Victor Amadeus (d 1637), Duke of Savoy (titular King of Cyprus, Armenia and Jerusalem, etc), and a yr son Thomas, Prince of Carignano (d 1656), ancestor of the only surviving branch, now the Royal House of Italy. Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy, became King of Sicily 1713 (by terms of the Treaty of Utrecht), but Sicily was returned to Austrian rule 1718 and then exchanged for the Kingdom of Sardinia 9 May 1720. Charles Emmanuel IV (d 6 Oct 1819) was deposed as ruler of Piedmont and Savoy 1797, abdicated as King of Sardinia at Naples 4 Jun 1802, but succeeded as primogeniture representative of the Stuart dynasty on the death of titular King Henry IX, Cardinal Duke of York, 13 Jul 1807. He was succeeded following his abdication as King of Sardinia by his brother Victor Emmanuel IV (d 10 Jan 1824) who was restored as Duke of Savoy, Prince of Piedmont, 1814 and abdicated 13 Mar 1821; succeeded (following a brief Regency under the Duke of Aosta) in turn by his brother Charles Felix, last of the senior line, who d 27 Apr 1831.

Thomas, Prince of Carignano (1596-1656), was grandfather of Vittorio Amedeo, Prince of Carignano (1690-1741) and the celebrated Imperial commander, Prince Eugène of Savoy (1663-1736), Field Marshal, who died unmarried. Victor Amadeus I was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Louis Victor, Prince of Carignano (1721-1778), grandfather of Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Carignano (1770-1800), whose only son, Charles Albert (Carlo Alberto), Prince of Carignano, succeeded as King of Sardinia, etc, 27 Apr 1831. (The claim to the Crowns of Cyprus, Armenia and Jerusalem while still claimed by the House of Savoy, passed de jure to Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy, daughter of Victor Emmanuel IV, who is now represented by Franz, Duke of Bavaria, see BAVARIA).

Charles Albert was succeeded by his eldest son, Victor Emmanuel I, who ceded Savoy and Nice to France 1858 in exchange for French support in the war with Austria, and led the movement for the unification of Italy. He was proclaimed King of united Italy 17 Mar 1861 following successful invasions of Tuscany, Parma Modena and the Two Sicilies. Austrian troops were expelled from northern Italy and Venice was incorporated into the new Kingdom 3 Oct 1866; Rome was captured and incorporated into Italy as its capital 9 Oct 1870. The Trento acquired from Austria as war reparations under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles 10 Sep 1919, Venetian Giulia and Zara were incorporated 12 Nov 1920 and Fiume (despite protests by the powers) 27 Jan 1924. Adoption of title Emperor of Ethiopia by Victor Emmanuel III, 9 May 1936; King of Albania 16 Apr 1939 (these titles renounced at Brindisi 3 Sep 1943). The plebiscite on the Monarchy held 2 Jun 1946 with a majority of 8% of votes cast in favour of a republic was accepted by the King (even though there were allegations of fraud), who went into exile 13 Jun 1946 without abdicating or subsequently renouncing his claims. By Part III, Article XIII of the Italian Constitution of 1 Jan 1948, (1) The members and descendants of the House of Savoy are not electors and may not hold any public office or elective position; (2) Former kings of the House of Savoy, their wives and their male descendants may not enter or remain in Italian territory; and (3) Property within Italian territory belonging to the former kings of the House of Savoy, their wives and their male descendants, reverts to the State. Transfers and the establishment of royal rights on such properties, which took place after Jun 2, 1946, are null and void. The revocation of these provisions passed by the Italian Parliament by simple majority 1997, awaits ratification by a two-thirds majority before coming into force.

Titles of the King: King of Italy, Sardinia, Cyprus, Jerusalem and Armenia, Duke of Savoy, Prince of Carignano, Piemonte, Oneglia, Pirino, Trino, Prince and Perpetual Vicar of the Holy Roman Empire, Prince of Carmagnola, Montmellian with Arbin and Fancin, Prince Bailiff of the Duchy of Aosta, Prince of Chieri, Dronero, Crescentino, Riva di Chieri e Bana, Prince of Busca, of Bene, of Brà, Duke of Genova, Monferrato, Chiablese, the Genovese, Piacenza, and Carignano Ivoy, Marquess in Italy, of Saluzzo, Ivrea, Susa, Ceva, Maro, Oristano, Cesena, Savona, Tarantasia, Borgomanero and Cureggio, Caselle, Rivoli, Pianezza, Govone, Salussola, Racconigi with Tegerone, Migliabruna and Motturone, Cavallermaggiore, Marene, Modane and of Landesbourg, Livorno Ferraris, Santhià, Aglié, Centallo, e Demonte, Desana, Ghemme, Vigone, and Villafranca (Piemonte), Count of Moriana, Barge, Villafranca, Ginevra, Nizza, Tenda, Romont, Asti, Alessandria, the Goceano, Novara, Tortona, Bobbio, Soissons, San Antioco (Sardegna), Pollenzo, Roccabruna, Tricerro, Bairo, Oregno, and the Apertole, Baron of Vaud and the Faucigny, Superior Lord of Monaco, of Roccabruna and of eleven twelfths of Mentone, Lord of Vercelli, Pinerolo, the Lomellina and Valle Sesia, Nobile Uomo and Patrician of Venice, Patrician of Ferrara, Majesty.

The Head of the Royal House of Italy uses the title Duke of Savoy; the title of the heir may be Prince of Naples, Prince of Venice or Prince of Piedmont; by the family statute of 1 Jan 1890 the children of the King are and Heir Apparent are Royal Prince or Princess of Italy, Prince or Princess of Savoy and Royal Highness; the nephews of the King and their descendants Prince or Princess of Savoy and Serene Highness. By an amendment to this statute dated 12 May 1946, the qualification of Royal Highness was extended to all members of the House.

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