This February 9, 2024, the remains of Prince Victor-Emmanuel of Savoy were exhibited at the royal palace of Venaria Reale, on the outskirts of Turin. A funeral chapel was set up so that Italians and monarchist sympathizers could gather and pay a final tribute to the son of King Humbert II, before his funeral which will take place this Saturday. Emmanuel-Philibert, Clotilde, Vittoria, Luisa de Savoie and their cousins from Yugoslavia stayed up all afternoon.
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Burning chapel at the royal palace of Venaria, former Savoy hunting lodge
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This Friday, February 9, the coffin of the late head of the House of Savoy was back in the palace of his ancestors, at the royal palace of Venaria. The Italians were able to pay him a last tribute. Prince Victor-Emmanuel of Savoy, last crown prince of Italy, only son of King Humbert II and Queen Marie-José, died at the age of 86 on February 3. This Saturday, February 10, his funeral will be celebrated at Turin Cathedral and he will then be buried in the necropolis of the Savoy family, located in the crypt of the Basilica of Superga, in Turin.
This palace located in Venaria Reale, a town north of Turin, is one of the most visited museums in Piedmont and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. This baroque building, ironically located on Republic Square , was built between the 17th and 18th centuries as a hunting vessel for the Savoy family, hence its name “Vénerie”.
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Meeting of the Italian population before the only son of King Humbert II
The day before the funeral of the Prince of Naples, the Italians went to the royal palace to pay their respects one last time before the remains of the pretender to the throne, whose coffin was wrapped in a standard in the colors of the arms of the Savoy family. The ardent chapel was housed in the palace church, dedicated to Saint-Hubert (Sant’Uberto), patron of hunters, built from 1716. Among the visitors were many members of the dynastic orders of the Royal House of Savoy , as well as Italian monarchists.
The coffin arrived at noon in the ardent chapel, installed in the Sant’Uberto chapel of the palace, quickly joined by the only child of the deceased, Prince Emmanuel-Philibert of Savoy. Since the death of his father, Prince Emmanuel-Philibert, titled Prince of Venice by his grandfather Humbert II, is the new head of the royal House of Savoy, as well as the new grand master of the family’s dynastic orders.
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The princesses Clotilde, Vittoria and Luisa keep vigil in the Sant’Uberto chapel
Prince Victor-Emmanuel has always maintained close relations with his royal cousins. His older sister, Princess Maria Pia, created new ties with the Yugoslav royal family through her first marriage. His children, princes Dimitri, Michel, Serge and Hélène of Yugoslavia are very close to their cousin Emmanuel-Philibert. Some of Princess Maria Pia’s children also gathered in front of the coffin, accompanying their cousin Emmanuel-Philibert in prayer, while visitors paraded in silence in front of the coffin.
In the middle of the afternoon, Princess Clotilde, wife of Prince Emmanuel-Philibert arrived with their two daughters, Vittoria and Luisa. Princess Vittoria, Princess of Carignan, 20 years old, is the eldest of the two girls and henceforth the heir to the House of Savoy. Princess Luisa, Princess of Chieri, will turn 18 this summer.
This Saturday’s funeral will take place in Turin, a city which has been the capital of the States of Savoy since 1563, when Duke Emmanuel-Philibert of Savoy had the initial capital transferred from Chambéry to Turin. The dukes of Savoy, also princes of Piedmont since 1418, then became kings of Sardinia in 1720, then kings of Italy in 1861. Prince Victor-Emmanuel was born during the reign of his grandfather and his father was the last King of Italy, forced into exile in 1946.