Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, from exile to arrest: scandals and accusations for the prince

Controversial personality marked by the death of the 19-year-old on the island of Cavallo in 1978, which changed his life forever

The prince died today at the age of 86 Victor Emmanuel of Savoy. Pretender to the throne of Italy, for years in dispute with the dynastic line of Aimone of Savoy-Aosta, Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, was a controversial personality, marked by the murder of Dirk Hamer on the island of Cavallo in 1978, which changed his life forever.

The ‘prince of the Empire’, birth and exile. The return to Italy in 2002

Born in Naples on 12 February 1937, he was the son of the last king of Italy Umberto II and Maria José. His full name is Vittorio Emanuele Alberto Carlo Teodoro Umberto Bonifacio Amedeo Damiano Bernardino Gennaro Maria and upon his birth he was immediately acclaimed as “the prince of the Empire” then recently proclaimed by the fascist regime. Vittorio Emanuele received the title of Prince of Naples together with the historical title of Prince of Piedmont. His father Umberto II had intended to abdicate to make him king but on 2 June 1946, the institutional referendum that gave Italians the opportunity to choose between monarchy and Republic, made his possibility of ascending to the throne, contrary to the beliefs of the Savoys, disappear. throne.

On 12 and 13 June 1946 the government conferred the powers of the State to the Prime Minister Alcide De Gasperi and from the entry into force of the Republican Constitution, on 1 January 1948, it was established that the male descendants of the Savoia family would have to go into exile with a ban on entry into Italy. Thus, the Savoys left the country and remained in exile between Switzerland, France and Corsica until the end of 2002 when they were able to return to Italy following the abolition of the constitutional rule which obliged the male heirs of the House of Savoy to exile.. In 2002, with a statement issued by Geneva, he officially distanced himself from the racial laws, for the first time in the history of the House of Savoy. Also in 2002, declarations were published in which he accepted the end of the monarchy: together with his son he swore in writing and unconditionally fidelity to the Republican Constitution and to the President of the Republic, thus explicitly renouncing any dynastic claim on the Italian State.

In 2007 Vittorio Emanuele asked for compensation from the Italian State of 260 million euros for the exile and the restitution of the assets confiscated in 1948. In 2022 he asked, however, for the restitution of the family jewels, which have long been kept in the treasure chests of Bank of Italy.

The marriage with Marina Doria, the birth of his son Emanuele Filiberto

Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy after 13 years of engagement, despite the opposition of his father Umberto, married Marina Doria in a civil ceremony in Las Vegas on 11 January 1970 and in a religious ceremony in Tehran on 7 October 1971. From his marriage to Marina Doria was born, in 1972, his son Emanuele Filiberto, who in the meantime had also become a well-known television personality.

Scandals and accusations, from arms trafficking to the death of Dirk Hamer

Vittorio Emanuele was at the center of several scandals and many accusations. In the 1970s he was investigated for international arms trafficking in some Middle Eastern countries that were under embargo. The investigation ended with a dismissal. Vittorio Emanuele was a business intermediary on behalf of Agusta and, thanks to his friendship with the Shah of Persia Reza Pahlavi, in those years he was involved in the sale of helicopters between Italy, Iran and other Arab countries.

On 18 August 1978 he was accused of murder for shooting the young German Dirk Hamer, 19, on the island of Cavallo in Corsica. The accusation of voluntary homicide, on the basis of which he was subsequently arrested, fell in November 1991 when he was acquitted by the Parisian prosecution and sentenced to 6 months suspended for illegal possession of a firearm, “outside your home”. On 21 June 2006, during his detention in Potenza prison, a bug intercepted his conversation in which he admitted having fired the shot in the leg, boasting of having emerged victorious from the affair. The content of the conversation was disclosed shortly afterwards by the press.

The arrest in 2015, the compensation for the days in prison as an innocent

Like many personalities of the Italian ruling class, Vittorio Emanuele was registered in Licio Gelli’s P2 Masonic lodge with card number 1,621. Among the other troubles of the Savoy heir, on 16 June 2006, on the orders of the investigating judge of the Court of Potenza, at the request of the public prosecutor Henry John Woodcock, he was arrested on charges of criminal association aimed at corruption and forgery, and criminal conspiracy aimed at the exploitation of prostitution as part of an investigation linked to the Campione d’Italia casino. After a long legal case he was acquitted of all charges. On 23 February 2015, Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia obtained compensation of 40,000 euros for the days he spent in prison as an innocent man.