NY Times - Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia, the son of the last king of Italy, gave his granddaughter a big 16th birthday present.
In a formal 2019 decree, the “Duke of Savoy, Prince of Naples and by the grace of God direct heir to Head of the Royal House of Savoy,” amended a medieval law that for centuries had restricted succession in his royal line to male heirs.
He bumped “our beloved granddaughter” Vittoria Cristina Chiara Adelaide Maria up the royal food chain, making her the first woman in 1,000 years to be invested with the authority to eventually lead the family and stake a claim to the defunct monarchy.
“It was the best gift he could give me,” Vittoria, now 17 and a burgeoning Instagram influencer, said from her Paris home.
While Vittoria’s father in Monte Carlo and mother in Paris were as delighted as her grandparents in Gstaad about her ascension to the top of Italy’s would-be royal family, a rival branch of Savoias were not pleased. Not at all.
“Totally illegitimate,” said Prince Aimone di Savoia Aosta, a cousin and rival claimant, who works as an executive for the Pirelli tire company in Moscow.
And so began the latest chapter in an ongoing dynastic dispute between the pretenders to Italy’s pretend throne. There are bitter feelings, thrown punches, warring noble committees, dukedom politics and as of last month, Vittoria’s ascending social media status.
Remember that show that was on MTV a while back about the dads that cheated on their wives and tried to wash away their guilt by going WAY overboard on their daughter's Sweet Sixteen birthday parties?
Well Big Dick Vic Emanuele just checkmated all those guys.
Imagine saying to your daughter,
"I don't have your gift for you because I reinstated the Monarchy and I'm making you princess of Italy. Happy Birthday sweetheart"
This guy lives the fuckin life.
He lives in Monaco. Has front row seats for the Grand Prix every year.
He has a fleet of vintage Ferrari's he drives around
He married a famous French actress, Clotilde Courau, who he courted while they fenced together. Did you meet your wife/gf fencing? Doubtful.
He's tight with Il Papa
He's never worked a day in his life. Instead, he spends them hanging out under trees playing the ukelele
And in them, reading books on macaroni
And he's got masterpieces like this just hanging on the walls of his house
Needless to say, the Italian Monarchy has come a long way since it looked like this back in the day.
For starters, not even residing in Italy is a bold move.
No wonder Italians are so pissed off by this.
Italy is a republic, having abolished the monarchy 75 years ago for its disastrous support of Mussolini, and Italians have approximately zero interest in a royal restoration.
Few Italians want that, even in Carignano, an ancestral home of Vittorio Emanuele’s branch of the family, which Vittoria became princess of on her 16th birthday.
“Never heard of her,” said teenagers, middle-aged shoppers, and old men with canes as they walked near the Piazza Savoia, once home to a castle, now a parking lot.
And Vittoria is already playing the perfect villain role. Think she'd try to endear herself to her downtrodden country? Think again-
“It’s a huge thing in history,” said Ms. Courau, who lives with Vittoria and her younger sister in Paris. She added that while she wished Vittoria had more time to prepare, “she now, is, how do you say, the future régnante,” or ruler.
Vittoria, when asked whether she thought Italy was ready to have her as a queen, or head of the family, said she had heard “Italy is not really progressive.”
“But” she added, “they will learn.”
You can't teach that kind of despotism. You've gotta be born with it.
Which she definitely was, just check out her great grandfather and grandfathers resumes-
Vittorio Emanuele IV, now 84, has a knack for insulting Italians. It didn’t help his reputation when he was accused of accidentally killing a German tourist with a rifle shot from his yacht off the coast of Corsica in 1978. A French court acquitted him of manslaughter.
In 2006, after Italy let him and his son, Vittoria’s father, back in the country, the patriarch served time in a Potenza jail on charges of involvement in illegal gambling and prostitution, and accepting envelopes full of cash, which he said was a contribution to a noble order. He was eventually acquitted.
p.s. - “uneasy lies the head that wears an imaginary crown.” - what an A+ line from Horowitz