Skip to content

On the Passing of Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, the Prince of Naples

The Ethiopian Crown Council extends its condolences to the House of Savoy and the people of Italy on the passing of Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy, the Prince of Naples (1937-2024). Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie, President of the Crown Council, said, “I am sorry to learn of the death of the Prince of Naples. His family and mine shared the challenge of exile from our homeland, and the struggle of waiting many decades before being able to return. I extend my sympathies in particular to his widow Princess Marina, his son Emanuele Filiberto the Prince of Venice, and his two granddaughters, Princess Vittoria and Princess Louisa of Savoy.”

His Royal Highness Prince Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy was born on February 12, 1937, to the then Crown Prince (later King) Umberto and his wife Princess (later Queen) Marie Jose (born a Princess of Belgium) in Naples, Italy. He went into exile with the rest of the Italian Royal family when the Italian monarchy was abolished in 1946, and along with all males of his family was prevented by law from setting foot on Italian soil.  The Italian Royal Family were made to bear the burden of punishment that should have been directed at the members of the Fascist Party who committed the crimes, but who were instead shielded from punishment. The law excluding the Savoy Princes from their homeland was repealed in 2002, and Prince Vittorio Emanuele was able to return to his homeland along with his family.

Reflecting on Vittorio Emanuele’s long life, Prince Ermias said, “In 1946, when the Prince was still a young boy, the Italian people voted to abolish their monarchy. In doing so, they forgot that their monarchy had made Italy. The monarchy was the symbol that unified the Italian nation, making many regions and principalities into a single people. Here too, his family and mine have played comparable roles, the Ethiopian monarchy being central over the centuries to the creation and preservation of Ethiopian unity. Ethiopia and Italy have met in war twice in the past, but these are brief moments in the long history of two great nations. The Prince of Naples was open and sympathetic to the idea of an apology from the House of Savoy to the Ethiopian people for the conflicts of the past. I look forward to working with his heirs to heal this intergenerational wound, to preserve our cultural heritage, and to advance the cooperation between our peoples.”