❤ Sharing Folkworthy Stuffs ❤
14 Comments | Vintage
The adults are, from left to right:
* Princess Mafalda, the second daughter of Victor Emmanuel III and Elena. Born in 1902, in 1925 she married a German nobleman, Prince Philip of Hesse, who was the Landgrave of Hesse and a grandson of emperor Frederick III of Germany. A few years later Philip joined the Nazi Party, becoming a senior member and the Governor of Hesse-Kassel. Following the Armistice between Italy and the Allies on 8 September 1943, both Mafalda and her husband were considered as accomplices in this perceived “treason” and arrested by the Nazi authorities; Mafalda was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp, where she was badly wounded in an Allied air raid on 24 August 1944 and died three days later after a botched operation by the camp’s medical staff.
* King Victor Emmanuel III. Born in 1869, he became the third King of Italy in 1900, after the assassination of his father Umberto by the anarchist Gaetano Bresci. At the height of his power (late 1930s) he would come to style himself as King of Italy and Albania and Emperor of Ethiopia. Under his reign Italy saw, among other things, the “Giolittian Era” (the first fifteen years of the 20th century, characterized by considerable economic and social development under Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti), the conquest of Libya, Ethiopia and Albania, the two World Wars, the rise and fall of Fascism (he had a hand in both), the introduction of universal male suffrage. A controversial king to say the least, he bears responsibility for the birth of the Fascist regime, and he is also infamous for having fled south and abandoned the armed forces without orders after signing the Armistice of Cassibile (ending Italy’s war against the Allies) in September 1943, allowing German troops to occupy most of Italy. He was nicknamed alternatively “the Soldier King” (due to the many wars fought under his reign – it’s not like he *personally* fought in any of them, anyway, unlike his grandfather), by his supporters, or “Littlesaber” (due to his very short height), by his detractors. In 1944, following Mussolini’s removal from power and the armistice with the Allies, he transferred most of his powers to his son Umberto, but retained the title of King till 1946, when he formally abdicated and went into exile in Egypt. He died there in 1947, despised by most of his former subjects.
* Queen Elena, Victor Emmanuel’s wife. Born in 1871, she was originelly Princess of Montenegro, one of the twelve children of Nicholas I, the first and only king of that short-lived Balkan kingdom. She married Victor Emmanuel in 1896; as he was Catholic and she was Orthodox, she had to formally convert to Catholicism in order to marry him, and “*her mother was so distressed with the fact that Elena had changed her religion that she refused to come to the wedding ceremony in Rome*”. She studied medicine, funded medical research and worked as a volunteer nurse during after the Messina earhtquake (1908) and during World War I. During World War II, after the invasion and dismemberment of Yugoslavia by the Axis in 1941, she convinced her husband to pressure Mussolini into creating a new, formally independent Kingdom of Montenegro, rather than letting Croatian and Albanian fascists enlarge their own states at Montenegro’s expense. Anyway, her nephew Michael refused the crown (he was imprisoned for this, and released in 1943 after pressure by Elena), and Montenegro ended up being nothing more than an Italian-occupied country with a puppet regime. After the Armistice of Cassibile, she followed her husband south and then into exile in 1946; after Victor Emmanuel’s death in Egypt, she moved to France and died there in 1952.
* Crown prince Umberto (apparently sporting a Hitler stache in this photo, I never saw a photo of him with moustache), Victor Emmanuel and Elena’s only son, and as such, heir to the throne and Prince of Piedmont. Born in 1904, he married Princess Marie José of Belgium in 1930, and they had four children; he received a military education and lived most of his life in the shadow of his authoritarian father, who wanted him to keep away from active politics (and from active military commands, despite his upbringing and unlike his uncles and cousins) according to his motto that “*only one Savoy reigns at a time*”. Rumors exist about his supposed homosexuality, although it is not clear how much of these are based upon fact and how much are the result of a defamatory campaign launched by newspapers of the Italian Social Republic in the last years of World War II; what is known for sure is that he and Marie José never really loved each other, and rarely slept together. In September 1943, he fled south together with his parents, while Marie José, who was in Aosta Valley, sought refuge in Switzerland with their infant son Victor Emmanuel (IV, had he ever become king). Whatever Umberto’s (greatly disputed) political position was during the Fascist period and World War II, he remained a passive actor until 1944, when his (now massively unpopular) father, under pressure from the Allies, appointed him as “Lieutenant General of the Realm” and transferred most of his powers to him, but not the title of King. Umberto became the last King of Italy, as Umberto II, on 9 May 1946, following his father’s abdication; but his reign only lasted a month, as on 2 June 1946 the Italian people, with a referendum, voted in favour of the Republic. Umberto is thus known as “the May King” (*Re di Maggio*), since his reign only consisted of the month of May of 1946. He then went into exile in Portugal, where he lived the rest of his life, banned from returning to Italy by the new Constitution; his loveless marriage with Marie José fell apart soon after, and the former Queen soon moved to Switzerland, although they never formally divorced. Umberto died in Switzerland, where he had travelled in order to undergo surgery for cancer, in 1983.
* Princess Giovanna, third daughter of Victor Emmanuel and Elena. Born in 1907, she married King (well, Tsar) Boris III of Bulgaria in 1930, thus becoming Queen (well, Tsaritsa) Consort of that country. As Giovanna was Catholic and Boris was Orthodox, the marriage was celebrated twice: first in Italy, with a Catholic ceremony, and then in Bulgaria, with an Orthodox ceremony. They had two children; Giovanna was widowed in 1943 when Boris suddenly died at age 49, possibly poisoned by Nazi agents for not being cooperative enough (he had refused to hand over the Bulgarian Jews to Germany, to declare war on the USSR and to sent troops to the Eastern Front), and her six-year-old son Simeon became the new Tsar. Actual power, however, was in the hands of the Prince Kyril, Boris’ younger brother. In September 1944, the USSR invaded Bulgaria, and Kyril was arrested and executed following a Soviet-backed coup; Giovanna and her children were placed under arrest till 1946, when they were expelled by the new Communist regime and went into exile in Egypt (where she stayed with her parents for a short time), then in Spain and finally in Portugal (where she lived for some time with her brother Umberto). She was able to visit again Bulgaria in 1993, after the fall of Communism, but she spent the rest of her life in Portugal, where she died in 2000.
* Princess Yolanda (Iolanda or Jolanda in Italian writing), eldest child of Victor Emmanuel and Elena. Born in 1901, she married Count Giorgio Calvi di Bergolo, a member of the Piedmontese nobility and a cavalry officer (he later rose to the rank of General, commanding the 131st Armored Division “Centauro” during the Tunisian Campaign in 1943), in 1923, despite pressuring from her grandmother, who wanted to arrange a higher match for her (Queen Margherita even hoped to marry her to the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII). They had four children. In her youth she was a sportswoman, especially interested in swimming and riding (an interest that she shared with her husband, who taught horse riding). In September 1943, at the time of the Armistice, she was in Piedmont and fled to Switzerland in order to escape arrest by the Nazis. In 1946, as the ban on living on Italian soil decreed by the new Republican Constitution only applied to male members of the House of Savoy and to Queen Consorts, she could have remained in Italy; but she and her husband decided to voluntarily follow Victor Emmanuel and Elena into exile in Egypt. After her father’s death, she want back to Italy and lived near Rome until her death in 1986.
The little girl is Princess Maria Francesca, youngest child of Victor Emmanuel and Elena. She was born in 1914; in 1939 she married Prince Luigi of Bourbon-Parma (a younger son of Robert I, Duke of Parma, and Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal, and brother of Zita, the last Empress of Austria), they had four children. In September 1943, following the Armistice of Cassibile, she, her husband and their children were arrested by the Nazis and imprisoned in the Flossenburg concentration camp. She was luckier than Mafalda, though, and in 1945 she was liberated along with the rest of her family. After the proclamation of the Republic in 1946, they moved to France in self-exile; Maria Francesca was widowed in 1967 and then retired from public life, except for her presence at Umberto’s funeral in 1983 (she did not go to her father’s funeral, instead: she never forgave Victor Emmanuel for failing to warn her of the Armistice, leading to her arrest and internment in Flossenburg, and she refused to see him ever again). She passed away in December 2001, the last to die among the people depicted in this photo.
I would never have guessed they were royals, had you not pointed it out. I mean it’s easy to guess with Russian, and English royal families, but they look like common people…
The bodies of the King Victor Emmanuel III and Queen Elena (2nd and 3rd from the left in the photo) were only recently repatriated to Italy back in 2017 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-42400766
I just wanted to point out that neither Hitler, nor Mussolini were in charge when this photo was taken.
Back before the “Hitler ‘Stache” was in poor taste
They dont look very royal but ohh boy do they look italian. Looks like they gonna start to argue with eachother as soon as the photo is taken.
Very understated, I like it. It’s not like the British or French who stole everything from common people and then threw it in their faces by dressing in gold and crowns like little girls playing dress up.
This could be on the wall of any family italian joint on the east coast and nobody would blink
Fun fact: my great grandfather made shoes for them. I have some awesome letters from the royal family thanking him.
You can tell they’re royalty because they all look inbred af
Just to be clear so it’s not buried in your wall of text – Victor Emmanuel was a complete scumbag who handed over the reigns of power to the fascists and helped bring about untold death and suffering.
Total enemy of the people of his country and the world. Should have been tried and executed at the war’s end.
daamn, those are some ugly, inbred fucks
Didn’t really have any lookers there, wow.
I was surprised! They are dressed like common people and don’t look rich! Can someone expkain why is that?