Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Or maybe going royalist

They really don't like kings there do they.

Vatican, Nov. 15 ( - Victor-Emmanuel of Savoy, the prince of Naples and heir to the Italian throne, paid a courtesy call on Cardinal Angelo Sodano (bio - news), the Vatican Secretary of State, on November 15, the I Media news service reports.

Victor-Emmanuel is the son of Humbert II, the last king of Italy. He left the country in 1946 when his father went into exile, at the proclamation of the Italian republic. Since the death of Humbert II in 1983, Victor-Emmanuel has been the head of the House of Savoy.

The former royal family lived in exile for 56 years, being barred from entry into Italy under a portion of the Italian constitution that was finally abrogated in July 2001. In 2002 the Savoy family made its first visit back to Italy, meeting Pope John Paul II (bio - news). Today Victor-Emmanuel lives outside Geneva.

Article XIII of the Italian constitution adopted in 1948 stipulates that no descendant of the House of Savoy can vote or occupy public office, and direct descendants of the former king were barred from Italian soil. After that passage of the constitution was amended, Emmanuel-Philibert de Savoy, the son of Victor-Emmanual and grandson of King Humbert, married the French actress Clotilde Coureau in a elaborate ceremony held in Rome in September 2003.

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