Fascist Italy III

The Santa Chiara Church in Naples, the day after it was bombed. Helen, the old Duchess of Aosta, was called in to gather and clean up the bones of the former Kings of Naples, whose tombs had burst open during the bombing.



Umberto, the Prince of Piedmont, the second from the left, with the American general staff. The American army had landed in Sicily before making their way north. The king and his son fled from Rome and were placed under American protection, despite the difficult relationship between the Allied forces and the ruling family.



When King Victor Emmanuel yielded to the Americans after fleeing Rome, the Germans arrested any member of the royal family they could get their hands on, in particular the women and children of the House of Savoy. They were taken prisoner in Germany, where they were threatened with death on a daily basis. They were eventually liberated by the Allied forces and a military plane brought them back to Italy. Pictured are the Duchess of Spoleto, Irene of Greece, and her son Amadeo, the current Duke of Aosta, upon returning to their homeland.




Difficulties in the relations between the royal families lasted throughout the war. For example, the woman in the printed black dress is the Crown Princess of Italy, who was in the fascist camp. But her brother, who she is next to, Leopold III, was the King of Belgium, and the prisoner of these same fascists. Yet she was able to visit him. The brother and sister are posing with the family of the former, his second wife Lilian, Princess of Rethy, his three children from his first marriage, Albert, the future king, Josephine Charlotte in white, the future Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, and to the far left Baudouin, the future King of Belgium. The little boy is Alexander, the son of Leopold III and the Princess of Rethy.



King Victor Emmanuel III and his only son, the Crown Prince Umberto. The two did not get along well, the king looked down on the son. The father was very short, almost a dwarf, while the son was tall and handsome. The Crown Prince did all that he could to save Italy and the monarchy. He did not succeed.

by  Prince Michael of Greece

4 comments on “Fascist Italy III

  1. Ana Sacadura Botte Bramão , Vicoumtess of S.Bartolomeu de Messines

    Very troubled and sad times for the European Royal Families!

  2. Philippe PRIOL

    Good evening,

    Those historical events through the familial side are so much interesting ! they were all actors of the
    “big” Story which was happening ! we forget very often how bound were the different royal families !
    most of them occupied a central place in the war’s strategy ! I love very much your family’s pictures which are for most of them unknown ! Sincerely yours Philippe PRIOL, Writer and Poet.

  3. Paul de Nowina Konopka


    It is a very sad story you are telling; please continue to share it with us, because we do live similar things, in the former communist Europe…. perhaps we can become wiser and act more cautious. Who knows?

  4. Jim Renes

    All the postings and photographs are very interesting. One often wonders what were the fates of various European royal families during and after WWII. I lived and worked near Darmstadt, Germany for a period of time. It was always interesting to catch a glimpse of 20th &21st Century German royalty going about their daily lives near their estate at “Wolfsgarten.”

Comments are closed.