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Fascist Italy

Umberto, the Prince of Piedmont, and Future King of Italy, with Mussolini. These two men did not like each other. The Crown Prince was deeply antifascist but he did what he had to do to keep up appearances, as this photograph shows.



King Victor Emmanuel III visiting military installations. Behind him, with a white hate, is Helen of France, the Duchess of Aosta. Victor Emmanuel was similarly antifascist, but was forced to compromise.



King Victor Emmanuel III and Helen, the Duchess of Aosta, beneath the Italian Flag. The king and the duchess deeply disliked each other, but did so cordially, yet another example of keeping up appearances.



A truly historic photograph. In the rough mountainous countryside, probably taken during the interwar period, while performing military maneuvers. King Victor Emmanuel III, half turned, holds his hand out towards Mussolini. These two weren’t fond of each other either. Mussolini didn’t trust the king, and the king hated Mussolini, whom he felt was an imposter. Once again in the white hat is Helen of France, the Duchess of Aosta, and the tall soldier who is saluting is her eldest son, Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, the hero of the time.



Umberto, the Prince of Piedmont and his cousin Amedeo, the Duke of Aosta. There wasn’t much deep sympathy between these two. The Prince of Piedmont was suspicious of the political ambitions of the Aosta branch. As for the duke, he didn’t hold the future king in particularly high esteem. I suppose this entire series of photographs could be titled, “Keeping Up Appearances”, with this photograph as yet another piece of evidence.



On the bridge of a naval vessel, from left to right, the Duchess of Aosta, Anne of France, the Princess of Piedmont, Marie-José of Belgium, Amedeo, the Duke of Aosta, the Dowager Duchess of Aosta, Helen of France, and Aimone of Savoy, the Duke of Spoletto. The Princess of Piedmont, the beautiful Marie-José, is seen with a rather distasteful pout.

by  Prince Michael of Greece

2 comments on “Fascist Italy

  1. Alan Korutos-Chatham de Bolivar

    Dear Sir

    “Keeping up appearances” is very well chosen as a title considering tha attitudes of the princesses, never varying in their dislike, hatred of the Regime, great , admirable ladies,
    Thank for sharing these telling pictures….
    Yours Sincerely;
    Alan Korutos-Chatham de B

  2. Laurent

    Very interesting pictures indeed. Not only from the historical point, but also as pure photography (noticeably the first one, with Mussolini and the heir of the italaian throne)
    You systematically point out the mutual dislikes of the characters, which is quite fun. I guess eveybody was destabilized at the time and the nobility, not knowing their real status anymore, had to maintain a apparent harmony.
    Thanks for sharing

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