Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta (b. 1943)

Prince Amedeo
Duke of Aosta ; Duke of Savoy
Head of the House of Savoy (Disputed)
Period 7 July 2006 – present
Heir apparent Prince Aimone, Duke of Apulia
Spouse Princess Claude of Orléans
Silvia Paternò di Spedalotto
Princess Bianca
Prince Aimone
Princess Mafalda
Pietro Incisa della Rochetta (illegitimate)
Ginevra van Ellinkhuizen (illegitimate)
Full name
Amedeo Umberto Costantino Giorgio Paolo Elena Maria Fiorenzo Zvonimir
House House of Savoy
Father Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta
Mother Irene of Greece and Denmark
Born 27 September 1943 (1943-09-27) (age 68)
Florence, Italy
Italian Royal Family
Lesser coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy (1890).svg

HRH The Duke of Aosta
HRH The Duchess of Aosta

HI&RH The Dowager Archduchess of Austria-Este
HRH Princess Maria Cristina

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Prince Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta, Duke of Aosta, (given names: Amedeo Umberto Costantino Giorgio Paolo Elena Maria Fiorenzo Zvonimir; born 27 September 1943) is a claimant to the headship of the House of Savoy, the family which ruled Italy from 1861 to 1946, as well as the heir to the short-lived Kingdom of Croatia during World War II. Until 7 July 2006 Amedeo was styled Duke of Aosta; on that date he declared himself Duke of Savoy.


Birth and early life

Amedeo was born at Villa della Cisterna in Florence, the only child of Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Spoleto, later 4th Duke of Aosta, and of Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark.

Only three weeks before Amedeo's birth, Italy had surrendered to the Allies. Italy's former ally Germany thereupon launched a military operation to occupy Italy. The infant Amedeo was arrested by the Nazis along with his mother, aunt, and two cousins, and sent to an internment camp in Austria.

When Amedeo was only four years old, his father died and he succeeded as Duke of Aosta, Prince of the Cisterna and Belriguardo, Marquis of Voghera, and Count of Ponderano.

Amedeo studied at the Collegio Navale Morosini in Venice and in England. He then attended the Naval Academy in Livorno from which he graduated as an officer in the Italian Navy.

Marriage and family

On 22 July 1964 Amedeo married Princess Claude Marie Agnès Catherine de France (b. 11 December 1943) in Sintra, Portugal. She was the ninth child and fifth daughter of Henri, comte de Paris, Orléanist claimant to the French throne, and of Princess Isabelle of Orléans-Braganza. Amedeo and Claude have three children:

  • Princess Bianca Irene Olga Elena Isabella Fiorenza Maria of Savoy (b. Florence, 2 April 1966) married Gilberto Carbonello Tiberto Maria, Count Arrivabene-Valenti-Gonzaga at San Giustino Valdarno, Tuscany, on 11 September 1988 and had issue:
    • Viola Moreschina Nuschi Adec Nicoletta Maria Arrivabene-Valenti-Gonzaga (b. Rome, 31 May 1991)
    • Vera Clementina Verde Aimone Elena Maria Arrivabene-Valenti-Gonzaga (b. Samedan, 18 August 1993)
    • Mafalda Violante Giovanna Olga Maria Arrivabene-Valenti-Gonzaga (b. Conegliano Veneto, 27 December 1997)
    • Maddalena Smeralda Brandolina Maria Arrivabene-Valenti-Gonzaga (b. Conegliano Veneto, 24 April 2000)
    • Leonardo Amedeo Moreschino Sai Maria Arrivabene-Valenti-Gonzaga (b. Conegliano Veneto, 5 October 2001)
  • Prince Aimone Umberto Emanuele Filiberto Luigi Amedeo Elena Maria Fiorenzo, Duke of Apulia (b. Florence, 13 October 1967); Aimone married in a civil ceremony on 16 September 2008, Princess Olga Isabella of Greece, daughter of Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark. The religious marriage took place on 27 September 2008 at Patmos.
    • Prince Umberto of Savoy-Aosta (b. Paris, 7 March 2009)
    • Prince Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta (b. 24 May 2011)[1]
  • Princess Mafalda Giovanna Shams Maria Fiorenza Isabella of Savoy (b. Florence, 20 September 1969) married firstly at San Giustino Valdarno, Tuscany, 18 September 1994 Don Alessandro Ruffo di Calabria-Santapau dei principi di Palazzolo (b. Turin, 4 November 1964), divorced without issue; Mafalda married secondly London 27 April 2001 Nobile Francesco Ferrante Carlo Napoleone, 10th Baron Lombardo di San Chirico[2] (b. Milan 31 January 1968) and had issue:
    • Nob. Anna Egizia Maria Carla Chiara Benedetta Lombardo di San Chirico (b. Milan, 11 April 1999)
    • Nob. Carlo Ferrante Gennaro Antonio Francesco Lombardo di San Chirico (b. Milan, 28 January 2001)
    • Nob. Elena Maria Carlotta Claude Silvia Stefania Tommasa Vittoria Lombardo di San Chirico (b. Milan, 10 March 2003)

Amedeo and Claude officially separated from each other 20 July 1976. They received a civil divorce 26 April 1982, and an ecclesiastical annulment from the Roman Rota 8 January 1987.

On 30 March 1987 Amedeo married Donna Silvia Paternò di Spedalotto (b. 31 December 1953) in the chapel of Villa Spedalotto in Bagheria, Sicily. She is the daughter of Don Vincenzo Paternò di Spedalotto, Marchese di Reggiovanni, and of Rosanna Bellardo. Amedeo and Silvia have no children.

Amedeo has an illegitimate son by Donna Nerina Corsini dei Principi di Sismano, Duci di Civitella, Marchesi di Lajatico, di Orciatico, di Tresans du Giovagallo di Castagnetolo, Nobile Romana (b. Lausanne, 1 May 1942), who had married in Florence on 29 April 1961 to Don Enrico Marchese Incisa della Rochetta (Rome, 15 May 1934 - Middleton, 30 April 2005): Don Pietro Incisa della Rochetta (born Lausanne, 30 November 1967), who is unmarried and has no issue.[3]

Amedeo has an illegitimate daughter by Kyara van Ellinkhuizen: Ginevra Maria Gabriella (born Milan, 19 March 2006). Ginevra has Down syndrome. Though before her birth Amedeo had stated that he would immediately recognize her as his child and provide for her welfare, he did not do so and instead firstly asked for DNA testing to be performed in order to assure the filiation. These tests have demonstrated that he is the father. On 4 August 2006, he recognized his daughter, but still does not provide for her welfare.[4]

Business activities

Amedeo and his wife Silvia live in the village of San Rocco near the town of Castiglion Fibocchi in Tuscany (about 15 kilometres northwest of Arezzo). He is involved in various agricultural activities including the production of wine marketed under the name Vini Savoia Aosta.

Since 1997 Amedeo has been president of the International Foundation Pro Herbario Mediterraneo. From 2003 to 2006 he was president of the committee responsible for the nature reserve on the island of Vivara.

Dynastic activities

On 7 July 2006 Amedeo declared himself to be the head of the House of Savoy and Duke of Savoy, claiming that his third cousin Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples had lost his dynastic rights when he married without the legally required permission of King Umberto II in 1971, just following the time of his arrest. Vittorio Emanuele and his son, Emanuele Filiberto, have applied for judicial intervention to forbid Amedeo's use of the title "Duke of Savoy". An initial hearing was scheduled in the court of Arezzo, with a ruling expected by 6 June 2008.[5] The President of the Council of the Senators of the Kingdom Aldo Alessandro Mola published a declaration in favour of Amedeo's claim; in fact only nine members of the 62 member council voted in support of the declaration. Amedeo has also received the support of Vittorio Emanuele's sister Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy.

Amedeo has been criticized by other Italian monarchists who continue to support Vittorio Emanuele. Sergio Pellecchi, President of the Giunta of the Chivalric Orders of the House of Savoy, has stated that the Council of the Senators of the Kingdom was dissolved in 2002 and that it never had any authority in matters of the succession. Eugenio Armando Dondero, spokesman for the Coordinamento Monarchico Italiano, has asked why Amedeo did not claim to be head of the House of Savoy in 1983 when King Umberto II died. But others, including constitutional jurist Guido Locatello, declared the marriage of Vittorio Emanuele to be in violation of Savoy dynastic law years before scandal evoked any clamor for Amedeo to replace him. Additionally, Amedeo of Aosta's claims were strengthened when both Prince Vittorio Emanuele and his son Prince Emanuele Filberto recognized the Italian Republic in order to be allowed to return to Italy in 2002, an act that was interpreted as an official renunciation of any claims either had on the throne of Italy.[citation needed] Amedeo himself swore loyalty to the Italian Republic as a term of his military service (in the navy) as a young man.

Amedeo is a Knight of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation named by Humbert II, a Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, and a Knight of Honor and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem. He is an honorary citizen of the towns of Marigliano, Pantelleria, and Abetone.



External links

Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta (b. 1943)
Born: 27 September 1943
Italian nobility
Preceded by
Aimone, 4th Duke of Aosta
Duke of Aosta
2nd creation
29 January 1948 –
Aimone, Duke of Apulia
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
King Umberto II
King of Italy
March 18, 1983 –
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom abolished in 1946
Aimone, Duke of Apulia

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