Vittorio Emanuele, the Duke of Savoy and the son of the last king of Italy passed away on Saturday in Geneva at the age of 86, as announced by his family.
The House of Savoy released a statement confirming Emanuele’s peaceful demise, stating that he was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing. Emanuele, born on February 12, led a controversial life marred by various scandals.
Notably, he was acquitted of a criminal offense in connection with the 1978 shooting death of 19-year-old German Dirk Hamer. The incident occurred on Cavallo, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea that is part of Corsica.
In 1991, a Paris court acquitted Emanuele of murder charges but sentenced him to six months in prison for the illegal possession of the firearm used in Hamer’s death. Following this, Emanuele lived in exile until 2003 when Italy altered its position on the monarchy.
As the only son of Umberto II, who briefly held the throne in May and June of 1946 before Italy suspended the monarchy, Emanuele spent much of his life hoping to return to Italy. This dream was realized in 2003.
Emanuele was married to Marina Doria, and they had one son, Emanuele Filiberto. The couple wed in Iran in 1971, a union criticized by some publications at the time for the prince’s marriage to a “commoner.” Marina Doria, now 88 and a former Swiss water skiing champion, continues to reside in Geneva.
Details about the funeral arrangements for Vittorio Emanuele will be communicated by the House of Savoy at a later date.