Prince Victor Emmanuel of Savoy, son of the last king of Italy, died on Saturday in Geneva, Switzerland at the age of 86 after a long exile, his lawyer Sergio Orlandi told Agence France-Presse (AFP). , confirming information from the Italian media.

“His royal highness, Victor Emmanuel, Duke of Savoy and Prince of Naples died peacefully in Geneva surrounded by his family,” indicates a brief press release from the royal house of Savoy cited by the media, specifying that the place and date Funeral services will be announced at a later date. Questioned by AFP, Me Orlandi confirmed: “yes, he died this morning,” he wrote.

Victor Emmanuel of Savoy, born February 12, 1937 in Naples, was the head of the House of Savoy who ruled unified Italy from 1861 to 1946 and the son of the last king, Umberto II, who only held the throne from May to June 1946.

Forced exile at age 9

He had left Italy at the age of 9, banished with all male descendants of the royal house by the 1946 Constitution to sanction the collaboration of his grandfather, Victor Emmanuel III, with the fascist regime and the signing racial laws.

He was only able to return to the peninsula in December 2002, after the lifting of the exile voted by the Italian Parliament. To obtain it, he had to swear loyalty to the Republic, a gesture he refused for a long time.

Since the lifting of the ban, the prince continued to reside most of the time in Switzerland, where he had settled for many years, and he did nothing to win the hearts of his compatriots. On the contrary, he and his son Emmanuel Philibert had demanded in 2007 in a letter to the President of the Republic 260 million euros in moral compensation for the exile suffered for 56 years as well as the restitution of family property, confiscated by the ‘State. The two men, however, gave up in the face of the outcry raised in Italy.

A life marked by business

The heir lived a prosperous existence but tainted by affairs which caused much ink to be spilled. The most serious is at the heart of the documentary series “In the Shadow of the Throne”, broadcast from July 2023 on Netflix.

Victor Emmanuel protests his innocence in the death of a young German boater in Corsica in 1978, killed by rifle fire. Tried and acquitted for these facts in 1991, he was simply given a suspended sentence for carrying a prohibited weapon.

The prince, who resided during the summer on the island of Cavallo, in the south of Corsica, admitted to having fired twice to frighten Italian and foreign tourists who had borrowed a small inflatable boat from him. A projectile fatally struck 19-year-old Dirk Hamer. The prince first admitted to an accidental shooting, before retracting his statement.

In 2006, he found himself involved in a pimping and slot machine affair which landed him in prison for a week and under house arrest for a month.