The Info List - King Victor Emmanuel II

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Italian: Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso English: Victor Emmanuel Mario Albert Eugene Ferdinand Thomas

House Savoy

Father Charles Albert of Sardinia

Mother Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
of Austria

Religion Roman Catholicism


Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
(Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso di Savoia; 14 March 1820 – 9 January 1878) was King of Sardinia from 1849 until 17 March 1861. At that point, he assumed the title of King of Italy
King of Italy
and became the first king of a united Italy since the 6th century, a title he held until his death in 1878. The Italians gave him the epithet of Father of the Fatherland
Father of the Fatherland
(Italian: Padre della Patria).


1 Biography

1.1 Crimean War 1.2 Wars of Italian Unification 1.3 Completion of the unification

2 Family and children 3 Titles, styles and honours

3.1 Titles and styles 3.2 Honours

3.2.1 Italian 3.2.2 Foreign

4 Ancestry 5 See also 6 References 7 Sources

7.1 In Italian

8 External links


Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
in 1849

Victor Emmanuel was born as the eldest son of Charles Albert, Prince of Carignano, and Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
of Austria. His father succeeded a distant cousin as King of Sardinia-Piedmont in 1831. He lived for some years of his youth in Florence
and showed an early interest in politics, the military, and sports. In 1842, he married his cousin, Adelaide of Austria. He was styled as the Duke of Savoy
Duke of Savoy
prior to becoming King of Sardinia-Piedmont. He took part in the First Italian War of Independence
First Italian War of Independence
(1848-1849) under his father, King Charles Albert, fighting in the front line at the battles of Pastrengo, Santa Lucia, Goito and Custoza.[1] He became King of Sardinia-Piedmont in 1849 when his father abdicated the throne, after a humiliating military defeat by the Austrians at the Battle of Novara. Victor Emmanuel was immediately able to obtain a rather favorable armistice at Vignale
by the Austrian imperial army commander, Radetzky. The treaty, however, was not ratified by the Piedmontese lower parliamentary house, the Chamber of Deputies, and Victor Emmanuel retaliated by firing his Prime Minister, Claudio Gabriele de Launay, replacing him with Massimo D'Azeglio. After new elections, the peace with Austria was accepted by the new Chamber of Deputies. In 1849, Victor Emmanuel also fiercely suppressed a revolt in Genoa, defining the rebels as a "vile and infected race of canailles." In 1852, he appointed Count Camillo Benso of Cavour ("Count Cavour") as Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of Piedmont-Sardinia. This turned out to be a wise choice, since Cavour was a political mastermind and a major player in the Italian unification
Italian unification
in his own right. Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
soon became the symbol of the "Risorgimento", the Italian unification movement of the 1850s and early 60s. [1] He was especially popular in the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont because of his respect for the new constitution and his liberal reforms.

Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum
- Caricature of King Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
- Thomas Nast - overall

Crimean War[edit]

Victor Emmanuel reviews the troops for the Crimean War

Following Victor Emmanuel's advice, Cavour joined Britain and France in the Crimean War
Crimean War
against Russia. Cavour was reluctant to go to war due to the power of Russia at the time and the expense of doing so. Victor Emmanuel, however, was convinced of the rewards to be gained from the alliance created with Britain and, more importantly, France. After successfully seeking British support and ingratiating himself with France and Napoleon
III at the Congress of Paris in 1856 at the end of the war, Count Cavour
Count Cavour
arranged a secret meeting with the French emperor. In 1858, they met at Plombières-les-Bains
(in Lorraine), where they agreed that if the French were to help Piedmont combat Austria, which still occupied the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia
Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia
in northern Italy, France would be awarded Nice
and Savoy. Wars of Italian Unification[edit] Main article: Second Italian War of Independence

Victor Emmanuel meets Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
in Teano

The Italo-French campaign against Austria in 1859 started successfully. However, sickened by the casualties of the war and worried about the mobilisation of Prussian troops, Napoleon
III secretly made a treaty with Franz Joseph of Austria
Franz Joseph of Austria
at Villafranca whereby Piedmont would only gain Lombardy. France did not as a result receive the promised Nice
and Savoy, but Austria did keep Venetia, a major setback for the Piedmontese, in no small part because the treaty had been prepared without their knowledge. After several quarrels about the outcome of the war, Cavour resigned, and the king had to find other advisors. France indeed only gained Nice
and Savoy
after the Treaty of Turin
was signed in March 1860, after Cavour had been reinstalled as Prime Minister, and a deal with the French was struck for plebiscites to take place in the Central Italian Duchies. Later that same year, Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
sent his forces to fight the papal army at Castelfidardo and drove the Pope into Vatican City. His success at these goals led him to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Then, Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
conquered Sicily and Naples, and Sardinia-Piedmont grew even larger. On 17 March 1861 the Kingdom of Italy was officially established and Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
became its king. Victor Emmanuel supported Giuseppe Garibaldi's Expedition of the Thousand (1860–1861), which resulted in the rapid fall of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
in southern Italy. However, the king halted Garibaldi when he appeared ready to attack Rome, still under the Papal States, as it was under French protection. In 1860, through local plebiscites, Tuscany, Modena, Parma and Romagna decided to side with Sardinia-Piedmont. Victor Emmanuel then marched victoriously in the Marche
and Umbria
after the victorious battle of Castelfidardo (1860) over the Papal forces. The king subsequently met with Garibaldi at Teano, receiving from him the control of southern Italy. Another series of plebiscites in the occupied lands resulted in the proclamation of Victor Emmanuel as the first King of Italy
King of Italy
by the new Parliament
of unified Italy, on 17 March 1861. He did not renumber himself after assuming the new royal title, however. Turin
became the capital of the new state. Only Rome, Veneto, and Trentino
remained to be conquered. Completion of the unification[edit]

Tomb of Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
at the Pantheon

Main article: Third Italian War of Independence In 1866 Victor Emmanuel allied himself with Prussia
in the Third Italian War of Independence. Although not victorious in the Italian theater, he managed anyway to receive Veneto
after the Austrian defeat in Germany. In 1870, after two failed attempts by Garibaldi, he also took advantage of the Prussian victory over France in the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
to capture Rome
after the French withdrew. He entered Rome
on 20 September 1870 and set up the new capital there on 2 July 1871, after a temporary move to Florence
in 1864. The new Royal residence was the Quirinal Palace. The rest of Victor Emmanuel II’s reign was much quieter. After the Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy
was established he decided to continue on as King Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
instead of Victor Emmanuel I of Italy. This was a terrible move as far as public relations went as it was not indicative of the fresh start that the Italian people wanted and suggested that Sardinia-Piedmont had taken over the Italian Peninsula, rather than unifying it. Despite this mishap, the remainder of Victor Emmanuel II’s reign was consumed by wrapping up loose ends and dealing with economic and cultural issues. His role in day-to-day governing gradually dwindled, as it became increasingly apparent that a king could no longer keep a government in office against the will of Parliament. As a result, while the wording of the Statuto Albertino stipulating that ministers were solely responsible to the crown remained unchanged, in practice they were now responsible to Parliament. Victor Emmanuel died in Rome
in 1878, after meeting with Pope Pius IX's envoys, who had reversed the excommunication, and received last rites. He was buried in the Pantheon. His successor was his son Umberto I.[2]

Family and children[edit] In 1842 he married his first cousin once removed Adelaide of Austria (1822–1855). By her he had eight children:[3]

Maria Clotilde (1843–1911), who married Napoléon Joseph (the Prince Napoléon). Their grandson Prince Louis Napoléon
Prince Louis Napoléon
was the Bonapartist pretender to the French imperial throne.

Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
in Venice

Umberto (1844–1900), later King of Italy. Amedeo (1845–1890), later King of Spain. Oddone Eugenio Maria (1846–1866), Duke of Montferrat. Maria Pia (1847–1911), who married King Louis of Portugal. Carlo Alberto (2 June 1851– 28 June 1854), Duke of Chablais. Vittorio Emanuele (6 July 1852 – 6 July 1852). Vittorio Emanuele (18 January 1855 – 17 May 1855), Count of Geneva.

In 1869 he married morganatically his principal mistress Rosa Vercellana (3 June 1833 – 26 December 1885). Popularly known in Piedmontese as "Bela Rosin", she was born a commoner but made Countess of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda in 1858. Their offspring were:

Vittoria Guerrieri (2 December 1848 – 29 December 1905), married three times and had issue. Emanuele Alberto Guerrieri (16 March 1851 – 24 December 1894), Count of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda, married and had issue.

In addition to his morganatic second wife, Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
had several other mistresses: —Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione, who, as the mistress of Napoleon
III, pleaded the case for Italian unification. —Laura Bon at Stupinigi, who bore him two children:

Stillborn son (1852). Emanuela Maria Alberta Vittoria di Roverbella (6 September 1853 - 1880/1890).

—Virginia Rho at Turin, mother of two children:

Vittorio di Rho (1861 – Turin, 10 October 1913). He became a notable photographer. Maria Pia di Rho (25 February 1866 – Vienna, 19 April 1947).

—Unknown mistress at Mondovì, mother of:

Donato Etna (15 June 1858 – Turin, 11 December 1938). He became a much-decorated soldier.

—Baroness Vittoria Duplessis, who bore him:

A daughter, perhaps named Savoiarda. She died as an infant.

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Styles of King Victor Emmanuel II

Reference style His Majesty

Spoken style Your Majesty

Alternative style Sir

Titles and styles[edit]

14 March 1820 – 27 April 1831: His Royal Highness Prince Victor Emmanuel of Savoy
(Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia) 27 April 1831 – 23 March 1849: His Royal Highness The Prince of Piedmont 23 March 1849 – 17 March 1861: His Majesty The King of Sardinia 17 March 1861 – 9 January 1878: His Majesty The King of Italy

Honours[edit] Italian[edit]

Grand Master of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation Grand Master of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus Grand Master of the Military Order of Savoy Grand Master of the Order of the Crown of Italy Grand Master of the Civil Order of Savoy Gold Medal of Military Valour Silver Medal of Military Valour Medal of the Liberation of Rome
(1849-1870) Commemorative Medal of Campaigns of Independence Wars Commemorative Medal of the Unity of Italy


 Austrian Empire: Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
Order of the Golden Fleece
in 1841.  Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold in 1855.[4]  Denmark: Knight of the Order of the Elephant  Second French Empire:

Médaille militaire Commemorative medal of the 1859 Italian Campaign

 Kingdom of Hawaii: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Kamehameha I  Sweden: Knight of the Order of the Seraphim  Tuscany: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Joseph  United Kingdom: Extra Knight of the Order of the Garter


Ancestors of Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
of Italy

16. Louis Victor, Prince of Carignano

8. Victor Amadeus II, Prince of Carignano

17. Princess Christine of Hesse-Rotenburg

4. Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Carignano

18. Louis, Prince of Brionne

9. Princess Joséphine of Lorraine

19. Louise de Rohan

2. Charles Albert of Sardinia

20. Augustus III of Poland

10. Charles, Duke of Courland

21. Archduchess Maria Josepha of Austria

5. Princess Maria Christina of Saxony

22. Count Stanisław Corvin-Krasiński

11. Countess Franciszka Corvin-Krasińska

23. Aniela Humiecka

1. Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
of Italy

24. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor

12. Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor

25. Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
of Austria

6. Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany

26. Charles III of Spain

13. Infanta Maria Louise of Spain

27. Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony

3. Archduchess Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
of Austria

28. Charles III of Spain
Charles III of Spain
(= 26)

14. Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies

29. Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony
Maria Amalia of Saxony
(= 27)

7. Princess Luisa of Naples and Sicily

30. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
(= 24)

15. Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria

31. Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
of Austria (= 25)

See also[edit]

Unification of Italy Giuseppe Garibaldi Giuseppe Mazzini Count Cavour September Convention Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II List of famous big game hunters


^ a b Chisholm 1911. ^ "Excommunicating Politicians". 27 September 2004.  ^ Genealogical data from the Savoia page of the Genealogie delle famiglie nobili italiane website. ^ Le livre d'or de l'ordre de Léopold et de la croix de fer, Volume 1 /Ferdinand Veldekens


 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Victor Emmanuel II.". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  Smith, Denis Mack. Victor Emanuel, Cavour and the Risorgimento
(Oxford University Press, 1971). Thayer, William Roscoe (1911). The Life and Times of Cavour vol 1.  old interpretations but useful on details; vol 1 goes to 1859]; volume 2 online covers 1859-62

In Italian[edit]

Del Boca, Lorenzo (1998). Maledetti Savoia. Casale Monferrato: Piemme.  Gasparetto, Pier Francesco (1984). Vittorio Emanuele II. Milan: Rusconi.  Mack Smith, Denis (1995). Vittorio Emanuele II. Milan: Mondadori.  Pinto, Paolo (1997). Vittorio Emanuele II: il re avventuriero. Milan: Mondadori.  Rocca, Gianni (1993). Avanti, Savoia!: miti e disfatte che fecero l'Italia, 1848–1866. Milan: Mondadori. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vittorio Emanuele II.

Works by or about Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
of Italy at Internet Archive External link: Genealogy of recent members of the House of Savoy View of Venezia Square Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II

Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
of Italy House of Savoy Born: 14 March 1820 Died: 9 January 1878

Regnal titles

Preceded by Charles Albert King of Sardinia; Duke of Savoy 23 March 1849 – 17 March 1861 Italian Unification
Italian Unification
under the House of Savoy

Vacant Title last held by Napoleon
I King of Italy 17 March 1861 – 9 January 1878 Succeeded by Umberto I

v t e

Princes of Savoy

1st Generation


2nd Generation

Prince Anthony Prince Anthony Louis, Duke of Savoy Amadeus, Prince of Piemont Philip, Prince of Achaea

3rd Generation

Amadeus, Duke of Savoy Louis, Count of Geneva Prince Giovanni Philip, Duke of Savoy Giano, Count of Faucigny and Geneva Pietro, Bishop of Geneva Prince Aimone Prince Giacomo Giovanni Ludovico, Bishop of Geneva Jacques, Count of Romont

4th Generation

Prince Luigi Carlo, Prince of Piedmont Philibert, Duke of Savoy Prince Bernardo Charles, Duke of Savoy James Louis, Count of Genevois Prince Gian Claudio Galeazzo Prince Girolamo Philibert, Duke of Savoy Charles, Duke of Savoy Prince Louis Philippe, Duke of Nemours Prince Assolone Prince Giovanni Amedeo Prince Emanuele Filiberto Adriano Prince Louis Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy

5th Generation

Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy Jacques, Duke of Nemours

6th Generation

Filippo Emanuele, Prince of Piedmont Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy Charles Emmanuel, Duke of Nemours Henri, Prince de Genevois Prince Louis Prince François Paul Henri, Duke of Nemours Thomas Francis, Prince of Carignano Maurice, Cardinal of Savoy Prince Emmanuel Filibert

7th Generation

Prince Louis Amadeus Francis Hyacinth, Duke of Savoy Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy Emmanuel Philibert, Prince of Carignano Joseph Emmanuel, Count of Soissons Eugene Maurice, Count of Soissons

8th Generation

Victor Amadeus II, King of Sardinia Victor Amadeus, Prince of Carignano Louis Thomas, Count of Soissons Emanuel Philibert, Count of Dreux Prince Philippe Prince Eugene Prince Louis Jules

9th Generation

Victor Amadeus, Prince of Piedmont Charles Emmanuel III, King of Sardinia Emanuele Philibert, Duke of Chablais Louis Victor, Prince of Carignano Eugenio, Count of Villafranca Prince Tommaso Emmanuel Thomas, Count of Soissons

10th Generation

Victor Amadeus, Duke of Aosta Victor Amadeus III, King of Sardinia Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta Carlo, Duke of Chablais Carlo, Duke of Aosta Benedetto, Duke of Chablais Victor Amadeus II, Prince of Carignano Prince Tommaso Eugene Jean, Count of Soissons Giuseppe Maria, Count of Villafranca

11th Generation

Charles Emmanuel IV, King of Sardinia Amedeus Alexander, Duke of Montferrat Victor Emmanuel I, King of Sardinia Maurizio, Duke of Montferrat Charles Felix, King of Sardinia Giuseppe, Count of Asti Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Carignano Eugenio, Duke of Carignano

12th Generation

Charles Albert, King of Sardinia

13th Generation

King Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
of Italy Ferdinand, Duke of Genoa

14th Generation

King Umberto I
Umberto I
of Italy King Amadeo I of Spain Oddone, Duke of Montferrat Tommaso, Duke of Genoa**

15th Generation

King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta*** Vittorio Emanuele, Count of Turin*** Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi*** Umberto, Count of Salemi*** Ferdinando, Duke of Genoa** Filiberto, Duke of Genoa** Adalberto, Duke of Bergamo** Eugenio, Duke of Genoa**

16th Generation

King Umberto II of Italy Amedeo, Duke of Aosta*** Aimone, Duke of Aosta***

17th Generation

Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples Amedeo, Duke of Aosta***

18th Generation

Emanuele Filiberto, Prince of Venice and Piedmont Aimone, Duke of Apulia***

19th generation

Prince Umberto of Savoy-Aosta, Prince of Piedmont*** Prince Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi***

* member of a cadet branch of the House of Savoy ** Prince of Savoy-Genoa *** Prince of Savoy-Aosta

v t e

Kings of Sardinia

Victor Amadeus II (1720–1730) Charles Emmanuel III (1730–1773) Victor Amadeus III (1773–1796) Charles Emmanuel IV (1796–1802) Victor Emmanuel I (1802–1821) Charles Felix (1821–1831) Charles Albert (1831–1849) Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II

v t e

Kings of Italy between 1861 and 1946

Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
(1861–1878) Umberto I
Umberto I
(1878–1900) Victor Emmanuel III (1900–1946) Umberto II (1946)

v t e

Italian unification
Italian unification
— Risorgimento

Wars and revolts

Revolutions of 1820 Revolutions of 1830 Revolutions of 1848 First Italian War of Independence Crimean War Second Italian War of Independence Expedition of the Thousand Third Italian War of Independence Capture of Rome

Main leaders

Bettino Ricasoli Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour Carlo Cattaneo Daniele Manin Francesco Crispi Giuseppe Garibaldi Giuseppe Mazzini Ruggero Settimo Victor Emmanuel II


Pope Pius IX Franz Joseph I of Austria Francis II of the Two Sicilies Klemens von Metternich Joseph Radetzky
von Radetz

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 95301792 LCCN: n80056898 ISNI: 0000 0001 0774 7711 GND: 119172011 SELIBR: 207756 SUDOC: 029447224 BNF: cb12788244d (data) BIBSYS: 2072052 NLA: 50119464