The Info List - Victor Emmanuel II

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


FATHER Charles Albert of Sardinia

MOTHER Maria Theresa of Austria

RELIGION Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholicism






VICTOR EMMANUEL II (Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso; 14 March 1820 – 9 January 1878) was King of Sardinia from 1849 until 17 March 1861, when he assumed the title KING OF ITALY to become 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 Father of the Fatherland (Italian : Padre della Patria).


* 1 Biography

* 1.1 Crimean War
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 the eldest son of Charles Albert, Prince of Carignano , and 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 prior to becoming King of Sardinia-Piedmont.

He took part in the 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 .

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 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 in his own right. Victor Emmanuel II soon became the symbol of the " Risorgimento ", the Italian unification movement of the 1850s and early 60s. He was especially popular in the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont because of his respect for the new constitution and his liberal reforms. Brooklyn Museum - Caricature of King Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
- Thomas Nast - overall


Victor Emmanuel reviews the troops for the Crimean War
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
Napoleon III
at the Congress of Paris in 1856 at the end of the war, 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 in northern Italy, France would be awarded Nice
and Savoy


Main article: Second Italian War of Independence

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
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 meets Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
in Teano

Victor Emmanuel supported Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
's Expedition of the Thousand (1860–1861), which resulted in the rapid fall of the 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
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 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.


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. Tomb of Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
at the Pantheon

In 1870, after two failed attempts by Garibaldi, he also took advantage of the Prussian victory over France in the 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 refusing to meet with Pope Pius IX 's envoys, who could have reversed the excommunication. He was buried in the Pantheon . His successor was his son Umberto I .


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

* Maria Clotilde (1843–1911), who married Napoléon Joseph (the Prince Napoléon). Their grandson Prince Louis Napoléon was the Bonapartist pretender to the French imperial throne. * 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 when as the mistress of Napoleon III
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.



* 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



* 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


* Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Kamehameha I (Hawaii) * Knight of the Order of the Elephant
Order of the Elephant
(Denmark) * Extra Knight of the Order of the Garter
Order of the Garter
(United Kingdom) * Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Austria-Hungary) * Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Joseph (Tuscany) * Médaille militaire (France) * Knight of the Order of the Seraphim (Sweden) * Commemorative medal of the 1859 Italian Campaign (France)



16. Louis Victor, Prince of Carignano

8. Victor Amadeus II, Prince of Carignano

17. Landgravine Christine of Hesse-Rotenburg
Landgravine Christine of Hesse-Rotenburg

4. Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Carignano

18. Louis, Prince of Brionne

9. Princess Joséphine of Lorraine
Princess Joséphine of Lorraine

19. Louise de Rohan

2. Charles Albert of Sardinia

20. Augustus III of Poland
Augustus III of Poland

10. Charles of Saxony, Duke of Courland

21. Archduchess Maria Josepha of Austria

5. Princess Maria Christina of Saxony

22. Stanislaus Corvin-Krasiński, Count Krasiński

11. Countess Franciszka Corvin-Krasińska

23. Aniela Humiecka


24. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor

12. Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor

25. Maria Theresa of Austria

6. Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany

26. Charles III of Spain
Charles III of Spain

13. Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain
Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain

27. Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony
Maria Amalia of Saxony

3. Archduchess 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 of Austria (= 25)


* Unification of Italy * Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
* Giuseppe Mazzini * Count Cavour * September Convention * Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II


* ^ A B Chisholm 1911 . * ^ Genealogical data from the Savoia page of the Genealogie delle famiglie nobili italiane website.


* 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


* 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.


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