Viktor Emmanuil III

Viktor Emmanuil III

Last king of Italy
Date of Birth: 11.11.1869
Country: Italy

Biography of Victor Emmanuel III

Victor Emmanuel III was the last king of Italy, reigning from 1900 to 1946. He was born as the only son of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita, representing the House of Savoy. He held the title of Prince of Naples. In 1887, he joined the army and in 1896, he married Elena of Montenegro.

After the assassination of his father on July 29, 1900, Victor Emmanuel inherited the throne. During the May Crisis in 1915, he supported Prime Minister Salandra's cabinet, thus sanctioning Italy's entry into World War I. In October 1922, under threat and pressure from the fascists, Victor Emmanuel entrusted Benito Mussolini with forming a new cabinet. The king violated the protocol for changing cabinets, hoping to avoid a civil war. He did not take active action, even in 1924 when Mussolini ordered the assassination of prominent socialist Giacomo Matteotti.

The Lateran Treaty of 1929 reconciled the House of Savoy with the Vatican. Victor Emmanuel's reign was marked by wars against Turkey (1911-1912), Ethiopia (1935-1936), intervention in Spain (1936-1939), war with Albania (1939), and eventually involvement in both World War I and World War II. On June 11, 1940, the king declared war on France and Britain, and on October 13, 1943, on Germany.

In 1942, as pressure from the Allies intensified, Victor Emmanuel devised a plan to overthrow the government but did not order Mussolini's arrest until July 25, 1943, when the Grand Fascist Council removed Mussolini from his position as party leader. The king appointed Marshal Pietro Badoglio as the head of the government and promised to restore constitutional rule. However, his attempt to persuade the army to switch sides to the Allies failed. Alongside Badoglio and other generals, the king left Rome after the German occupation of Italy began.

In November 1943, Victor Emmanuel refused to abdicate his power, but on June 5, 1944, he transferred his authority to his heir, Prince Umberto. On May 9, 1946, the king renounced the throne and went into exile in Egypt.