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Habsburgs expected at Prince Vittorio Emanuele’s funeral ceremony

Members of the Habsburgs and several other European royal families are expected to attend the funeral ceremony of Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy. The son of Umberto II, the last King of Italy, died on Saturday at the age of 86.

Prince Vittorio Emanuele would have been 87 years old on February 12. He is to be buried in Superga near Turin, where his cousin Amedeo already rests.

The funeral ceremony is to take place in a basilica in Turin. A large number of nobles and representatives of royal houses from all over Europe are expected to attend, Italian media reported. Turin was the first Italian capital after the unification of Italy in 1861 under the rule of the Savoy dynasty.

Vittorio Emanuele died in Geneva surrounded by his family. The male descendants of the royal family were exiled after the end of the monarchy in Italy in 1946. The Italian parliament only lifted the entry ban in 2002. King Umberto's son Vittorio Emanuele and his son Emanuele Filiberto, who spent most of their time in exile in Switzerland, renounced their claim to the throne.

Arrested several times

Vittorio Emanuele made negative headlines in the early 1970s due to an affair surrounding the violent death of a young German tourist in Corsica. He was charged with murder at the time, but the court in Paris later acquitted him.

On the night of August 18, 1978, 19-year-old Dirk Hamer had been sleeping on a boat off the island of Cavallo near Corsica when he was hit by a bullet from a rifle fired by the Italian prince. The German died four months later as a result of the injury. In November 1991, Vittorio Emanuele was given a six-month suspended prison sentence in Paris for illegal possession of firearms, but was acquitted of the charge of involuntary manslaughter. It remains unclear who shot the German.

In 2010, Vittorio Emanuele was acquitted of charges of bribery in connection with the licensing of gaming machines. In 2006, he was arrested in the course of an investigation into corruption and the promotion of prostitution - but was then also cleared of suspicion of membership of a criminal organization.

©Keystone/SDA

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