Sons and Heirs pp 160-175 | Cite as

An Italian Heir for the New Century: Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples

  • Valentina Villa
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Modern Monarchy book series (PSMM)


When on 14 March 1861 the Italian parliament bestowed institutional and political legitimacy on the rule of Vittorio Emanuele II, the public acceptance enjoyed by the Crown was neither immediate nor complete.1 On the contrary, many subjects were convinced that the kingdom of Italy was nothing more than a geographical expression — as Prince Metternich had famously stated — and that the new sovereign did not represent them. Even years after the country’s unification some foreign observers still held the same opinion; in 1863 Sir Henry Winston Barron, an Irish politician who travelled Italy extensively, detected little unity:

It is absurd, and contrary to fact, to say that the Piedmontese are the same nation [as the rest of Italy], speaking the same language, and united by a solemn compact. They are not the same race; they have not the same habits, customs, or language; and as to the compact, it was a solemn fraud.2


Royal Family Royal Court Royal Palace Public Appearance Foreign Observer 
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© Valentina Villa 2016

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  • Valentina Villa

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