BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 18:42 GMT 19:42 UK
Italy's exiled royals dream of pizza
The Italian Royal family in 1945
The family was tainted by its collaboration with Mussolini
The male heirs to Italy's throne are celebrating after the final obstacle to their long-awaited return home was cleared.

Champagne was uncorked by Vittorio Emanuele, 64, the son of the late king, after he was told that a final legal attempt to block his return had failed.

And his son, Emanuele Filiberto, said he looked forward to eating pizza in Naples.

The Italian parliament voted earlier this year to lift the post-war ban on the royals' return, and a fight by opponents to overturn the decision by raising a large petition was finally declared over by an Italian court on Tuesday.


We have everything to do - from eating a pizza in Naples harbour to seeing the Pantheon where our ancestors are buried

Emanuele Filiberto
Both men live in Switzerland, where the family fled into exile after World War II.

Vittorio Emanuele, who was nine when he left Italy, was delighted at finally being given the all-clear.

"It seems like a dream," he said from his luxury Lake Geneva home.

His 30-year-old son, who has never been to Italy, expressed his own ambitions.

Vittorio Emanuele and his son Emanuele Filiberto
The royals are delighted at the ending of their exile
"We have everything to do. From eating a pizza in Naples harbour to seeing the Pantheon where our ancestors are buried," said Emanuele Filiberto, who manages hedge funds at a bank in Switzerland.

"It's a wonderful, beautiful day. My father has waited 60 years for this, I've been waiting 30 years. Finally the day has come and we're very, very happy."

It is thought the homecoming will not take place for several weeks, partly to allow Vittorio Emanuele to recover fully from injuries he suffered in a rally driving accident.

Vittorio Emanuele, who has given up any claim to the throne, said he was happy that his opponents had mustered only 21,000 of the 500,000 signatures they needed to force a referendum on his return.

Formalities

"The little number of signatures gathered for the referendum shows that parliament... has fully interpreted the will of almost all Italian citizens," he said.

The only remaining formalities to be completed before the men's return is for Italy's president to sign parliament's decision into law. The change must then be published in the government gazette.

Italians voted in 1946 to abolish the monarachy, angered at the family's links with wartime dictator Benito Mussolini.

Two years later, a new constitution banned the male heirs from ever returning.

See also:

02 Aug 01 | Europe
07 Nov 00 | Europe
15 Oct 00 | Europe
18 Jun 01 | Europe
28 Jan 01 | Europe
13 Jul 01 | Europe
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes