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Victor Emmanuel I of Savoy

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Title: Victor Emmanuel I of Savoy  
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Victor Emmanuel I of Savoy

Victor Emanuel I
King of Sardinia
Reign 4 June 1802 – 12 March 1821
Predecessor Charles Emanuel IV
Successor Charles Felix
Consort Maria Teresa of Austria-Este
Maria Beatrice, Duchess of Modena
Maria Teresa, Duchess of Parma
Maria Anna, Empress of Austria
Maria Christina, Queen of the Two Sicilies
Full name
Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia
House House of Savoy
Father Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia
Mother Maria Antonietta of Spain
Born (1759-07-24)24 July 1759
Royal Palace of Turin, Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia
Died 10 January 1824(1824-01-10) (aged 64)
Castle of Moncalieri, Turin, Kingdom of Sardinia
Burial Basilica of Superga, Turin
Religion Roman Catholicism

Victor Emanuel I (24 July 1759 – 10 January 1824) was the Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia (1802–1821).


He was the second son of King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and Maria Antonietta of Spain, daughter of King Philip V of Spain and Elisabeth Farnese.

Victor Emanuel was known from birth as the Duke of Aosta. From 1792 to 1796, Aosta's father had taken an active part in the struggle of the old powers against the French Revolutionary forces, but were defeated and forced to make peace. The old king died shortly thereafter; and, in December 1798, his eldest son and successor, Charles Emanuel IV, was faced with a French occupation and, eventually, annexation, of his mainland territories.

Charles Emanuel and his family were forced to withdraw to Sardinia, which was the only part of his domains not conquered by the French. Charles Emanuel himself took little interest in the rule of Sardinia, living with his wife on the mainland in Naples and Rome until his wife's death in 1802, which led the childless Charles Emanuel to abdicate the throne in favor of his younger brother. Aosta took the throne on 4 June 1802 as Victor Emanuel I. He ruled Sardinia from Cagliari for the next twelve years, during which time he constituted the Carabinieri, a Gendarmerie corps, still existing as one of the main branches of the military of Italy.

Victor Emanuel could return to Turin only in 1814, his realm reconstituted by the Congress of Vienna with the addition of the territories of the former Republic of Genoa. The latter became the seat of the Sardinian Navy. Victor Emanuel abolished all the freedoms granted by the Napoleonic Codices and restored a fiercely oppressive rule: He refused any concession of a constitution, entrusted the instruction to the Church and reintroduced the persecutions against Jews and Waldensians.

After the death of his brother in 1819, he also became the heir-general of the Jacobite succession to the British thrones, although he, like his brother, did not make any public claims to this effect. When Victor Emanuel died, Lord Liverpool, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, wrote to his ministerial colleague George Canning that there should be public mourning in Britain, as a significant number of Britons had regarded Victor Emanuel as their rightful king.

After the outbreak of the liberal revolution in his lands in 1821, he abdicated in favour of his brother, Charles Felix. Victor Emanuel died in the Castle of Moncalieri. He is buried in the Basilica of Superga.

Family and children

On 21 April 1789, he married Archduchess Maria Teresa of Austria-Este, daughter of Ferdinand, Duke of Modena (who was the son of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor).

They had six daughters and one son who died very young:

  1. Maria Beatrice Victoria Josepha of Savoy (1792–1840), married her uncle Francis IV, Archduke of Austria and Duke of Modena
  2. Maria Adelaide Clothilde Xaveria Borbonia of Savoy (1794–1802)
  3. Charles Emanuel (1796–1799) died of smallpox.
  4. A daughter (1800–1801)
  5. Maria Teresa Fernanda Felicitas Gaetana Pia of Savoy (1803–1879), married Charles II, Duke of Parma (1799–1883)
  6. Maria Anna Ricarda Carlotta Margherita Pia of Savoy (1803–1884), married Ferdinand I of Austria
  7. Maria Cristina Carlotta Giuseppina Gaetana Elise of Savoy (1812–1836), married Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 24 July 1759 - 4 June 1802 - His Royal Highness The Duke of Aosta
  • 4 June 1802 - 12 March 1821 - His Majesty The King of Sardinia
  • 12 March 1821 - 10 January 1824 - His Majesty King Victor Emanuel of Sardinia


See also

Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia
Born: 24 July 1759 Died: 10 January 1824
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles Emanuel IV
King of Sardinia
Succeeded by
Charles Felix
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Charles IV
Jacobite succession
Succeeded by
Mary III and II
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