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Amadeo I of Spain: Wikis


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King of Spain
Reign 16 November 1870 – 11 February 1873
Predecessor Isabella II
Successor First Republic declared, Estanislao Figueras as President
Duke of Aosta
Successor Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke
Spouse Maria Vittoria del Pozzo della Cisterna
Marie Laetitia Eugénie Catherine Adélaïde
Emanuele Filiberto
Vittorio Emanuele, Count of Turin
Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi
Umberto, Count of Salemi
House House of Savoy
Father Victor Emmanuel II of Italy
Mother Mary Adelaide of Austria
Born 30 May 1845(1845-05-30)
Turin, Italy
Died 18 January 1890 (aged 44)
Turin, Italy
Italian Royalty
House of Savoy
CoA fam ITA savoia.svg

Victor Emmanuel II
   Princess Marie Clothilde
   Umberto I (born 1844)
   Amadeo I, King of Spain (born 1845)
   Maria Pia, Queen of Portugal (born 1847)
    Vittoria (born 2 December 1848)
   Emanuele Alberto (born 16 March 1851), Count of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda.
   Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta
   Vittorio Emanuele, Count of Turin
   Luigi, Duke of the Abruzzi
   Umberto, Count of Salemi
Great Grandchildren
   Amedeo, 3rd Duke of Aosta
   Aimone, 4th Duke of Aosta
Great Great Grandchildren
   Margherita, Archduchess of Austria-Este
   Princess Maria Cristina
   Amedeo, 5th Duke of Aosta
Great Great Great Grandchildren
   Princess Bianca
   Aimone, Duke of Apulia
   Princess Mafalda
Umberto I
   Victor Emmanuel III
Victor Emmanuel III
   Princess Yolanda
   Princess Mafalda
   Umberto II
   Giovanna, Queen of Bulgaria
   Princess Maria
Umberto II
   Princess Maria Pia
   Victor Emmanuel, Prince of Naples
   Princess Maria Gabriella
   Princess Maria Beatrice
   Emanuele Filiberto, Prince of Venice and Piedmont
Great Grandchildren
   Princess Vittoria
   Princess Luisa

Amadeo (Italian Amedeo, sometimes anglicized as Amadeus) (30 May 1845 – 18 January 1890) was the only King of Spain from the House of Savoy. He was the second son of King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy and was known for most of his life as Duke of Aosta, but served briefly as King of Spain from 1870 to 1873.

Granted the hereditary title Duke of Aosta in the year of his birth, he founded the Aosta branch of Italy's royal House of Savoy, which is junior in agnatic descent to the branch descended from King Umberto I that reigned until 1946, but senior to the branch of the Dukes of Genoa.



Prince Amedeo of Savoy was born in Turin, Italy. He was the second son of Victor Emmanuel II (King of Piedmont, Savoy, Sardinia and, later, first King of Italy) and of Archduchess Maria Adelaide of Austria.

In 1867 his father yielded to the entreaties of parliamentary deputy Francisco Cassins, and on 30 May of that year, Amedeo was married to Donna Maria Vittoria dal Pozzo, Princess della Cisterna (b. 9 August 1847 - d. 8 November 1876). The king initially opposed the match on the grounds that her family was of insufficient rank, as well as his hopes for his son's marriage to a German princess.[1]

Despite her princely title, donna Maria Vittoria was not of royal birth, belonging rather to the Piedmontese nobility. She was, however, the sole heiress of her father's vast fortune,[2] which subsequent Dukes of Aosta inherited, thereby obtaining wealth independent of their dynastic appanage and allowances from Italy's kings. Maria Vittoria's mother, Countess Louise de Mérode, granddaughter of the Prince de Rubempré and of the Princess van Grimberghe, belonged to one of Belgium's premier noble houses, and had married the Principe della Cisterna in 1846 in a double wedding with her younger sister Antoinette, who married Charles III, the reigning Prince of Monaco.[2]

Amedeo and Maria Vittoria had three children:

Yet by March or 1870, the Duchess found herself appealing to the King to remonstrate with his son for marital infidelities that caused her hurt and embarrassment. But the King wrote in reply that, while understanding her feelings, he considered that she had no right to dictate her husband's behavior and that her jealousy was unbecoming.[3]

King of Spain

Personal Coat of arms of King Amadeo (Order of the Golden Fleece and Mantle version).

After the Spanish revolution deposed Isabella II, the new Cortes decided to reinstate the monarchy under a new dynasty. The Duke of Aosta was elected King as Amadeus (Amadeo) on 16 November 1870. He swore to uphold the constitution in Madrid on 2 January 1871.

The election of the new King coincided with the assassination of General Juan Prim, his main backer. After that, Amadeo had to deal with difficult situations, with unstable Spanish politics, republican conspiracies, Carlist uprisings, separatism in Cuba, same-party disputes, fugitive governments and assassination attempts.

He could only count on the support of the progressive party, whose leaders were trading off in the government thanks to parliamentary majority and electoral fraud. The progressives divided into monarchists and constitutionalists, which made the instability worse, and in 1872 a violent outburst of interparty conflicts hit a peak. There was a Carlist uprising in the Basque and Catalan regions, and after that, republican uprisings happened in cities across the country. The artillery corps of the army went on strike, and the government instructed the King to discipline them.

With the possibility of reigning without popular support, Amadeus issued an order against the artillery corps and then immediately abdicated from the Spanish throne on 11 February 1873. At ten o'clock that same night, Spain was proclaimed a republic, at which time Amadeo made an appearance before the Cortes, proclaiming the Spanish people ungovernable.

Post-abdication and legacy

Completely disgusted, the ex-monarch left Spain and returned to Italy, where he resumed the title of Duke of Aosta.

After the death of his first wife, he married his French niece, Princess Maria Letizia Bonaparte (20 November 1866 – 25 October 1926), daughter of his sister Maria Clotilde and of Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte, a nephew of Napoleon I. They had one child, Umberto (1889-1918), who was killed in WWI.

Amadeo remained in Turin, Italy until he died on 18 January 1890, less than two years after marrying his second wife. Puccini composed Crisantemi, an elegy for string quartet, in his memory.

He is the namesake of Lake Amadeus in central Australia.

The first Spanish Republic lasted less than one year, and in 1875 Alfonso XII, the son of Isabella II, was proclaimed king, with Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, Spanish prime minister from 1873 until his assassination in 1893, briefly regent.


The wedding day of Prince Amedeo and Donna Maria Vittoria was marred by the following tragic events:

  • The best man shot himself.
  • The Palace Gatekeeper slit his throat.
  • The King's aide died after falling from his horse.
  • The bride's wardrobe mistress hanged herself.
  • The colonel leading the wedding procession collapsed from sunstroke.
  • The stationmaster was crushed to death under the wheels of the honeymoon train.[4]


Amadeo's ancestors in three generations
Amadeo I of Spain Father:
Victor Emmanuel II of Italy
Paternal Grandfather:
Charles Albert of Sardinia
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Charles Emmanuel of Savoy, 6th Prince of Carignano
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Princess Maria Christina of Saxony
Paternal Grandmother:
Maria Theresa of Austria and Tuscany
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Paternal Great-Grandmother:
Luisa of the Two Sicilies
Adelaide, Queen of Sardinia
Maternal Grandfather:
Archduke Rainer of Austria
Maternal Great-Grandfather:
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Maria Luisa of Spain
Maternal Grandmother:
Princess Elisabeth of Savoy-Carignano
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Charles Emmanuel of Savoy, 6th Prince of Carignano
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Princess Maria Christina of Saxony
Amadeo of Spain
Born: 30 May 1845 Died: 18 January 1890
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Isabella II
King of Spain
Title next held by
Alfonso XII
First Duke of Aosta
Succeeded by
Emanuele Filiberto


  1. ^ Pollock, Sabrina (2006-8). "Spain's Forgotten Queen". European Royal History Journal 9.4 (LII): pages 25–26.  
  2. ^ a b Ibid: page 25.
  3. ^ Ibid: page 26.
  4. ^ Rogar L. Williams, Gaslight and Shadow, pp.156-57


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