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Norman Palace in Palermo, Sicily (Italy) King  Roger II

Sicily ( Sicilia ) & Naples ( Napoli ) 


In 1035, William "the Iron-Arm" and Drogo, sons of Tancred of Hauteville, a petty noble in Normandy, arrived in South Italy. The two joined in the organized attempt to wrest Apulia from the Greeks, who by 1040 had lost most of that province. In 1042 Melfi was chosen as the Norman capital, and in September of that year the Normans elected William as their count, who was succeeded in turn by his brothers Drogo, and Humphrey, who arrived about 1044. In 1047 Robert "the Guiscard" (+1085), the sixth son of Tancred of Hauteville, arrived in Italy. In 1057, Robert, succeeded Humphrey as Count of Apulia and, in company with Roger (+1101), his youngest brother, carried on the conquest of Apulia and Calabria. 

In 1061, Robert and Roger invaded Sicily and captured Messina. In January 1072, Robert "the Guiscard", as suzerain, invested his brother Roger I as Count of Sicily.

Roger II (+1154), a son of Roger, who became Count of Sicily in 1105, and Duke of Apulia in 1127, united all the Norman conquests, and, in 1130, was declared the first King of Sicily. The new Kingdom included the Island of Sicily and the Southern Italy.

In 1266, Charles, Count of Anjou, brother of King Louis IX of France, defeated Manfred, King of Sicily, and took his Kingdom 

In 1282, the Sicilians revolted against the administration of King Charles I ("the Sicilian Vespers revolt", see below). Soon after the revolt, the Sicilians turned to Peter III, King of Aragon, and the husband of Manfred’s daughter, who became King of Sicily. The Kingdom of Sicily became divided, the mainland portion remained in the hands of Charles I, and Peter III's domain extended only to the Island of Sicily itself. Charles I and his successors continued to use the title of "King of Sicily", although their Kingdom became known as the Kingdom of Naples after its capital. 

Frederick (+1337), the third son of King Peter of Aragon, founded the younger, Sicilian, branch of the House of Aragon that ruled the Kingdom of Sicily became King of Sicily until 1401. 

Since 1409, the Kingdom of Sicily was united with the Crown of Aragon.

The descendants of King Charles I ruled in Naples until their extinction in 1435. After a seven-year war, Alphonse V, King of Aragon and Sicily, finally defeated his rival René "the Good", and conquered Naples. 

After Alphonse's death, Sicily and Naples were separated again, Aragon and Sicily passed to his younger brother John, and his natural son Ferdinand I became King in Naples.

In 1504, Ferdinand "the Catholic" (+1516), King of Aragon and Sicily, conquered Naples, and Naples and Sicily was united again.

In 1516, Charles of Habsburg (+1558) established the Spanish Monarchy when he inherited both the Crowns of Castile and Aragon. The Crown of Aragon included among other lands the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily.

The Spanish monarchs reigned in Naples and Sicily until the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714).

The Treaties of Utrecht of 1713 and Rastatt of 1714 concluded the War of the Spanish Succession and assigned Naples to Austria, and Sicily to Savoy.

In July 1718, a Spanish army occupied Sicily. 

In 1719, the Austrian troops conquered Sicily. 

In 1720, by the Treaty of The Hague Austria exchanged Sicily for Sardinia with Savoy.

In 1734, both Naples and Sicily were conquered by a Spanish army during the War of the Polish Succession, and Charles of Bourbon, Duke of Parma, a younger son of King Philip V of Spain was installed as King of Naples and Sicily from 1735.

In January 1799, the French armies installed the Parthenopaean Republic in Naples, but this proved short-lived, and a counter-revolution allowed the King Ferdinand of Naples and Sicily to return.

In 1806, King Ferdinand lost Naples, when Napoleon conquered the Kingdom and installed his brother Joseph as King of Naples. When Joseph became King of Spain in 1808, his brother-in-law Joachim Murat succeeded him in Naples.

In 1815, Naples was restored to King Ferdinand.

In 1816, the formal union of the Kingdom of Naples with the Kingdom of Sicily established the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

In 1861, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.


The Kingdom of Sicily (Italian: Regno di Sicilia, commonly abbreviated Regno, Latin: Regnum Siciliae, Catalan: Regne de Sicília, Sicilian: Regnu di Sicilia) was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy. The Kingdom covered not only the island of Sicily itself, but also the whole Mezzogiorno region of southern Italy and the Maltese archipelago. The island was divided into three regions; Val di Mazara, Val Demone and Val di Noto.

It was sometimes called the regnum Apuliae et Siciliae until 1282. In 1282 a revolt against the Angevin rule, known as the Sicilian Vespers threw off Charles of Anjou's rule of the island of Sicily. The Angevins managed to maintain control in the mainland areas of the kingdom, which eventually became known as the Kingdom of Naples, after its capital. The island became a separate kingdom, under the rule of a Catalan dynasty that ruled over the kingdom of Aragon. After 1302 the island kingdom was sometimes called the Kingdom of Trinacria (the English equivalent word of Trinacria is the Triangle). Often the kingship was vested in another monarch such as the King of Aragon, the King of Spain or the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1816 the Kingdom of Sicily merged with Kingdom of Naples into the newly created Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In 1861 its areas were united with the Kingdom of Italy.

Norman Kingdom

The Norman Kingdom was created in 1130 by Roger II of Sicily. Roger united the lands he inherited from his father Roger I of Sicily. These areas included the Duchy of Apulia and the County of Sicily, which belonged to his cousin William II, Duke of Apulia, until his death in 1127, and the other Norman vassals. Roger threw his support behind the Antipope Anacletus II, who enthroned him King of Sicily on Christmas Day 1130.

(Left: Roger I 1071–1101. Birth 1031son of Tancred of Hautevilleand Fredisenda)

In 1136, the rival of Anacletus, Pope Innocent II, convinced Lothair III, Holy Roman Emperor to attack the Kingdom of Sicily with help from the Byzantine Emperor John II Comnenus. Two main armies, one led by Lothair, the other by Duke of Bavaria Henry the Proud, invaded Sicily. On the river TrontoWilliam of Loritello surrendered to Lothair and opened the gates of Termoli to him. This was followed by Count Hugh II of Molise. The two armies were united at Bari, from where in 1137 they continued their campaign. Roger offered to give Apulia as a fief to the Empire, which Lothair refused after being pressured by Innocent. At the same period the army of Lothair revolted.

Then Lothair, who had hoped for the complete conquest of Sicily, gave Capua and Apulia from the Kingdom of Sicily to Roger's enemies. Innocent protested, claiming that Apulia fell under papal claims. Lothair turned north, but died while crossing the Alps on December 4, 1137. At the Second Council of the Lateran in April 1139, Innocent excommunicated Roger for maintaining a schismatic attitude. On March 22, 1139, at Galluccio, Roger's son Roger III, Duke of Apulia ambushed the papal troops with a thousand knights and captured the pope. On March 25, 1139, Innocent was forced to acknowledge the kingship and possessions of Roger with the Treaty of Mignano.

Roger spent most of the decade, beginning with his coronation and ending with the Assizes of Ariano, enacting a series of laws with which Roger intended to centralise the government, fending off multiple invasions and quelling rebellions by his premier vassals: Grimoald of Bari, Robert II of CapuaRanulf of AlifeSergius VII of Naples and others. It was through his admiral George of Antioch that Roger then proceeded to conquer the Mahdia in Africa (Ifriqiya), taking the unofficial title "King of Africa". At the same time Roger's fleet attacked the Byzantine Empire, making Sicily the leading maritime power in the Mediterranean Sea for almost a century.

Roger's son and successor was William I of Sicily, known as "William the Bad", though his nickname derived primarily from his lack of popularity with the chroniclers, who supported the baronial revolts which William suppressed. His reign ended in peace (1166), but his son,William II, was a minor. Until the end of the boy's regency in 1172, the kingdom saw turmoil which almost brought the ruling family down. The reign of William II is remembered as two decades of almost continual peace and prosperity. For this more than anything, he is nicknamed "the Good". He died in 1189 without having heirs, which led the kingdom to decline.

(Above:  William I the Bad 1154–1166 Birth 1131 son of Roger IIand Elvira of Castile)

Tancred of Lecce seized the throne but had to contend with the revolt of his distant cousin Roger of Andria and the invasion of Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor on behalf of his wife, Constance, the daughter of Roger II. Constance and Henry eventually prevailed and the kingdom fell in 1194 to the House of Hohenstaufen. Through Constance, the Hauteville blood was passed to Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor.

During the Norman Kingdom of Sicily, the local communities maintained their privileges. The rulers of the Hohenstaufen Kingdom replaced the local nobility with lords from northern Italy, leading to clashes and rebellions against the new nobility in many cities and rural communities. These revolts resulted in the destruction of many agrarian areas and the rise of middle class nationalism, which eventually led to urban dwellers becoming allies of the Aragonese. This situation was continued during the short rule of the Angevin until their overthrowing during the Sicilian Vespers. The Angevin began feudalising the country, increasing the power of the nobility by granting them jurisdiction over high justice. During the 15th century due to the isolation of the Kingdom, the Renaissance had no impact on it.

At the same period the feudalisation of the Kingdom of Sicily was intensified, through the enforcement of feudal bonds and relations among its subjects. In 1669 the eruption of Mount Etna destroyed Catania. In 1693, 5% of the Kingdom's population was killed because of earthquakes. In that period there were also plague outbreaks. The 17th and 18th century were an era of decline of the Kingdom. Corruption was prevalent among the upper and middle classes of the society. Widespread corruption and maltreatment of the lower classes by the feudal lords led to the creation of groups of brigands, attacking the nobility and destroying their fiefs. These groups which were self-named "Mafia", were the foundation of the modern Mafia. The escalation of revolts against the monarchy eventually led to the unification with Italy.

Hohenstaufen Kingdom

The accession of Frederick, a child who would then become also the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1197, greatly affected the immediate future of Sicily. For a land so used to centralised royal authority, the king's young age caused a serious power vacuum. His unclePhilip of Swabia moved to secure Frederick's inheritance by appointing Markward von Anweilermargrave of Ancona, regent in 1198. Meanwhile, Pope Innocent III had reasserted papal authority in Sicily, but recognised Frederick's rights. The pope was to see papal power decrease steadily over the next decade and was unsure about which side to back at many junctures.

(Left: Frederick II 1198–1250 Birth 26 December 1194  Jesi son of Henry I and Constance I

The Hohenstaufen's grip on power, however, was not secure. Walter III of Brienne had married the daughter of Tancred of Sicily. She was sister and heiress of the deposed King William III of Sicily. In 1201 William decided to claim the kingdom. In 1202, an army led by the chancellor Walter of Palearia and Dipold of Vohburg was defeated by Walter III of Brienne. Markward was killed, and Frederick fell under the control of William of Capparone, an ally of the Pisans. Dipold continued the war against Walter on the mainland until the claimant's death in 1205. Dipold finally wrested Frederick from Capparone in 1206 and gave him over to the guardianship of the chancellor, Walter of Palearia. Walter and Dipold then had a falling out, and the latter captured the royal palace, where he was besieged and captured by Walter in 1207. After a decade, the wars over the regency and the throne itself had ceased.

The reform of the laws began with the Assizes of Ariano in 1140 by Roger II. Frederick continued the reformation with the Assizes of Capua (1220) and the promulgation of the Constitutions of Melfi (1231, also known as Liber Augustalis), a collection of laws for his realm that was remarkable for its time. The Constitutions of Melfi were created in order to establish a centralized state. For example, citizens were not allowed to carry weapons or wear armour in public unless they were under royal command. As a result, rebellions were reduced. The Constitutions made the Kingdom of Sicily an absolute monarchy, the first centralized state in Europe to emerge from feudalism; it also set a precedent for the primacy of written law. With relatively small modifications, the Liber Augustalis remained the basis of Sicilian law until 1819. During this period, he also built the Castel del Monte, and in 1224, he founded the University of Naples, now called Università Federico II. It remained the sole athenaeum of Southern Italy for centuries.

After the death of Frederick, the Kingdom was ruled by Henry VII of Germany and Conrad IV of Germany. The next legitimate heir was Conrad II, who was too young at the period to rule. Manfred of Sicily, the illegitimate son of Frederick, took the power and ruled the kingdom for fifteen years while other Hohenstaufen heirs were ruling various areas in Germany. After long wars against the Papal States, the Kingdom managed to defend its possessions, but the Papacy declared the Kingdom escheated because of disloyalty of the Hohenstaufen.Under this pretext he came to an agreement with Louis IX, King of France. Louis's brother, Charles of Anjou, would become king of Sicily. In exchange, Charles recognized the overlordship of the Pope in the Kingdom, paid a portion of the papal debt, and agreed to pay annual tribute to the Papal States. The Hohenstaufen rule in Sicily ended after the 1266 Angevin invasion and the death of Conradin, the last male heir of Hohenstaufen, in 1268.

(Abovr: Manfred 1258–1266 Birth 1232 Illegitimate son of Frederick II)

Angevin and Aragonese kingdoms

In 1266, conflict between the Hohenstaufen house and the Papacy led to Sicily's conquest by Charles I, Duke of Anjou. Opposition to French officialdom and taxation combined with inciment of rebellion by Aragonese and Byzantine agents led to the Sicilian Vespers insurrection and successful invasion by king Peter III of Aragon in 1282. The resulting War of the Sicilian Vespers lasted until the Peace of Caltabellotta in 1302, dividing the old Kingdom of Sicily in two. The island of Sicily, called the "Kingdom of Sicily beyond the Lighthouse" or the Kingdom of Trinacria, went to Frederick III of the house of Aragon, who had been ruling it. The peninsular territories (the Mezzogiorno), contemporaneously called Kingdom of Sicily but called Kingdom of Naples by modern scholarship, went to Charles II of the house of Anjou, who had likewise been ruling it. Thus, the peace was formal recognition of an uneasy status quo. Despite the king of Spain were able to seize both the two crowns starting from the XVI century, the administrations of the two halves of the Kingdom of Sicily remained separated until 1816, when they were reunited in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies

The kingdom of Sicily under Aragon and Spain

Sicily was ruled as an independent kingdom by relatives or cadet branch of the house of Aragon until 1409 and thence as part of the Crown of Aragon. The Kingdom of Naples was ruled by the Angevin ruler René of Anjou until the two thrones were reunited by Alfonso V of Aragon, after the successful siege of Naples and the defeat of René on June 6, 1443. Eventually, Alfonso of Aragon divided the two kingdoms during his rule. He gave the rule of Naples to his son Ferdinand I of Naples, who ruled from 1458 to 1494, and Aragon and Sicily to Alfonso's brother John II of Aragon. From 1494 to 1503 successive kings of France Charles VIII and Louis XII, who were heirs of Angevins, tried to conquer Naples (see Italian Wars) but failed. Eventually the Kingdom of Naples was reunited with the Aragonese Kingdom.The titles were held by the Aragonese kings of the Catalan-Aragonese Crown until 1516, followed by the Kings of Spain until the expiration of the Spanish branch of the House of Habsburg in 1700.

(Above: Alfonso the Magnanimous (also AlphonsoCatalanAlfons; 1396 – 27 June 1458) was theKing of Aragon (as Alfonso V), Valencia (as Alfonso III), MajorcaSardinia and Corsica (asAlfonso II), and Sicily and Count of Barcelona (as Alfonso IV) from 1416 and King of Naples (asAlfonso I) from 1442 until his death. He was one of the most prominent figures of the earlyRenaissance and a knight of the Order of the Dragon)

The War of the Spanish Succession

From 1713 until 1720 the Kingdom of Sicily was ruled briefly by the House of Savoy, which had received it by the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht, which brought an end to the War of the Spanish Succession. The kingdom was a reward to the Savoyards, who were thus elevated to royal rank. The new king, Victor Amadeus II, travelled to Sicily in 1713 and remained a year before returning to his mainland capital, Turin, where his son the Prince of Piedmont had been acting as regent. In Spain the results of the war had not been truly accepted, and the War of the Quadruple Alliance was the result. Sicily was occupied by Spain in 1718. When it became evident that Savoy had not the strength to defend as remote a country as Sicily, Austria stepped in and exchanged its Kingdom of Sardinia for Sicily.

Victor Amadeus protested this exchange, Sicily being a rich country of over one million inhabitants and Sardinia a poor country of a few hundred thousand, but he was unable to resist his "allies". Spain was finally defeated in 1720, and the Treaty of the Hague ratified the changeover. Sicily belonged to the Austrian Habsburgs, who already ruled Naples.Victor Amadeus, for his part, continued to protest for three years, and only in 1723 decided to recognize the exchange and desist from using the Sicilian royal title and its subsidiary titles (such as King of Cyprus and Jerusalem).

The two kingdoms under the house of Bourbon

In 1735, Naples and Sicily were attacked by King Philip V of Spain, a Bourbon, who installed his younger son, Duke Charles of Parma, as King Charles VII of Naples and Sicily, starting a cadet branch of the house of Bourbon. In 1799 Napoleon conquered Naples, governed by Ferdinand IV of Naples (later Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies) at the time. It was formed into the Parthenopaean Republic with French support. Under British pressure, especially from Lord William Bentinck, who was commander of British troops in Sicily, Naples was then handed back to Ferdinand, being forced to create a constitution for the Kingdom of Sicily.

A two-chamber parliament in Palermo and in Naples was formed. The formation of the parliament brought the end of feudalism in the Kingdom. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 Ferdinand repealed all reforms. The people of Sicily rebelled but were defeated by Spanish and Austrian forces. In 1848 another Sicilian revolution of independence occurred, which was put down by Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies, who was surnamed Re Bomba after his 5-day bombardment of Messina. From 1816 to 1861 the kingdoms were united under the name Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Malta under the Knights

In 1530, in an effort to protect Rome from Ottoman invasion from the south, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, as Charles I of Spain, gave the Islands of Malta and Gozo to the Knights Hospitaller in perpetual fiefdom, in exchange for an annual fee of two (one for the emperor and one for the viceroy of Sicily) Maltese falcons, which they were to send on All Souls' Day to the Viceroy of Sicily. The Maltese Islands had formed part of the Duchy, and later the Kingdom of Sicily, since 1127. The feudal relationship between Malta and the Kingdom of Sicily was continued throughout the rule of the Knights, until Malta was seized by Napoleon, in 1798.

Unification with the Kingdom of Italy

On April 4, 1860 a revolt against the Bourbon regime broke out. Giuseppe Garibaldi assisted the revolt with his forces. He arrived at Marsala on May 11, 1860 with 1,000 Redshirts. The arrival of the Redshirts is known as the Expedition of the Thousand (Italian:  Spedizione dei Mille) On May 15, the Italian forces defeated the Spanish army, consisting of 15,000 troops, two weeks later Palermo was freed. Francis II of the Two Sicilies tried to regain control of the Kingdom. On June 25, 1860 he restored the constitution of the Kingdom, adopted the Italian tricolour as the national flag, and promised special institutions for the Kingdom. On October 21, 1860 a referendum regarding the unification with Italy was conducted. The majority of the Kingdom's population (99%) voted for the unification. A small part of Sicilians viewed the unification as occupation by the House of Savoy, in which belonged Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy.

(Above: Giuseppe Garibaldi, Born: 4-Jul-1807, Died: 2-Jun-1882)



Victor Emmanuel II (1820–1878), king of Sardinia and the first king of unified Italy. He was born in Turin and came to the throne of Sardinia in 1849 when his father, Charles Albert, abdicated after Sardinia's defeat in a brief war against Austria. The young king negotiated a peace treaty that preserved Sardinia's prewar boundaries.

Victor Emmanuel kept the liberal constitution granted by his father in 1848. Assisted by his prime minister, Count Cavour, he strengthened Sardinia's economy through an improved system of government finance, promotion of industry, and a liberal trade policy. The army was reorganized and the power of the Catholic church was curbed. In 1853 Sardinia became an ally of France and Great Britain in the Crimean War.

In 1859, aided by France, Victor Emmanuel drove the Austrians out of the province of Lombardy. In 1860 the duchies of Tuscany, Modena, and Parma and the papal state of Romagna voted for annexation by Sardinia, while Sardinia ceded Savoy and Nice to France in exchange for acceptance of the annexations. The same year the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Sicily and southern Italy), freed from Spanish control largely through the efforts of Giuseppe Garibaldi, voted to join Sardinia. In 1861 Sardinia's parliament proclaimed Victor Emmanuel king of Italy.

He gained Venetia (Venice) from Austria in 1866 after allying Italy with Prussia in the Seven Weeks' War. In 1870 the French troops that had protected papal sovereignty over Rome were withdrawn, and Victor Emmanuel quickly annexed the city, ending the pope's secular authority over any significant Italian territory.

King Umberto I of Italy (1878-1900)

The assassination of King Umberto

Occurring a year before the assassination of President McKinley in the US, the attentat against King Umberto I of Italy by silk weaver Gaetano Bresci took place in the midst of argueably the most violent period of anarchist history, when the tactic of "propaganda by the deed" was being employed to the full by individual anarchists.

An immigrant to the US in the late 1890s, Bresci had helped found an Italian anarchist newspaper in the manufacturing town of Paterson, New Jersey. However, in the spring of 1900, Bresci shocked his comrades at the newspaper by asking the return of a loan he had used to help pay the printing costs. Refusing to explain his behaviour, he left the US in May 1900 to seek out King Umberto and commit his attentat.

Landing in La Havre, he made his way to Paris and from there began the long trek to Italy, eventually arriving in the small town of Castel San Pietro near Bologna. Staying at an inn owned by a relative, Bresci acquired a revolver and began target practice in the yard. Hearing of the King's plans to stay at the Royal house in Monza, he quickly departed for Milan and from there made his way to Monza, where he arrived on July 26.

After observing the royal party's movements for several days he decided to act on July 29, while the king was scheduled to distribute prizes to athletes after a sporting competition.

Arriving to scattered applause on the evening of the 29th in an open air carriage, the king climbed the podium and distributed medals to the athletes. After a short word of congratulations, Umberto descended the platform and got back into his carriage. As he sat down, Bresci burst from the crowd brandishing a revolver and fired four times. The king died seconds later having been hit three times in the chest, with one shot going wide of its target. Bresci was quickly tackled by police agents and arrested.

Victor Emmanuel II (1800-1946)


Vittorio Emanuele III (11 November1869 – 28 December,1947)was king of Italy from 1900 to1946.

Vittorio Emanuele III was the son of Umberto I. He became king, at age 31, after his father was killed in 1900. Because people said Vittorio Emanuele had worked together with Benito Mussolini too much, Italy became a republic in 1946.



 King Umberto II

The last Italian monarch, King Umberto II (1904-1983), was deposed bypopular referendum in 1946. Though its results have been disputed, at least in certain quarters (particularly by fervent monarchists and by several Italian regional courts), this referendum (remarkably, the first occasion for Italian women to vote) was held under American auspices during the Allied occupation and established the Italian Republic as a legitimate state recognized internationally and, eventually, by all of the former ruling dynasties, the Vatican, the Republic of San Marino and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Article 139 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic codifies the exile of the King of Italy and his male heirs, a provision being abrogated only fifty years later. It also abolishes the Consulta Araldica and official recognition of predicati (territorial designations or "seats") if recognized during the Fascist era (i.e. after 28 October 1922). Subsequently, these designations could be suffixed to surnames as a result of particular petitions to provincial courts having jurisdiction in such matters. Eventually, Italian high courts would issue still more rulings to attenuate the status even of those titles recognized until 1922, but local courts would uphold the rights to identity of titled aristocrats in cases where impostors claimed the titles and territorial designations of living persons whose immediate forebears had been recognized by the Consulta Araldica before 1922.

Crown Prince Vittorio Emanuelle

Crown Prince Vittorio Emanuele Alberto Carlo Teodoro Umberto Bonifacio Amedeo Damiano Bernardino Gennaro Maria of Italy Prince of Naples 12.II.1937 -

Vittorio Emanuele is the only son of the last King of Italy, Umberto II. Although the titles and distinctions of the Italian royal family have not been legally recognized in Italy since 1946 he is often styled Prince of Naples out of courtesy, particularly by supporters of the former monarchy, he is also commonly known in Italy as Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia.

Vittorio Emanuele also uses the title Duke of Savoy and claims the headship of the House of Savoy and he is also a claimant to the title of King of Jerusalem. However, these claims were disputed by supporters of his third cousin, Prince Amedeo, 5th Duke of Aosta. An Italian court has handed victory to Italian Prince Vitorio Emanuele of Savoy over his cousin Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta in their bitter feud over the family name.  The court has decided that the name "di Savoia" (of Savoy) should be borne only by Prince Vittorio Emanuele and Prince Emanuele Philberto, and that Prince Amedeo was legally entitled only to use the name "de Savoia-Aosta" (of Savoy-Aosta). See below **

Although Prince Vittorio has lived for most of his life in exile, following a tightly contested referendum in 1946 in which a majority of the Italian people voted for Italy to become a republic, he is known to some Italian monarchists as King Vittorio Emanuele IV.

** Prince Amedeo, Duke Of Aosta (b. 1943)

Prince Amedeo of Savoy, Duke of Aosta, (given names: Amedeo Umberto Costantino Giorgio Paolo Elena Maria Fiorenzo Zvonimiro; born 27 September 1943) is a claimant to the headship of the House of Savoy, the family which ruled Italy from 1861 to 1946, as well as the heir to the short-lived Kingdom of Croatia during World War II with the name Zvonimir II. Until 7 July 2006 Amedeo was styled Duke of Aosta; on that date he declared himself Duke of Savoy




Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace)  

Below statues that form part of the façade of the building. The statues depict "I Re di Napoli" or "the Kings of Naples". They are known as the kings of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and/or the Kingdom of Naples known as "Il Regno di Napoli." They ruled all of Southern Italy starting South of the Papal States to Sicily. Vittorio Emanuele, however, was the Savoy King of Italy from 1861-1878. Except for Gioacchino Murat (who married one sister of Napoleon Bonaparte), the kings are from Norman, Hohenstaufen, Angevin French, Bourbon Spanish, Hapsburg and Savoy royal houses.

Roger the Norman (1139-1154)

 Frederick II Hohenstaufen (1198-1250)

Charles of Anjou (1266-1285)


Alfonso of Aragon (1442-1458)

Charles V Hapsburg (1516-1556)


Charles of Bourbon (1734-1759)

Ferdinand IV King of the Two Sicilies -founder of the cadet House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies

(12 December 1816 – 4 January 1825)

(No statue in the building)


Gioacchino Murat (1808-1815)




Vittorio Emanuele II (1861-1878)





Kingdom of  Naples, former state, occupying the Italian peninsula south of the former Papal States. It comprised roughly the present regions of CampaniaAbruzziMoliseBasilicataApulia, and Calabria. Naples was the capital.

In the 11th and 12th cent. the Normans under Robert Guiscard and his successors seized S Italy from the Byzantines. The popes, however, claimed suzerainty over S Italy and were to play an important part in the history of Naples. In 1139 Roger II, Guiscard's nephew, was invested by Innocent II with the kingdom of Sicily, including the Norman lands in S Italy. The last Norman king designated Constance, wife of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI, as his heir and the kingdom passed successively to Frederick IIConrad IVManfred, and Conradin of Hohenstaufen.

Under them S Italy flowered, but in 1266 Charles I (Charles of Anjou), founder of the Angevin dynasty, was invested with the crown by Pope Clement IV, who wished to drive the Hohenstaufen family from Italy. Charles lost Sicily in 1282 but retained his territories on the mainland, which came to be known as the kingdom of Naples. Refusing to give up their claim to Sicily, Charles and his successors warred with the house of Aragón, which held the island, until in 1373 Queen Joanna I of Naples formally renounced her claim.

(Above: Robert Guiscard - Musée de Hauteville-la-Guichard. Robert d'Hauteville, known as Guiscard, Duke of Apulia and Calabria, from Latin Viscardus and Old French Viscart, often rendered the Resourcefulthe Cunningthe Wilythe Fox, or the Weasel (c. 1015 – 17 July 1085) was a Norman adventurer conspicuous in the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily. Robert was from the noble Maison d'Hautville of the Hauteville family, he went on to become Count (1057-1059) and then Duke (1059-1085) of Apuliaand Calabria after his half-brother Humphrey's death)

During her reign began the struggle for succession between Charles of Durazzo (later Charles III of Naples) and Louis of Anjou (Louis I of Naples). The struggle was continued by their heirs. Charles's descendants, Lancelot and Joanna II, successfully defended their thrones despite papal support of their French rivals, but Joanna successively adopted as her heir Alfonso V of Aragón and Louis III and René of Anjou, and the dynastic struggle was prolonged. Alfonso defeated René and in 1442 was invested with Naples by the pope. His successor in Naples, Ferdinand I (Ferrante), suppressed (1485) a conspiracy of the powerful feudal lords. Meanwhile the Angevin claim to Naples had passed to the French crown with the death (1486) of René's nephew, Charles of Maine. 

Charles VIII of France pressed the claim and in 1495 briefly seized Naples, thus starting the Italian Wars between France and Spain. Louis XII, Charles's successor, temporarily joined forces with Spain and dethroned Frederick (1501), the last Aragonese king of Naples, but fell out with his allies, who defeated him.

The Treaties of Blois (1504–5) gave Naples and Sicily to Spain, which for two centuries ruled the two kingdoms through viceroys—one at Palermo, one at Naples. Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba was the first viceroy of Naples. Under Spain, S Italy became one of the most backward and exploited areas in Europe. Heavy taxation (from which the nobility and clergy were exempt) filled the Spanish treasury; agriculture suffered from the accumulation of huge estates by quarreling Italian and Spanish nobles and the church; famines were almost chronic; disease, superstition, and ignorance flourished. A popular revolt against these conditions, led by Masaniello, was crushed in 1648. In the War of the Spanish Succession the kingdom was occupied (1707) by Austria, which kept it by the terms of the Peace of Utrecht (1713; see Utrecht, Peace of). During the War of the Polish Succession, however, Don Carlos of Bourbon (later Charles III of Spain) reconquered Naples and Sicily. The Treaty of Vienna (1738) confirmed the conquest, and the two kingdoms became subsidiary to the Spanish crown, ruled in personal union by a cadet branch of the Spanish line of Bourbon. Naples then had its own dynasty, but conditions improved little.

(Above: GONZALO FERNANDEZ DE CORDOBA,''THE GREAT CAPTAIN” Córdoba, 1453 - Granada, 1515) was the first viceroy of Naples).

In 1798 Ferdinand IV and his queen, Marie Caroline, fled from the French Revolutionary army. The Parthenopean Republic was set up (1799), but the Bourbons returned the same year with the help of the English under Lord Nelson. Reprisals were severe; Sir John Acton, the queen's favorite, once more was supreme. In 1806 the French again drove out the royal couple, who fled to Sicily. Joseph Bonaparte (see under Bonaparte, made king of Naples by Napoleon I, was replaced in 1808 by Joachim Murat. Murat's beneficent reforms were revoked after his fall and execution (1815) by Ferdinand, who was restored to the throne (Marie Caroline had died in 1814). In 1816 Ferdinand merged Sicily and Naples and styled himself Ferdinand I, king of the Two Sicilies.

Ferdinand I (Ferdinando Antonio Pasquale Giovanni Nepomuceno Serafino Gennaro Benedetto, January 12, 1751 – January 4, 1825) was King variously of Naples, Sicily, and the Two Sicilies from 1759 until his death. He was the third son of King Charles VII of Naples and Sicily by his wife Maria Amalia of Saxony. On August 10, 1759, Charles succeeded his brother as King Charles III of Spain. Treaty provisions made Charles unable to hold the titles of all three Kingdoms. On October 6, 1759 he therefore abdicated in favour of Ferdinand (Charles's eldest son, Philip, was mentally retarded and the second son, Charles, was destined to inherit the Spanish throne.

For the remaining history of Naples, annexed to Sardinia in 1860


 The Sicilian Vespers

The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to a rebellion on the island of Sicily in 1282 against the rule of the French/Angevin king Charles I, who in 1266 and with Papal complicity, had taken control of the entire Kingdom of Sicily, which stretched from the southern suburbs of Rome, down the entire Italian boot and included the Island of Sicily. It was the beginning of the eponymous War of the Sicilian Vespers. The rising had its origin in the struggle between the House of Hohenstaufen, who in the 13th century ruled Germany and most of Northern Italy, versus the Papacy for control over Italy, especially the Church's private demesne known as the Papal States, a part of the Holy Roman Empire, which was between Hohenstaufen lands in northern Italy and the Hohenstaufen Kingdom of Sicily in the south. The last Hohenstaufen crowned by the church, Frederick II, King of Sicily and the Holy Roman Emperor, died in December 1250 and in his will he bequeathed the Kingdom of Sicily to his infant son.

The War of the Sicilian Vespers broke out at the church at Palermo at evening prayer - vespers on Easter Monday (March 30), 1282. A Frenchman harassed a Sicilian woman which provoked the crowd that was on the way to the evening prayer and resulted in revolt and massacre of nearly all French in Sicily. The Sicilians turned to Peter III of Aragon for military assistance against the Angevin ruler of Naples and Sicily, Charles I of Naples and offered him the Sicilian throne. Peter III of Aragon accepted the offer, invaded Sicily and defeated Charles I of Anjou who withdrew in Southern Italy and established the Kingdom of Naples in 1282. The struggle between the Angevin kings of Naples and the Aragonese kings of Sicily over Sicilian throne continued for two decades until 1302 when the Peace of Caltabellotta divided the old Kingdom of Sicily into an island and a peninsular kingdom with Aragon dynasty keeping Sicily and Angevin dynasty retaining the Southern Italy as the Kingdom of Naples.



The flag of Sicily (SicilianBannera dâ Sicilia) (ItalianBandiera siciliana) was first adopted in 1282, after the successful Sicilian Vespers revolt against Charles I of Sicily. It is characterized by the presence of the triskelion (trinacria) in its middle, the (winged) head of Medusa and three wheat ears. The three bent legs allegedly represent the three points of the triangular shape of the island of Sicily itself.

The colours,  instead, respectively represent the cities of Palermo and Corleone, in medieval times an agricultural city of renown. Palermo and Corleone were the first two cities to found a confederation against the Angevin rule. It finally became the official public flag of the Autonomous Region of Sicily on 4 January 2000, after the passing of an apposite law which advocates its use on public buildings, schools, city halls, and all the other places in which Sicily is represented.

The flag looks somewhat similar to the flag of the Isle of Man, especially for the use of the triskelion in both of these; today, the triskelion (or trisceli) is also widely considered the actual symbol of Sicily. The symbol is also known as the trinacria, which is also an ancient name of Sicily. The name was also revived and used during the Aragonese period of the Kingdom of Sicily immediately after the Sicilian Vespers (1282) which ended Angevin rule.

During the period of muslim rule under Emirate of Sicily Sicily used a pure green flag, similar to Libya's

Flag of the Region of Sicily


Flag of the Sicilian Revolution of 1848

  Flag of the Sicilian Independence Movement



 Flag of the Kingdom of Sicily


Flag of the Kingdom of Naples (1808)