Amadeo I of Spain

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Amadeo I (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 reigned 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 Adelaide of Austria. He was styled the Duke of Aosta from birth.

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 del Pozzo. 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, 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]

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