Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia

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Victor Amadeus III (Vittorio Amadeo Maria; 26 June 1726 – 16 October 1796) was King of Sardinia from 1773 until his death. Although he was politically conservative, he carried out numerous administrative reforms until declaring war on revolutionary France in 1792[1]. He was the father of the last three mainline Kings of Sardinia.


Early life and personality

Born at the Royal Palace of Turin, he was a son of Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia and his second wife Polyxena of Hesse-Rotenburg. He was styled as the Duke of Savoy from birth till he succeeded to his fathers throne.[2] He was the eldest son of his parents and was the heir apparent from birth which was greeted with much celebration – his father had had a son with his first wife also named Victor Amadeus, Duke of Aosta who died in 1725. His education was entrusted to Gerdil Giacinto Sigismondo with a particular emphasis on military training. Throughout his life he would have a great interest in the state military which he lavished attention on. As a young prince, he surrounded himself with intellectuals and ministers many of which would come to prominence in his reign. He was a private conservative and very religious person, who, as a young boy, stayed far from public life. His father felt him to be unsuitable to hold power. Good-natured but naive, Savoy would be loved by his subjects for his generosity[3].


He married Infanta Maria Antonietta of Spain (1729–1785), youngest daughter of Philip V of Spain and Elisabeth Farnese[4]. They were married on 31 May 1750 at Oulx and later had twelve children. He had a loving relationship with his wife who exerted little influence over her husband[4]. The marriage had been arranged by Maria Antonietta's half brother, the ruling Ferdinand VI of Spain. The Spanish Infanta had been previously rejected by Louis, Dauphin of France. The union was used to strengthen relations between Madrid and Turin having fought on opposing sides in the War of the Austrian Succession. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the war.

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