What did you get for your 16th birthday? A Sweet 16 party, a new phone, or grandma’s old car? Well, if you were Instagram influencer Vittoria, you would have been granted claim to a now-defunct Italian throne.
Vittoria Cristina Chiara Adelaide Maria, now 17, has been bumped up the royal food chain, and this princess and social media influencer is now the rightful heir to the crown.
Real-life Princess Diaries, anyone?
Her grandfather, Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia (aka “Duke of Savoy, Prince of Naples and by the grace of God direct heir to Head of the Royal House of Savoy”) is the son of the last king of Italy. In a formal decree, he amended a long-standing medieval law that has restricted succession in his royal line to only male heirs.
Influencer-Turned-Princess Now the Rightful Heir to the Crown
“It was the best gift [my grandfather] could give me,” Vittoria told The New York Times from her Paris home. Princess Vittoria of Savoy lives in Paris with her younger sister, Luisa de Savoie; her father, Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, Prince of Venice; and her mother, French actress Clotilde Courau.
This change makes this influencer-turned-princess the first woman in a thousand years to gain the authority to eventually lead their royal family — and stake claim to the defunct monarchy.
“It’s a huge thing in history,” said mom Clotilde Courau. She added that she did wish Vittoria had more time to prepare, but “she now, is, how do you say, the future régnante,” or ruler.
Emanuele Filiberto is trying to get his daughter to vacation less, study more, and understand the value of work.
All of this new responsibility is weighing on Vittoria, who confessed: “It’s a lot.” Heavy is the head that wears the imaginary crown, I suppose.
Of course, there isn’t actually a crown. Italy is a republic these days. The monarchy was formally abolished in 1946 following its disastrous support of Mussolini. And while Italians seem to have zero interest in a restoration of the royals, Vittoria’s father, Emanuele Filiberto, says, “Never say never.”
Besides, the Prince of Venice had no sons. He says the family needs a head of the royal household to run its historic orders. He is looking forward to abdicating and sailing around the world, “once my daughter is prepared.”
Drama With a Rival Line of the Royal Family
While Vittoria’s parents and other family members are delighted with her bump to the top of the food chain in Italy’s would-be royal family, there are others who aren’t so happy. A rival line of Savoias have been engaged in a dynastic dispute over the non-existent crown for decades.
The Aosta branch of the family think that their cousins are tarnishing the good family name. They previously took issue with Vittoria’s grandfather’s marriage to a non-noble — and now, they’ve deemed Vittoria’s ascension invalid.
“Totally illegitimate,” said Prince Aimone di Savoia Aoasta of Vittoria’s claim to the throne. He is a cousin and rival claimant.
The detractors aren’t bothering Princess Vitorria of Savoy, though.
“I don’t even pay any attention to it,” she said.