Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, has died at the age of 77 – Royal Central
The House of Savoy announced the death of Prince Amédée, Duke of Aosta. The Duke underwent surgery on May 27 and died of cardiac arrest earlier this morning in Arezzo. He is survived by his second wife, Silvia, and his three children from his first marriage: Prince Aimone, Princess Bianca and Princess Mafalda. He divorced his first wife, Princess Claude of Orleans, on April 26, 1982. Princess Claude is the daughter of Henri, Count of Paris, pretender to the throne of France. Prince Amedeo and Princess Claude were able to benefit from a cancellation by the Catholic Church in January 1987. In the same year, he married Silvia Paternò di Spedalotto, daughter of an Italian nobleman, the 6th Marquis of Reggiovanni .
Prince Amedeo was born in Florence, Italy on September 27, 1943, the only child of Prince Aimone, Duke of Spoleto, and Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark. Prince Aimone was briefly appointed King of Croatia by King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, although he never resided there. Prince Amedeo studied in Italy, attending the Francesco Morosini Naval Military School and the Livorno Naval Academy, where he graduated as a naval officer in the Italian Navy. Known throughout Italy for this wine business, he is best known for his dynastic rivalry with his third cousin, Vittorio Emanuele.
In July 2006, Amedeo declared himself Duke of Savoy and Head of the House of Savoy, a claim vigorously contested by Vittorio Emanuele, Prince of Naples. As a result, the Prince of Naples sued Prince Amedeo to bar Amedeo from using the title of Duke of Savoy. The court ruled in favor of Vittorio Emanuele. Prince Amedeo was ordered to pay thousands of euros to his cousins and stop using the ducal title. Prince Amedeo maintained that he was the rightful ruler of the House of Savoy until his death.
Their rivalry reached a low point in May 2004, during a party organized at the Zarzuela Palace to celebrate the wedding of the Prince of Asturias. Vittorio Emanuele is said to have punched Prince Amedeo in the face. Prince Amedeo fell backwards down the stairs. Queen Anne-Marie of Greece was nearby and helped stop the bleeding while they waited for first aid. King Juan Carlos was furious at the lack of decorum of his cousins.
Besides his dynastic activities, Prince Amedeo and his second wife had a wine business called Vini Savoia Aosta. Amedeo was named Knight of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation as well as Knight of Honor of the Sovereign Military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.