Friday, December 11, 2009

Will Aosta be exiled?

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 December 11, 1907

The King of Italy is "incensed" by the behavior of his cousin, the Duke of Aosta, the Chicago Daily Tribune reports. This report is based on an "exclusive dispatch" from Rome. King Victor Emmanuel is considering sending the Duke of Aosta into exile because of the duke's "flagrant conduct in Naples with a coterie of young girls and Duchesses and Marchionesses of high rank."

Victor Emmanuel is "highly incensed" that his cousin is "lacking in all sense of pride and decency," and his actions have created one of the "greatest scandals" in Italian society.

The Duchess of Aosta has, apparently, denounced her husband to the king and queen, and has left him. She is now said to be in Egypt, recuperating. The former princess Helene of Orleans went to the king and queen and told them of her husband's behavior. The king demanded that the Duke of Aosta return home, where he "read him a lecture and demand that he mend his ways." The Duke of Aosta returned to Naples, however, where he "resumed his notorious carousels, opening flaunting his depravity."

The duke has been in the habit of inviting young women to his villa in Capodimonte, a suburb of Naples. These women were introduced to the duke by women of the highest aristocracy in Naples.

Several of these noble women associated with the Duchess of Aosta. At different balls and other events, the duchess would hear "strange innuendos" about her husband's behavior. In time, she was able to "uncover everything," after returning home early from a ball, where she confronted the duke about "the stories she had heard about his conduct."

The Duchess left Naples and returned to Rome, where she met with the king and queen informing them of her husband's actions. She then went to England to attend the wedding of her sister, Princess Louise, and while she was in England, she "learned additional and distressing facts" about her husband and his women.

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