Monday, January 4, 2010

Death of Queen Margherita

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

January 4, 1926

Queen Margherita of Italy died today at her villa in Bordighera. Yesterday evening, her son, King Victor Emanuel, received a telegram, stating that the queen had relapsed and was now in grave condition. The King and his wife, Elena, left the Quirinal and took the train to Bordighera. They arrived at 10 p.m.

Queen Margherita "had already fallen into a comatose state after extreme unction had been administered by the attending priest," the New York Times reports.
At 3 a.m,, Margherita "rallied somewhat." She appeared to recognize members of the royal family, who had been called in her room, and she "even tried to smile at them," but she quickly fell back into unconsciousness again "without having been able to utter a single word."

The queen's condition grew more alarming. Although oxygen was administered, there was no hope for Margherita. The "end came quite suddenly." Queen Margherita "passed quietly and serenely into the eternal life without any evidence of pain or suffering appearing on her face."

The first to be notified of the queen's death was Premier Mussolini. Victor Emanuel sent a personal telegram, announcing that his "adored mother had rendered her soul to God."

Flags were ordered to half staff.

Queen Margherita was born on November 20, 1851 in Turin, the daughter of Ferdinando, Duke of Genoa, and Princess Elisabeth of Saxony. She was only 17 when she married her first cousin, Crown Prince Umberto of Italy, on April 21, 1868.

The couple's only child, Victor Emanuel, Prince of Naples, was born on November 11, 1869.

Umberto succeeded to the Italian throne in January 1878, and Margherita became his Queen Consort. He reigned until July 29, 1900, when he was assassinated by an Italian anarchist.

Queen Margherita of Italy was much loved. The Italian peasants called her the "Pearl of Savoy." The "tragic ending of her reign helped endear her to the people in an extraordinary way, so much so that she quite overshadowed for a long time her lesser-known daughter-in-law."

There is no information on the date and place of  Margherita's funeral.

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