May 10, 1946
The Italian cabinet today approved Crown Prince Umberto's assumption of the throne, following the abdication of his father, King Victor Emmanuel. The new King Umberto II will reign with limited powers, according to the Cabinet, until June 2, when Italians go to the polls to decide of they "want a monarchy or a republic."
The Associated Press report states that the cabinet decided at an "extraordinary session" that Umberto could approve decrees "up until the referendum date." He will be able to sign as Umberto II,King of Italy, but the Cabinet ordered the elimination of the phrase "By the grace of God and the will of people."
The cabinet's limitation of powers reaffirmed previous laws enacted last March restricting Umberto's powers "as lieutenant general of the realm during the political campaign."
Socialists are calling Umberto as the "King of May," as they believe the monarchy will be turned out by the public referendum.
King Umberto appeared "eight times on the palace balcony to acknowledge the acclaim of an estimated 10,000 cheering Romans." Tonight, the new king called upon the Italian people to "gather around the flag under which the fatherland was unified and four generations of Italians have known how to live laboriously and die heroically."