Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Umberto and Marie Jose reunite for money

July 16, 1950

It has taken a $4,000,000 fortune to reunited former King Umberto of Italy and his "lovely half blind wife, Princess Marie Jose of Belgium," reports the Chicago Tribune.

The couple have been separated since 1945.  The entire Italian Royal family are gathering at Chateau de la Croe, which has 17 room and eight bathrooms.  The chateau is at the "swanky Cap d'Antibes," and is owned by Mrs. Barbara Burton, widow of William Burton, a millionaire.    The house has been leased by the Italian royal family for the entire summer.

Joining former King Umberto at the family council are his estranged wife, Marie-Jose, his son, Prince Vittorio Emanuele, 12, his mother, Queen Elena, 77; and two of his sisters, former Queen Giovanna of Bulgaria and Princess Maria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.   Giovanna's son, former King Simeon, is also at the meeting.

Queen Marie Jose left Umberto in 1945 to live near Geneva, Switzerland, with their four children.  She allegedly left him because of his "reported affairs."

After Italians voted for a republic in 1945,  Umberto went to live in Portugal. Marie Jose refused to join him.  She said at the time: "I don't want my son to be brought up as his father was --learning nothing else except how to review troops."

The $4 million fortune was placed by the late King Vittorio Emanuele III in England, and British courts recently awarded the money to his heirs, despite opposition from the Italian government.  The family will also be discussing how to split $100,000,000 worth of "land and property," which the Italian courts returned to members of the former royal family.  Only Umberto's share was confiscated by the government.

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