Prince Umberto, Count of Salemi

Prince Umberto of Savoy (22 June 1889 19 October 1918) was a member of the Aosta branch of the House of Savoy and was styled the Count of Salemi.

Prince Umberto
Count of Salemi
Born(1889-06-22)22 June 1889
Died19 October 1918(1918-10-19) (aged 29)
Crespano del Grappa
Full name
Umberto Maria Vittorio Amedeo Giuseppe di Savoia
FatherPrince Amadeo, Duke of Aosta
MotherMaria Letizia Bonaparte

Early life

Umberto was born in Turin, the fourth son of Prince Amadeo of Savoy, Duke of Aosta, the only one by his second wife and niece Princess Maria Letizia Bonaparte (1866–1926) the daughter of Prince Napoléon and Princess Maria Clotilde of Savoy. His father, a former king of Spain, died when he was just a year old. He had three older half-brothers: the Duke of Aosta, the Count of Turin and the Duke of the Abruzzi.

In 1908 Umberto began studies at the Naval Academy in Livorno. In May 1911, while still at the academy, he was accused of theft. His cousin King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy wanted him arrested, but his mother took him to Turin and challenged the king to carry out the arrest.[1] In July Victor Emmanuel ordered that he be detained at the Castle of Moncalieri and then spend eighteen months aboard a man-of-war, during which time a Carabinieri colonel would act as his tutor and keeper.[2]

First World War and death

During the First World War Umberto volunteered to serve in the Royal Italian Army. He joined the army as a lieutenant and served in a Catania cavalry regiment.[3] During the war he was awarded a silver medal for bravery displayed while acting as a bombing officer.[4]

Umberto died a month before the end of the war. The official court bulletin recorded that he was killed in action, but in fact he died of Spanish flu. He was buried in the cemetery of Crespano del Grappa. In 1926 his remains were moved to the Sacrario Militare del Monte Grappa.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 22 June 1889 1 December 1889: His Royal Highness Prince Umberto of Savoy.
  • 1 December 1889 19 October 1918: His Royal Highness The Count of Salemi.




  1. "Princess Defies Ruler of Italy". Los Angeles Times. 1911-05-14. p. 15.
  2. "King Punishes his Cousin". Washington Post. 1911-07-16. p. 13.
  3. "More Princes Join Army". New York Times. 1915-05-19. p. 2.
  4. "Expect New Drive on Italian Front". New York Times. 1917-12-04. p. 2.
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