Queen Marie José of Italy

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Today marks the 16th Death Anniversary of Queen Marie José of Italy, who died on this day in 2001. The only daughter of King Albert and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, Marie José married Crown Prince Umberto of Italy in 1930. The couple had four children, including the Prince of Naples and Princess Maria Pia. As Crown Princess, Marie José was anti-fascist, and even went to visit her captured brother, King Leopold III, during WWII. In 1946, her father-in-law abdicated, and the couple succeeded to the Italian Throne just a moth before a referendum abolished the Italian Monarchy. In exile, King Umberto and Queen Marie José separated, but never divorced, with him living in Portugal, and her in Switzerland, both attending Royal events in Belgium and Greece together. Marie José traveled the world, and was allowed to visit Italy after the death of her husband in 1983. The last Queen of Italy died on January 27th, 2001.

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